Classic Wedding Traditions and Why You Shouldn’t Ditch Them

I’ve noticed recently there have been a lot of articles from the big name wedding websites about not honoring those “tired, old” wedding traditions anymore.  They either boast- “wedding traditions you can skip” or “the annoying wedding traditions you need to ditch.” These articles make my heart hurt. Now, I know that not everyone feels the same way, and trust me, some of my brides have had brilliant ideas in lieu of classic traditions, but for a lot of brides (myself included) the classic traditions are the most special.  I’m not talking about conga lines or the funky chicken; the traditions I hate to see on these lists are the ones that have been celebrated by generations of women in your family.  The traditions that if you celebrate, one day your grandchildren can say they are doing the same thing their grandmother and her mother and her mother did at their weddings. Traditions are not meant to stifle fun at a wedding or suggest we are somehow less of a feminist because we want to celebrate them; they connect us to our heritage and root our marriages in something real and special.

I am not writing this because I think all weddings should be at a church followed by petit fours in a banquet hall.  I genuinely believe you should have the wedding you and your fiancé want. But I do think it’s sad that some of these traditions are being thrown away just because they are old.  Being old doesn’t make them useless, it makes them meaningful.

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Here are a couple traditions you should think about keeping and why:

  1. Bouquet and Garter Toss – it’s hilarious. It’s fun. It gives the band a break for a minute. It gives guests a break from dancing.  And, to the person who catches it, it’s not silly, it’s exciting.  Also, your mom’s mom’s mom did it, and if you’re lucky enough to have her at your wedding she’s going to love it.

  2. Bridesmaids Luncheon – After moving to Chicago, I realized this is more of a southern tradition, but I have it on here anyway.  A bridesmaids luncheon typically happens the day before the wedding and includes all bridesmaids and close women family members of the bride and groom (sisters, aunts, grandmas, moms).  This is a time for the ladies to get together with the bride so she can thank her girls before the weekend of her being in the spotlight.  Your bridesmaids, mamas, aunts, grandmas probably put a lot into making your wedding special (even if it was just buying a plane ticket to get there), and they deserve to be celebrated and thanked.  Take the time to have lunch with them, write them sweet notes about what they all mean to you, and maybe even cut a cake like this as we do in the south ;)

  3. Cutting a Cake – Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when brides decide to do different desserts instead of cake.  I had a couple last year who did donuts because they were a part of the story of their relationship.  BUT, my favorite picture of my grandparents in the whole world is them cutting the cake at their wedding.  The pure joy on their faces and casualness of it is breathtaking.  The cake at my wedding was a replica of theirs and I remember standing behind it cutting my cake praying that my marriage would be as lasting and joyful as theirs.  I hope my children and grandchildren look at that picture one day and are reminded of their parent’s love for each other and for our families.

  4. Registering for Fine China – I’m probably getting weird looks for this one.  It could be because I may have an itsy, bitsy, tiny obsession with china so of course I would suggest registering for fine china.  Hear me out though ☺. This is the only time in your entire life that people will buy you gifts in such a large quantity all at one time.  Make sure you are given something that is valuable and able to be passed down.  You may not want china now, living in an apartment and only eating off of plastic plates, but what if one day the only memento you have left from the gadgets and funky West Elm plates you registered for is that salad spinner that won’t break (even though you tried). China is always in style, it is always valuable and it will always make you think of your wedding.   

So go forth and do traditions! And make sure to tell me about it :)