For non-traditional brides: What customs ARE you keeping?

posted 3 years ago in Traditions
Post # 3
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Bebealways:  We’re in the same exact boat. My fiance and I are hardly the “traditional” couple. I’ve gotten into more than one argument with my mother about things I want differently as opposed to a traditional wedding. Here are some examples:

Me: “I don’t want wedding favors.”

Mom: “You HAVE to have favors, that’s just unclassy.”

Me: “I don’t want a head table.”

Mom: “You HAVE to have a head table, how is everyone going to know who the bridal party is?”

Me: “I don’t want any dancey, stupid songs played.” (i.e. the YMCA, the electric slide, the cha-cha slide, the wobble, etc…)

Mom: “You HAVE to have those songs, people won’t get up and dance without them.”

You get the idea.

We do share your views on the secrecy of the wedding day look. We’re also following that tradition, pretty strictly as well. We’re planning on spending the night before the wedding apart, and we aren’t doing first looks the morning of the wedding. The first time we’ll see each other is when I’m walking down the aisle, and we’re both so excited about that. It builds that anticipation and makes your nerves race even more. I can’t wait for that moment. I have a feeling he’s going to be more nervous than I’ve ever seen him, and seeing as he’s a former Marine and I’ve NEVER seen him nervous, I’m pretty excited about that haha.  😉

I’m also doing the something old, new, borrowed, and blue. That’s more for my grandmother though, she’s into that whole thing. Except so far I don’t have anything borrowed at the moment haha. 

Pretty much everything else we’re going off on our own. We’re doing a sweetheart table (I pulled rank there), dancing to a non-wedding-ey, untraditional song, having a very fast, non-religious ceremony with totally untraditional vows, and we really don’t want to do the whole “introduction of the bridal party” thing at the start of the reception, but to appease our bridal party I think we’ll end up doing it.

I’m thinking it’ll be nice to have a non-cookie cutter day!  🙂

Post # 4
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Hmm, you know, having day-dreamed about our wedding for a while and then sharing our plans / my ideas is only when I realized I/we were planning a non-traditional wedding. We’ve just kind of been going with what feels right and some of those things are inspired by tradition, like my son walking with me down the aisle. My girls will be in pretty dresses, but they’re dresses they’ve chosen on their own. Same for the guys- “just show up in a dark blue vest, dark pants, etc…”

We aren’t planning to do the traditional reception things – dance(s) with parents and the tossing of stuffs. Instead we’ll have yard games, rocking chairs by the water, and a fire pit for s’mores. Our wedding is on a Sunday (holiday weekend) so we probably won’t party late into the night. We’re also on the “first-look” bandwagon which seems to be becoming a tradition on its own! I wouldn’t be surprised if I see him even before the first look – I’d prefer to share a cup of coffee before he heads off into the dawn to meet with his troupe of manly men. 


Post # 5
3633 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Let’s see:

– I wore white.

– I let a paternal figure walk me down the aisle. (TBH, I didn’t really want to but felt obligated to do so. I did skip the F/D dance though.)

– We did a first dance.

Post # 6
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I refuse to let FI see me (or the dress) before I walk down that aisle. It is my second wedding so I refuse to wear white. I must keep the first dance. This is very important to me.

I will NOT have the following: flower girl, f/d dance (father passed away), garter toss, throwing of the bouquet. I won’t even have a bouquet, the girls and I are carrying parasols.

I am either a stickler on certain traditions or hate them. There is no gray area for me. FI and I have not sat down and discussed all these little things yet but he knows of most of them. I think not doing the garter toss might make him sad…anything to look up my dress would thrill him. I know I know, overgrown man child right?! haha

Post # 7
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

i am dancing with my father and dancing with my husband and we are doing toast…. no bouquet toss, no garter or any of that.

Post # 8
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’m not doing flower girl/ring bearer, garter toss, or bouquet toss.

I’m not going to let him see my dress, but we are going to do a first look I think.  This is mostly because our venue is a little different and we don’t have an “aisle” so I want to be able to have that moment when we first see each other.  Otherwise, I’d keep the tradition.  We’re doing a first dance, cake cutting, probably father/daughter dance, and my dad is walking me down the “aisle.”

I’ve started to think though, do I even need a garter at all if we’re not doing a toss?  Seems uncomfortable, haha.

Post # 9
2878 posts
Sugar bee

I might be ending up wearing a white/ivory dress, because right now I can’t find anything I like in other colors, and I’ve seen a wedding dress I actually like that is not traditional-looking either. 

We’re keeping the seated-dinner, evening schedule that we thought we would not follow at first.

I’m hoping to have a first look. He’ll see my dress because he’ll shop it with me, but all dressed up and ready to get married : I want to capture his look !

I might keep the ”something borrowed, something blue …”, just for the challenge of finding everything, and for fun.  

We’ll sleep together the night before wedding. 


Things we’re not doing:

– Walking down any aile ; we’re getting married in the middle, with our families surrounding us.

– First dance, father-daughter dance : there won’t be dancing at all. We’re having music on an Ipod, jazz for dinner and rock for evening where we’ll play games at different tables.

– Bouquets, flowers, garter toss, bouquet throwing.

– Probably no exchange of rings, since we both already wear ours and our e-ring will be our wedding band.

– No ”until death do us part”. Nothing related to marriage being forever, unbreakable or anything like that. It is breakable. It might end, who knows what can happen 20, 30, 40 years from now ? It’s not about being pessimistic, it’s about being realistic. If I’m going to swear anything, it’s going to be something I feel comfortable and honest swearing. 

– No introduction of the newlyweds. Really, I don’t want my wedding to be a ”formal” event : the signing of the marriage contract is formal enough, that’s why I have so much trouble with all that’s related to etiquette. It is meant, I believe, for very traditional, very formal events, and therefore, induce very formal manners. Which is totally different from what SO and I want. We’re not like that, our families are not like that. We can all behave appropriately and be polite without following rules that were written in the 1920s and that most people outside of wedding planning don’t even know exist. To me, that’s a little bit fake. We’re really hoping our wedding won’t be different from non-formal family dinners, where people dress nice, but also want to have fun, drink wine, laugh loudly and play card games, without having to follow strict guidelines all day.  Just for that reason, I’m hoping many women will show up in white at my wedding. I really couldn’t care less.

Post # 10
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


~father-figure walking me down the aisle (grandfather)

~spending the night before the wedding apart

Not Keeping:

Bouquet toss, gartar toss, unity candle, bridesmaids/groomsmens, flower girl, ring bearer, MOH, first dance, f/d dance, music at our reception


Post # 11
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@Bebealways:  We are going away just the two of us to get married, so we will be getting ready together, but I am only doing my hair and makeup with him there, he is not allowed to see me getting into my dress! We are trying to keep that moment special when he sees me in my wedding dress for the first time. 

Post # 12
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

What we are doing or already did:

Nice three-tier wedding cake

White dress (albeit short)



Speeches (my FI and I will give very casual speeches)

Traditional invites

Attempt at dancing (using Spotify playlists, lol)

What we are not doing:

No traditional wedding venue (hosting at restaurant)

No wedding party

Only our witnesses will see the ceremony as it will be at City Hall

No DJ/announcements

No first dance/bouquet/garter toss

Post # 13
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@cdenise89:  I forgot all about the flower girl thing and unity candle stuff. Add those to my list of “Not Happening”

Post # 14
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

What customs we’re keeping:

  • Wedding cake
  • White dress
  • Bouquet/centerpieces
  • Favors
  • Traditional invites
  • Speeches from family members
  • First dance/father daughter/mother son dance
  • Wedding party

What we’re not doing:

  • Garter/bouquet toss
  • “Dancing” (for the guests) – we’re just having a keyboard player for light background music.
  • Ceremony at a religious venue. It will be at my Mom’s house
  • Long reception – it’s a cocktail reception lasting for 3.5 hours

Post # 15
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

We are keeping some traditions and putting our own spin on others;

The bouquet and garter toss,

Something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new.

The first dance,

We are having a two or three layer cake

Our daughters are being our fower girls and our son is our ring holder.

My Mum is walking me down the aisle,

One of my Sisters is going to marrying us (my other Sister is my MOH),

We are having a very short, funny but sweet ceromony.

We are also having our photos taken in the graveyard where my Grandfather is. I was heart broken that he died before he could see any of his Grandkids get married, but I do feel he will be there and he is proud. Smile


Post # 16
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Customs we are keeping:

  • My father is walking me down the aisle – I’m blessed to have a wonderful relationship with him and I’ve always dreamt of having him do so
  • I’ll be wearing a long veil
  • Something old, something new, etc. – albeit with my tattoos
  • First dance
  • Cutting the wedding cake
  • Speeches from family members and the bridal party
  • Using the phrase “until death do us part”
  • Possibly a bouquet – though it will be a brooch one

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