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Blast from the Wedding Past

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Traditions Dead and Dying


We have entered a new generation of wedding couples. This new generation is no longer doing the "norm", but rather taking their own spins on things. As a wedding planner, I have seen it all. Everything from the traditional weddings in a church, to the less traditional that follow none of the customs that most have come accustomed to. In today's wedding world, there is no such thing as "normal". No more "well it is normally this way." Forget everything you think you know about weddings folks, expect the unexpected!


Let's discuss the "traditional" wedding items that are "dead" or in the process of "dying."


Now before I get started...Let me add a disclaimer. Just because these things are mentioned in this post, does not mean that I hate them or do not think they belong in current weddings. This is just based on trends that I am currently seeing in my weddings! Now... let's get started.


Escorts

From escorting guests to their seats at arrival or escorting parents and grandparents from their seats after the wedding ceremony; it's just not super popular anymore. In the past three years of owning Destination Us, and the six years prior working for various event companies, I have only seen a handful of weddings have escorts to take patrons to their seats as they arrive to the ceremony. Guests are pretty good about seating themselves and filling in the seats and DJs are pretty good at asking guests to be seated if they are standing around talking.

As far as escorting parents and grandparents goes, it is slowly dying and is something we see occasionally. The groomsmen and/or groom will escort the parents and/or grandparents to their seats then circle back to their place in the recessional line or take their place at the alter. However, coming back to get the ones that they escorted after the ceremony is hardly ever happening. At that point, the wedding party is heading out to take pictures and the parents and grandparents all walk out together as a row. If the grandparent is in need of assistance, there is usually and uncle or a brother close by that can help. This does make it easier time wise, but some of our older patrons would still prefer that traditional escort, so this is a decision I always leave up to the couple.


Unity Ceremonies

Lighting candles, pouring sand, braiding ropes...you know the basics. While couples are getting more unique with their unity ceremonies, most are just skipping it all together. They are wanting to keep their ceremonies as short as possible and get to the party as soon as possible! They are ready to dance and eat and talk to all of their family and friends.



Bouquet and Garter Toss

The tosses! The part of the reception that splits the guys and girls and sees who has the best reflexes. While some find the garter toss a little 'cringy' or 'embarrassing', some still find it fun and are even finding fun ways to toss the garter by putting it on a football and throwing it to the single guys in the crowd. This is one tradition that we are surely seeing decline. Most couples are wanting to keep the dance floor packed and not break for anything like the bouquet and garter toss.




Matching Bridesmaids Dresses

We used to see all of the bridesmaids in the exact same dress style and color. The only true difference you may have seen was the Maid/Matron of Honor. However, brides started to pay more attention to their best friends and realize that not everyone feels comfortable in the same dress styles. This allowed bridesmaids to branch out and just stick with one color and choose the dress that they felt the most comfortable in. Some brides are even giving each bridesmaid a different color that complements the others and the bridesmaids get the dress that they like with the color assigned. Each option gives every wedding a unique style and works great!


A wedding party lined up in multiple fall colored dresses

Veils

With more detailed hair styles and unique hair pieces, brides do not always reach for a veil. As it is not the most comfortable or sturdy head piece option. Some are skipping the veil and going with a tiara or flower crown. Even the brides that are still going for the veil, are not wearing it like it was traditionally worn. It is not seen covering the face like it used to be. That tradition has long died away.


Programs

Wedding ceremony programs have become a thing of the past. Skipping the programs can be a way to save money and time. You don't have to waste time creating the perfect program template and you do not have to waste money printing them out. People just do not grab them no matter where you put them. The only real time that I have seen wedding guest go for the program was when it was a hot summer day and the wedding ceremony and/or cocktail hour were outside and they could use the programs as fans. If you are still wanting to give you guest a run down about the order of events or who's who in the wedding party, there are other ways to do this. The most popular is signage. I have seen mirror signs, bistro chalkboard signs, letter signs, and even picture frame displays to display the timeline and/or wedding party names.


Saving the top tier of the wedding cake

Keeping the top tier of the wedding cake has really became a thing of the past. I guess we just all realized that it is kind of gross! No matter how great you wrapped it up and how fast you tossed it in the freezer, no one wants to eat a year old cake. Soooo dry! A lot of bakeries are now offering an anniversary cake made on your first anniversary with the same flavor as your wedding day.


A wedding cake display with cake and cupcakes

Tossing Rice/Bird seed

Most of the time this is not even allowed at venues! Something about uncooked rice being bad for the animals and not wanting to attract birds to the venue with the bird seed, which honestly makes sense because no one wants to get married at a venue with bird feces everywhere. Sparklers have become the norm with an occasional confetti toss or bubbles!


A sparkler exit with a bride and groom kissing in the middle
Photo credits: Makayla Helms Photography

The Wedding March

With so many new songs that are perfect for walking down the aisle. The classic wedding march has become extinct. There are just so many better options now!


Traditional bride and groom sides during the ceremony

Brides have recently decided that they would rather stand on their 'best side'. This means breaking the tradition of standing on the left and switching to the right. I have seen this more times than anyone would ever think! It is all about feeling the best on your wedding day so if standing on the right instead of the left makes you feel beautiful then do it!

Speaking of sides, guests are no longer sitting on the side that they are most connected to. If they are relatives of the bride, they are not necessarily sitting on the bride's "side" and vise versa. More and more couples are going with the "Pick a seat, not a side, you are loved by both the Groom and the Bride" or "We will be one once the knot is tied."


"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe"

While we may always see some of these sprinkled into almost every wedding, we just are not seeing all of them really show. Brides may get the items together for the photographer's detail shots, but not really make a big deal about them past that.


Do you think any of these trends will make a come back in the future? Are there any that you do not totally agree with? Leave a comment down below!


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