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Bride in a Blue Wedding DressTraditions might seem like they have been around since the dawn of time, but many have shorter histories than you’d think. When it comes to weddings, for example, a vast majority of modern rituals are constructed around sensibilities from over the last two centuries. Since plenty of these beliefs are now viewed as archaic, it makes sense that modern couples are ditching these old ideas for practices that make more sense. Check out these traditions that people are tossing to the wayside and see if it helps put your own big day into perspective.

The “Reveal” on the Wedding Day

In years past, it was common for couples to stay apart in the days leading up to the wedding. This separation would culminate in a big reveal on the wedding day, usually as an opportunity for the groom to get a first look at the spectacular appearance of his soon-to-be bride. Nowadays, a good chunk of couples live together before marriage. The idea of being away from each other before the wedding can be quite inconvenient and impractical, leading it to be one of the traditions that couples most often forego.  

Brides Who Wear White

Though it might seem like a tradition that has persisted for a long while, the concept of a bride wearing white on her wedding day is a recent trend. Academics trace the practice back to around 1840, when Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom wore white while marrying Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. Before this, it was most common for brides to wear red. In the time since Queen Victoria made the trend popular, many people have come to believe that white on a wedding day acts as a symbol of the bride’s purity and innocence.

Again, this is an example of modern sensibilities shifting away from the ideals of the recent past. Though several generations partook in the habit of white wedding gowns, brides are now perusing a variety of colors when looking for a perfect outfit. 

Garter and Bouquet Tosses

One trend that seems to ebb and flow in popularity is the idea of the “toss.” Technically, this refers to two separate activities that have the same general purpose. The first, the bouquet toss, is meant as a way of encouraging “marriage luck” for the single woman who catches the flower arrangement after the bride lobs it into the crowd. Similarly, the men take part in the garter toss to see which guy will have the same kind of romantic luck. While these can be fun moments in the night, plenty of people feel that the rituals rely on old gender roles.

If you still want to use these traditions without relying on the “you catch it and you get married next” aspect, come up with a more appealing prize. Set aside a small item like a bottle of wine or a gift card and give the presents to those lucky enough to catch the bouquets and garters. When there’s a real gift on the line, you’ll find the crowd energized by the activity. 

The Kids

Flower girls and ringbearers provide an opportunity for children in your family to have an active role in your big day. However, you might not want this. There’s nothing wrong with preferring an “adults only” event. While children are adorable, working with certain kids can be difficult and cause a number of distractions during rehearsals and the event itself. While it can seem like this tradition is still quite popular, statistics show that a good many couples decide to forego the flower girls altogether without complaints from the crowd. 

Traditions may serve a purpose to some degree, but you shouldn't allow the past to dictate every aspect of your future. Review the rituals involved in your big day and see which would be better off on the cutting room floor.

Category: Wedding Planning

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