How Wedding Traditions Have Changed Over the Years

Find out how antiquated traditions have become modernized.

One of the most unique aspects of weddings is how many customs have been passed on for decades and even centuries. To many couples, tradition is one of their most favored aspects of the celebration. Yet, recent years have called for breaking tradition and making the day personally tailored to you as a couple. This allows the bride and groom to really express their tastes and personalities without feeling restrained to certain conventions.

Whether you choose to follow age-old wedding rituals or would rather personalize the entire occasion, it is still beneficial to know how some couples execute certain traditions today. Maybe you’ll find a middle ground that respects time-honored traditions, while still making the event representative of your love. Take a look at the following to get a better sense.

bride and groom in front of wedding car pretty colorful bouquet
Photo by Bryan Miller Photography; Planning & Design by EverAfter Events

Not seeing each other until the ceremony. It has long been considered bad luck to see your future spouse before walking down the aisle. However, couples now participate in the “first look,” where they meet in private moment prior to saying their “I dos.”

Matching bridesmaid attire. Nowadays, many brides allow their bridesmaids to choose the style of their gown, hairdo, shoes, and nail design – elements that in the past were dictated by the bride-to-be. A fun style we love is bridesmaids donning different-colored dresses in various styles that complement one another. This truly personalizes the wedding.

Reciting traditional vows. For many couples, traditional vows are not enough, and instead elect to pen their own, tell a story, or write a poem. While guests adore this sentiment, it’s still a tender touch to recite olden vows that generations of family likely said themselves word-for-word.

Throwing rice at the newlyweds. In lieu of the grain, couples have used glitter, bubbles, or rose petals as they exit the ceremony/reception. Sparklers and mini confetti shooters are current favorites and make for a picture-perfect send-off.

Serving a conventional meal. Rather than serving Champagne and cake before sending the couple off, newlyweds now offer full-course suppers, buffet-style dinners, or even something more trendy and unconventional like food trucks. Perhaps the final decision should be based on the couple’s spending limit, their tastes, and the satisfaction of guests.

The wedding cake. Although it has been a staple at reception dinners for centuries, cupcakes, pies, donuts, ice cream, and candy tables are common alternatives for the main confection. Many couples today choose a wedding cake, along with other desserts so that attendees are offered a variety of treats.

A money dance. Not only does this accumulate money for the newlyweds’ new home purchase or a memorable honeymoon, but it allows the bride and groom to share a special moment with each of their loved ones. Although many couples have abandoned this ritual due to it being etiquettely improper to ask for money from invited guests, it is still very heartfelt and common within some ethnicities or cultures.

Regardless of which traditions you choose to follow or break, always remember that this is your wedding. Follow your instincts and stay true to your wedding-day wishes! For more ideas, get 2019 trend tips inspired by Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' wedding, find out how to impress guests with your wedding bar, and gather ideas on ways to announce your engagement.

Authored by: Keeanna Garcia