5 Non-traditional Wedding Ideas for Modern Couples
Something that is very important to me is to not blindly follow wedding traditions just because they've always been around. I want to have a reason for why we do the things we do. I should probably preface this blog post to say that our wedding is not meant to commemorate holy matrimony; our wedding is meant to be a celebration of our relationship and the love and commitment that we have with each other. Since our wedding is more ceremonial than anything, we will not be adding any wedding traditions that do not align with us, our purpose, or our relationship. I have no judgement around any bride who chooses to have these traditions in her wedding; I truly believe in the couple getting married choosing traditions that are important to them. These are the traditions that are and aren't important to us that you may or may not want to include in your wedding as a modern couple.
- As a bride, I will not be “given away” at the altar
The practice of the father giving away his daughter at the altar dates back to the days when women were the property of their father, and he gave her away in exchange for a dowry. Well here we are in 2021 as I plan my wedding and this act of walking the bride down the aisle doesn’t carry the weight of those old traditions. Being walked down the aisle to me is an act of support from my biggest support structure(s) who I love very much and raised me to be the woman I am today. Also, instead of the officiant asking my father if he gives me away and him saying "I Do", we had a different idea that I actually saw on TikTok. Instead, the officiant will turn to each family and ask "who takes this bride/groom to join their family," then, each family will say "I Do" together. This incorporates both families into the ritual and makes the point that nobody is "giving me away" and it symbolizes our family getting larger.
- Both of my parents (mom & dad) will walk me down the aisle
The tradition of the father walking the bride down the aisle stems from the days of arranged marriages when a father’s looming presence was a good way to prevent the groom from backing out. Back then, a bride was considered a “financial liability” (excuse me while I puke) who was essentially transferred from the household of her father to that of the groom. This led to some hesitation from many grooms at the last minute, so fathers were walking their daughters down the aisle to prevent this from happening. Obviously I look at this tradition very differently. I will have both my parents (mom & dad) walk me down the aisle with the meaning that they support me, our marriage and my decisions as an adult woman.
- I will not be wearing a veil over my face walking down the aisle
So the wedding veil has some interesting and outdated meanings behind it as well. I will say, I will probably wear one as a wedding accessory because it’s the only time in my life that it’s appropriate to wear a cute white veil, and that is my only reason. The wedding veil tradition dates back to ancient times when people wrapped brides from head to toe to represent the delivery of a modest and untouched maiden. During these older times, wedding veils were also commonly used in the case of arranged marriages, so that the groom was forced to marry his stranger bride unseen. As a feminist, from the wise words of Randy Jackson, “It's gonna be a no from me dog!” This tradition does not represent our relationship or who we are, so I will not be “delivered” to Logan at the altar. But, I will still wear it on the back of my head to complete my wedding look without any religious undertones.
- The garter toss
Okay get ready for creepy. The tradition of a garter toss came from old times when couples were expected to do the deed soon after exchanging vows. The groom was to remove his wife’s underthings and fling them into the waiting crowd as evidence of their successful consummation. Eeeek, no thanks! 80% of the people at our wedding will be our family, and I don’t need my new husband to be going up my dress while they all watch (it’s as creepy as it sounds). The one part of the garter toss that I do like is having it be symbolic good luck to the single man that catches it. With that being said, we’ll probably have Logan throw his boutonniere instead, just as I would throw my bouquet of flowers to my bridesmaids!
- Wedding website
As a modern couple, we will definitely be using technology to assist us. I think we will still mail out physical invitations because of the sentimental value that it will have. Especially me being the first grandchild to get married, our family members would really appreciate a keepsake like a physical wedding invitation. But, on the wedding invitation, we will have a link to our wedding website that has all the information on it about the wedding, hotels in the area, schedule for the day, a place to RSVP, etc.
My goal as I begin my wedding planning journey is to be intentional with what we have at our wedding. I want the wedding to represent us and our relationship in the best way possible that allows for us and our guests to celebrate our love in a beautiful way!