• Han Butler

Four Features of a Traditional Wedding You Can Cut From Your Big Day

Planning your wedding according to a set of dated traditions can leave you feeling as if your wedding has little to do with you. Many of the traditions are sexist, out-dated, expensive or totally impractical. If you're determined to have a wedding that feels true to your values and personality, have the courage to follow only the wedding traditions that make sense to you and give you joy. Feel free to politely - or impolitely - decline the ones that don't float your boat.

If you and your partner are anti an old fashioned wedding, here are some old-timey wedding traditions you can totally ditch.

The Wedding Party

Gone are the days when you had to walk down the aisle accompanied by a group of plainly dressed girls, while your future husband awaited you alongside his corresponding group of suited, strapping young men. While many people really enjoy the wedding party tradition, especially if both partners share a group of friends, you may not have time for this piece of wedding theatre if you're interested in crushing gender-stereotypes. And while you may come under pressure to start appointing bridesmaids, remember it's your day.

The Bride's Parents Pay For The Wedding

In the past, the bride's parents were expected to shell out for the wedding reception. This tradition emerged because the bride was not expected to make a financial contribution to the family household, so the husband would be completely financially responsible for her. The wedding was the bride's parents' contribution to the marriage as a whole. Nowadays, women are out there slaying in the workplace, and many modern ladies are frankly insulted by the idea that her parents should cover costs on her behalf.

If you'd feel better about your wedding if you and your partner pay for it, or if you want to let both sets of parents help you out rather than have your parents bear the burden, that decision is totally yours to make. Whether you pay for the whole event as a couple, or let your friends or family make contributions for particular things, like diy wedding invites, flowers or catering, what matters is that your wedding is true to who you are as a couple and how you relate to money.

Formal Wedding Photos

If the idea of spending hours of your wedding away from the reception while you and your partner (and wedding party) stand around - sometimes in the cold - posing for stiff, formal photos to be taken by a photographer who you only met five minutes ago, then definitely don't do it. There is no need. While some couples opt to stick with this formal way of doing things, these days, tons of young people are going for candid wedding photographers instead. This means your wedding album will include un-posed, unselfconscious moments that you didn't even know were being photographed.

When you're making your choice in when it comes to photos, remember that unless you actively request that they don't, your guests are going to take photos on their phones of the whole day. Many couples appreciate having photos snapped by all their buddies, but some prefer an "unplugged" approach, a technology-free event in which everyone goes offline. And while there may be pressure from your family or friends to go either the modern or more traditional route, remember that it's your choice, so don't let the pressure get to you.

The Diamond Ring

Let's be honest: who wants to spend an entire months' wages on a very old chunk of coal that someone in Africa had to dig out of the earth, and may have caused tons of conflict in it's wake? These days, many young couples (who are happy to spend the money) are opting to go with ethically-sourced diamonds. It's also one hundred per cent acceptable to opt for more the affordable option, a lab-grown diamond, or even another precious stone like emerald, ruby or sapphire. And you know what, if you don't want a ring at all, you don't have to have one. Your marriage is about the two of you: pick a ring (or don't) that will express the authentic love between the two of you as a couple. As one of the most costly and debated parts of a wedding, the ring tradition is the perfect chance to throw out what you don't care about, and embrace something that truly speaks to you.

Whether you're having a hundred guests at your wedding or just ten, your wedding should be about the two of you beginning a new life together. Throwing out the stale wedding traditions that aren't what you're about can be freeing, and allow you to share a special day that stays true to your values.

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