6 Wedding Traditions You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Skipping

Some wedding traditions are so ingrained in our culture that at this point they’ve sort of become second nature to the bride planning her wedding. Thoughts like “I CAN’T see the groom before the wedding” or “I have to throw the bouquet!” are in the back of our heads at all times, making it hard to think about breaking those so-called traditions and doing what you want to do! While some wedding traditions won’t and shouldn’t go away (like exchanging vows or having a first dance…even though some couples are opting not to these days) there are some I think you can easily do away with. Of course while some couples might want to eliminate any or all of these traditions, always remember that it is YOUR CHOICE. You can do and not do whatever you want. With that said, you might not be too sad about saying goodbye to these wedding traditions below.

Read more about wedding superstitions and traditions here!


The “Everyone In the Entire Family” Wedding Photo

I don’t know about you, but between my family and my husband’s family there were A LOT of people to cram into one photo. Seriously. A LOT. It took 5 times as long as any other photo because not only were there a lot of people, but arranging them was a logistical nightmare. This was actually the only point throughout the wedding and perhaps the entire wedding planning process where I snapped, yelling “Let’s just do this!!!” In other words, for the sake of your sanity, skip this photo. It’s a nice gesture but honestly your natural wedding photos (meaning ones that are unposed and taken when everybody’s having a great time) are going to be your best ones and the ones you’ll REALLY want to frame. If there are certain members of your family you want to make sure you have a photo with that are not included in your primary shot list (like your aunt and uncle or cousins), be sure to tell your photographer ahead of time and they can arrange it. Read more about potential wedding photo shot lists here as well as how much wedding photographers cost.


Garter Toss

Honestly this entire tradition just kind of skeeves me out. Does my Grandma need to see my husband lift up my dress and pull down a garter and put it in his mouth? *Shudders*

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This flower girl didn't know which side she was supposed to sit on.
This flower girl didn’t know which side she was supposed to sit on.

Assigned Ceremony Seating

While the first two rows were reserved for my husband’s and my wedding party and our parents/grandparents (and yes they were sitting on different sides), there was not technically a “groom” and “bride” side for guests. And there definitely doesn’t have to be! I know a lot of people instinctually look for this when they go to a wedding ceremony, but a good wedding planner should let guests know that they can sit wherever they most feel comfortable (minus any reserved rows, of course). Besides, picking a side makes it oddly feel like you’re choosing teams, right?


Receiving Line

A receiving line is not required, and to me it seems like such a formal (and unnatural) way to greet guests. We opted to individually use the cocktail hour to go around and say hello to guests, which was great because it allowed us to eat a few bites of dinner knowing that we had thanked a majority of our family and friends for coming beforehand. Bonus? You get to have a glass a wine while you do it!


Cake Smashing

If you’re into this, then by all means do it!! It’s fun and jovial and if you’re not worried about your lipstick smearing or cake getting all over your dress, then it can be a fun way to goof around and celebrate. But most couples I know like to gently (or not so gently) remind their future spouses (yes, women are just as guilty!) TO STAY THE EFF AWAY WITH THE CAKE!! 🙂


Bouquet Toss

I skipped this for two reasons. 1) I only had about two single girlfriends at our wedding and 2) I am really bad at throwing things.

While these are all just suggestions, your wedding day is about you and your partner. When it comes to incorporating old OR new wedding traditions, you should always use the ones speak to you as a couple.

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