The Wedding Traditions That We’re *NOT* Following

Hello! Sorry for this slightly late Wedding Wednesday post – it’s still taking me some time to get back into the swing of things. I’m excited to say that we are so close to being done with all of our vendor bookings so my attention has been turning to the finer (and in my opinion, much more fun!) details of the day. I’ve quickly found that with weddings, comes a lot of expectation and a lot of traditions and… well, we’re not all that keen on all of them.

We said on the outset that more than anything, we wanted a day (or weekend as it’s transpiring!) that reflected us and where we didn’t do things just because ‘that’s what you do’. So without ado, I thought would detail some of the traditions that we’re passing on πŸ™‚

  1. Not seeing each other before the wedding. After a bit of deliberation, we’ve decided on a first look. We want to spend the day with our loved ones (which is the least we can do considering they’ll be flying to another country for us!) and anything that takes us away from the party is not something we’re keen on. Having a first look will enable us take some photos, have a quiet moment together and then maximise time with our guests. A win win!
  2. Wedding gifts to each other. I must confess that this is one tradition that I don’t fully understand. We both agreed that we didn’t need gifts from each other on top of all the other wedding expenses – and hopefully the day will be special enough as it is πŸ™‚
  3. Not paying for bridesmaids attire. I think this might be a cultural one but I didn’t want to ask my bridesmaids to pay for their dresses. Even though we’re picking them together, I know I will likely have the final say so I would just feel too bad making them pay for their dress!
  4. Rehearsal dinner. I think rehearsal dinners are more of an American tradition anyway but we didn’t just want to invite a select few. Instead, we’re having a welcome dinner for everyone the evening before – it will obviously cost more but we accepted that when we planned for a destination wedding.
  5. The traditional invite order. Everything that I’ve read suggests that you shouldn’t send your invites sooner than 6-8 weeks before the wedding and the save-the-dates about 6 months before. For us, that feels too late especially as we’re getting married abroad. We’re aiming to send out our save-the-dates within the next month and our invites at start of 2018 – in order to give our guests plenty of notice and planning time.
  6. Parents paying for the wedding. This one is obviously a very personal one and is totally up to the individual couple and family but Dan and I always planned to pay for the wedding ourselves. Having said that, both of our mums will no doubt be helping with all the various DIY projects that I have planned!
  7. Doing a formal three course sit down meal. We haven’t settled on the food yet but it’s unlikely we’re going to do the traditional three course meal. Dan hates ‘faffy food’ (his term, not mine!) so we’re currently leaning towards more street food options to keep it more ‘us’.

There are a few more but I think I’ll leave those until the day to reveal πŸ™‚

I would love to hear about the traditions that you’re planning on skipping if you’re also engaged or the ones that you did skip if you’ve already been there and done that! I think it’s so important to have a day that reflects you as a couple and I’ve been loving thinking of ways to make the day uniquely ‘us’!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Photo credit: Z Create Design

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  1. 9.1.17
    Patricia said:

    “Faffy” food, hahahah!

    I’m Filipina, and we decided to not partake in the money dance, where the guests pin money on the bride’s dress and dances with her. First off, I would prefer not to place that pressure on guests (plus they are giving gifts and traveling to our wedding already), and I didn’t want to ruin the flow of the party. I never regretted not doing this.

    • 9.2.17
      amie1 said:

      Oh how interesting! I imagine it’s even tougher to decide on traditions if they’re firmly part of your culture. I agree that it’s so important to do what’s right for you though!

  2. 9.2.17

    I’m with you on the paying for your wedding yourself and sending the invites way ahead of time. People need to make those travel plans and 8 weeks is cutting it close!

    I did without A LOT of traditions, because A. I’ve never been one to conform to tradition just because and B. My favorite weddings are the ones that showcase the couple’s personalities. I wrote a post detailing what we skipped, I hope it’s OK to link here?

    • 9.2.17
      amie1 said:

      Oh I loved your post! And there was me thinking I was all original with this blog post idea haha. Your wedding looked beautiful! And I totally agree about showing your personality – number one on our list was avoiding a cookie cutter wedding!

  3. 9.2.17
    Sonia said:

    Ultimately we did what let right for us. My favourite tradition that I broke was having my Mum walk me down the aisle.

    • 9.2.17
      amie1 said:

      My mum is going to be walking me down the aisle too! It was her that suggested it and as soon as she did, I fell in love with the idea. I totally agree that it’s so important to do things that feel right to you πŸ™‚

      • 7.3.18
        Rolyn said:

        I had my parents walked me down the aisle. I got married in a church. I walked by myself for the first part then halfway to the altar my parents met me. I didn’t want to single out my Mum πŸ™‚

  4. 9.2.17
    Sonia said:

    ** felt

  5. 9.2.17
    Stace said:

    Walking down the aisle with my dog, corny and inappropriate to some, absolutely essential for me. She means the world to me, is my therapy dog and has saved my life when I’m at my worse.

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      Oh I love this! I keep seeing adorable photos of dogs featuring in couples’ wedding day photos and I’m so jealous, we would love to be able to do the same. Walking down the aisle with yours sounded absolutely perfect πŸ™‚

  6. 9.2.17

    This is a great post. It is important to do what feels right for the two of you! I did not pay for my bridesmaid’s dresses but I paid for there jewelry, shoes, accommodations, etc. so all they had to do was the dress and I told them not to get us presents (though they all chipped in for a little something anyway). I did not do a first look but I can understand you wanting to do that. Although our wedding wasn’t exactly a destination- we only had about 5 people that lived nearby and everyone else was a t least a few hours away, many a plane ride away. We also sent out save the dates and invitations much earlier. I don’t think 6-8 weeks is early enough for anyone! The big one that I skipped was wearing a veil. My mom wanted me to but I never felt exactly comfortable doing so. Not only was it a religious gesture (and we had a justice of the peace officiating) but it also symbolized the woman as property which I am very much against. It just did not work for me! I wore a lovely headpiece instead.

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      I’ve seen lots of brides do headpieces – I think it can look amazing instead of a veil! I’m strongly considering one for the reception because there are so many beautiful ones to choose from!

  7. 9.2.17
    Kathy Kelly said:

    Not sure if this is an American tradition or not but we did not have the throwing of the bouquet and garder (for all single men and woman). We married later in life and didn’t want the few single friends to feel obligated to participate; certainly may be different for a younger couple with a younger guest list. in fact a single friend of mine actually commented how nice it was to not have that tradition at our wedding!

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      Oh wow I never thought about it from that perspective! And I actually had no idea what the garter tradition was until you just said haha. That is so strange… something that’s been on my thigh gets thrown to all the men haha!? I’m not sure we’ll be doing that either…!

  8. 9.2.17
    Janell said:

    Oh god there’s so many my fiancΓ©e and I aren’t following. First and foremost probably, not seeing each other. Since I’m marrying a woman, we both decided we wanted our dresses to coordinate but not match so we’re going wedding dress shopping together!

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      Ahh I love this! I would have loved to shared the wedding dress shopping experience with Dan (well, if he’d been willing – which he wouldn’t have haha!). The more special you can make the run up to the wedding the better I think, and I think dress shopping together will be so amazing!

  9. 9.2.17
    Alex said:

    Nice post ! During a wedding you don’t have to follow traditions that are just no you ! If I get married one day I would completely pay for my wedding ! For the menu I think changing the 3 course option is such a great idea ! No very long and boring meal so people can try something new and feel more relax !
    In France I guess most people have their photos taken before the ceremony at least in my family !

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      Oh really? I know it’s getting more popular now – most photographers I spoke to said the majority of their couples chose to do a first look. The photos always look lovely so I can see why πŸ™‚

  10. 9.3.17
    Deasy said:

    I don’t understand the concept of bridesmaids paying for their own dress either, considering all that they do for the wedding already. We had our destination wedding on a Thursday and opted for no bridesmaids or groomsman. It made sense for us, and it was one the best days I remember <3

    • 9.3.17
      amie1 said:

      I totally agree – I read a list of all the things bridesmaids should supposedly pay for and I did wonder why anyone would agree to do it! Sounda like the most expensive exercise! So happy for you that you had such an amazing day – and that it was a destination wedding haha! Some days I think to myself it would have been far easier to get married in the UK πŸ™‚

  11. 9.3.17
    Lorraine Tresnak said:

    I think I broke so many. No bridesmaids, my husband to be travelled together in the car to the ceremony and no speeches other than thank you for sharing the day with us. Oh and we only had people there who we wanted to be there. There was family who weren’t invited but they were the ones always first in line for the food etc and who we didn’t hear from otherwise. It was such a relaxed day!

  12. 9.3.17
    Gemma Hoyte said:

    I don’t believe bridesmaids should pay for their attire either, but was told that bridesmaids are chosen because they can be depended on financially- (Erm…) ! I just thought that was absurd and didn’t even bother to respond; when people ask for your opinion and then tell you you’re wrong there’s no point πŸ™‚
    I’m at the stage in my relationship where we’re starting to think about marriage and I just love how level headed you guys are about all the aspects that we get to see.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and thoughts with us, as well as inspiring a new way of thinking.

    Gemma x

  13. 9.4.17
    Sarah said:

    So wonderful! You really seem to have such a lovely spirit about the wedding. If a couple wants to make it simply about themselves, elopements are beautiful. Once they invite people, the weekend can be in the style of the couple, with the guests at the heart of all decisions (such as your welcome dinner…so perfect!).

    Amusingly, I am a font of useless wedding etiquette (eg, when to use “the pleasure of your company” v. “the honour of your presence” on an invitation; the fact that one offers “best wishes” to the bride and “congratulations” to the groom), but we avoided many (nearly all?) traditions as they simply did not feel right to us. Perhaps the only area where I break from you on your list is the idea of wedding gifts. We received so many wonderful gifts, but our notes and gifts to each other to celebrate our wedding were the most special. We gave them to each other the night before the wedding, and it was such a lovely moment between the two of us. This time with each other also helped to make the weekend truly for us, not just about us. (I suspect that some people find that same connection in writing their own vows, but I am dating myself here: there was no way we were going to share those intimate thoughts publicly in front of all of our guests. We shared that connection, those thoughts of love, in notes and meaningful gifts the night before the wedding.)

    So perhaps the purpose of this lengthy comment is simply to say β€” perhaps before you go to sleep on the eve of your wedding, spend a few moments just the two of you, away from everyone else, with words or without, just appreciating the magic. My husband and I were together more than five years before our wedding, and we have been married more than 10, and those moments the night before our ceremony are some of my most cherished in life.

  14. 9.4.17
    Cathy said:

    Hi Amie, please do away with the bouquet and garter tradition for your single guests. Unless you want to see them leaving one by one I’m single and although I feel comfortable joining those for the sake of fun, I know not many people wants that

  15. 9.4.17

    Hi Amie! We also had a destination wedding and I think that’s the best option for making it more personal and avoiding some traditions that could make no sense for you as a couple. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a moment for the two of you before the wedding, though. In destination weddings you are bound to spend an inevitable good amount of time with your guests, since it’s a little bit like a holiday for everyone. You will want to but at the same time it can be very stressful. But even 5 minutes alone with your significant other right before the ceremony will mean the world and I’m sure it would be a moment that you will cherish forever, so intimate and emotional. In our case, we decided to walk together from the hotel we rented to the townhall where the ceremony took place. We got married in a little village in the countryside of Mallorca and the distance between both places was a mere 2 minutes walk along tiny romantic alleys. We chose to wait until all the guests were in the townhall and walk there, hand in hand. Those two minutes alone were the most magical moments of the whole wedding. We were super excited but at the same time that little walk together made us feel calmer and connected and somehow it felt like we were stepping into a new chapter the both of us, together.
    What I try to say in a very cheesy way, but hey, it’s a wedding I’m allow to be as cheesy as I want, is that a few moments together with your favourite person in the world, right before you start your new life as husband and wife are precious!!

  16. 9.5.17
    Kaja said:

    We skipped on 1 (first look photos are great!),2, 6 and 7 as well. We had a very small weddingWe did get a few donations from grandparents to help pay for the wedding though. For dinner we had a tapas buffet, and I think everyone loved it. No one does rehearsal dinners in Norway either. I let my maid of honor pay for her own dress, but she chose it herself and just went for a beautiful vintage dress that she’s used several times since.

    As for invites for wedding abroad I think you’re absolutely right to do it early. My sister in law had planned her wedding in Italy for a long time which we knew, but when we finally got the invites four months ahead and got the final details, we realized it would be much more expensive than we were led to believe, and and that point we couldn’t afford to go all four of us. As you can probably guess I was gutted to have to stay behind, and I think it’s rude to just assume everyone can afford something so expensive on very short notice.

  17. 9.7.17
    Soni said:

    Hi Amie

    may I ask why do you choose to get married in France? Do you like the area, or do you go for a particular style of the wedding..?

  18. 9.9.17
    CoCo said:

    I’m Korean and I passed on the tradition related to gift exchanges between the groom and brides families. Also I proposed to him! And told my fiance (after he said yes) not to bother with doing an “propsal event” which is common among young generation but I just find it plain weird.

  19. 9.14.17
    Anamika said:

    I love how sensible you guys are being and yet creating a magical time for yourselves!

  20. 9.21.17
    Camilla said:

    I’ve always wanted a really traditional wedding – and that’s mostly what we’re going for.
    Definitely paid for my bridesmaids dresses and shoes/ hair and make up too.
    The thing that shocked me most was the flower budget – I’m obsessed with flowers and have had to budget much more than I ever thought but I just love them so much it’s worth it.
    I really like the idea of spending the wedding eve together – we haven’t decided if we’ll seperate or be with respective bridal parties – we are both having six bridesmaids/ groomsmen so would be really fun to spend it with them.
    What are you think re favors? What time of year is your wedding? I.e. Spring/summer?
    The best thing I’ve done is have a graphic designer so all of the wedding stationary so it’s all in the same theme- worth every penny!

    Absolutely loving your wedding series!! Please keep them coming