Dispensing with tradition

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Undertaking the planning of a wedding is huge. You’ve never done it before; and the idea is you will never have to again. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when faced with all the decisions that have to be made.

Wedding traditions give the bride-to-be a safety net, a structure for the wedding day; a definitive list of things that need to be organised. In short these wedding rituals give the bride a few less things to worry about. But hold that thought….How many of these mini-rituals honestly deserve a place in your special day?

Don’t get me wrong I like tradition, after all, if it’s not broke…..

On the other hand, I can also see that there is a shift in how weddings are being planned by Irish couples. As a wedding professional, I can see that the kind of weddings couples are planning are changing; an obvious result of the modern social and economic climate. Couples are paying for their own weddings, some with help from family. Many couples live together before getting married and/or have started a family in that time. Some wedding traditions just don’t relate to the modern way we live.

If you are planning a wedding now is a great time to take a closer look at the traditional wedding rituals. Do these match up with who you are and how your wedding will reflect you as a couple?


Something old, something new...


Think about this long list of traditions:

– The bride’s white gown – okay, so you’ll only get to buy and wear big white gown once in a lifetime but this is merely a trend gone out of control in itself, started by Queen Victoria.

– Flower bouquet – If you are the Duchess of Cambridge it’s a wonderful opportunity to use the language of flowers but for the majority of modern brides is this just something to do with you hands?

– Something borrowed, something blue… –  harmless superstition. It’s a cute bit of fun for the girls, but is it relevant to you?

– Wearing a veil – It’s not an arranged marriage, is it?

– Not seeing the groom before the wedding – Most couples take no qualms with this age old tradtion. For modern couples it adds a sense of anticipation and excitement for the big day. However is there honestly a good reason why you can’t see each other for 10 mintutes before the ceremony to calm the nerves; make the most of the photo opportunity; or for that matter why the two of you can’t walk up the aisle together?

– Giving the bride away – Does the bride need to be given away when she’s been living with her hubby-to-be for the last three years?

– Cutting the cake – A photo opportunity but not exactly the most exciting, what does it mean anyway?

– Sit down meal –  By all means look after your guests and don’t see them wanting, but who says you have to have a three course meal? Doesn’t it just take the momentum out of the celebrations?

These are just a few that come to mind. The list is not limited. Now perhaps after reading this list, you think, “Well, what’s left?”.

This isn’t about taking everything apart and being left with nothing. It’s about freeing you up to be able to plan the day that you want, not just another run-of-the-mill wedding.

Look at it another way. You have been a guest at many a wedding, maybe a lot of your siblings or friends have gotten married in recent years. So you know the routine of the wedding….be honest…..it can be pretty boring right? Do you want your wedding to be just another predictable day for your guests? Especially after putting all the time and effort into the plans.

As the couple getting married the shoe is going to be on the other foot this time.  The day will race by in an instant, from the church to cutting the cake, in the wink of an eye. Do you want to spend one of the most important days of your lives together racing around like headless chicks going through the ‘wedding’ motions that mean little or nothing to you; when you could be in the thick of the fun, savoring every moment of the day with your friends and family?

By cutting the unnecessary from your day, you can create a special, personal day for you, your family and all your special guests. Just by making the decision to do one or two key things in a different way, will make a big difference and your guests will appreciate it. Who knows, you may even start a new trend…….


Image Credits: Shoes top L to R: image via Jennifer Lauren Bijoux via nashville.weddings101.net, via Charlotte Geary,via besthudsonvalleyweddingever.com, via 6 of Four Photography