Breaking tradition.

Wedding traditions – how relevant are they today?

Wedding traditions seem to be becoming less prominent in modern times. More and more people are figuring out whether they actually want to stick to wedding traditions, rather than seeing them as essential to their wedding day. Your wedding day should be a reflection of you as a couple, and if you don’t believe in the classic wedding traditions then you don’t necessarily have to follow them – unless you want to.

That’s not to say I will be sacking off the traditions of a wedding altogether, but I believe in ensuring that everything that is involved in our wedding is something we want, not what we feel we have to include.

So, which wedding traditions are still relevant today?

Wearing a long, white wedding dress

Where did it originate?
The history of the wedding dress is a surprising one. ‘Wedding white’ is seen as the most traditional colour for a wedding dress, however it is known to have been made a ‘tradition’ when Queen Victoria wore white at her wedding in 1840. Before this time, popular choices ranged from rich red to heavily embroidered gowns, along with an array of colours and no set style. While many brides ‘break’ current tradition, white is still seen as the number one choice.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
I can tell you now, that if white wasn’t my colour, I probably wouldn’t be wearing it. For me, wearing white on my wedding day is an aspiration, not necessarily something I feel I have to do. Yes, the wedding dress I have chosen is long, and it is white – but that’s all you’re getting.

Matching bridesmaid dresses

Lauren Peele Photography

Originally meant as a distraction so the bride and groom could get away safely, bridesmaids wore white dresses to match the bride so any disgruntled exes would get confused.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
I gave my bridesmaids the choice and consulted them before making any decisions. We actually ended up going for a matching design after all, but that’s because they all wanted to wear the same!

Throwing confetti

Ian MacMichael Photography

Where did it originate?
In Italy, as sugared almonds. Paper confetti and dried petal confetti are the most commonly used nowadays, however post-sugared almonds (ouch), rice, seed, wheat and grain were the type of choice.

Why is it a tradition?
It symbolises your guests showering you with love.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
The iconic confetti shot is one I adore, and I’m certainly not against being showered with love. If you are desperate to include this in your wedding too, make sure your venue doesn’t have any restrictions. Some may only allow natural confetti, and some have a ban on the stuff altogether.

Cutting the cake

Gia Canali Photography

Another major photo op, the cutting of the cake is expected and desired. Nowadays, it is a joint task and seen as the first married act carried out by both the bride and groom. A truly testing challenge, for sure.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
While I don’t agree with some of the sexist traditions behind the cutting of the cake, I don’t see anything wrong with showcasing what will undoubtedly be a beautiful cake while taking the opportunity for more prized photos.

First Dance

Couples forced to sway together awkwardly while the entirety of their guests look on is not always the ‘romantic’ sight it is supposed to be. There is no reason to insist it is incorporated into the evening celebrations. Some couples choose to forgo the first dance altogether by starting the night with everyone on the floor, while others encourage guests to join them after the chorus. In no way is it a necessity, although it is another prime photographer moment. If you are desperate for the perfect photo, consider keeping the lights up for the first dance and avoid the dreaded flash.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
The plan is to have a first dance – we can’t resist the romance and what will hopefully be a beautifully candid photo. However, we simply can’t decide the song, so if we don’t hurry up and pick something or choose to sway to silence, we may be going without.

Tossing the bouquet

Nordica Photography


A truly old-fashioned tradition, tossing the bouquet is widely known and essentially iconic to weddings. Singletons are called to the floor to excitedly await the discarded bouquet in order to ensure there will be marriage in their future.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
This isn’t a tradition that particularly interests me, and plus, I don’t want to throw away my pretty flowers.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

More of a superstition than a wedding tradition in the form of a rhyme, no wonder it is so remembered. ‘Something Old’ resembles family ancestry, ‘Something New’ represents new beginnings, ‘Something Borrowed’ symbolises the support of friends and family, while ‘Something Blue’ is part of the tradition because of its Roman meaning of love, purity and fidelity.

Will we be including it in our wedding?
I don’t believe in the superstition and I don’t think I would desperately seek out these items to ensure I had them, but if it occurs naturally then it will be a nice addition.


Which wedding traditions will you include in your wedding?


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