January 5, 2020
Had no idea how hot of a topic Wedding Day Traditions was until I asked brides on my Instagram what their biggest wedding day concerns/questions were. Holy moly you guys …. lets talk about it!
Long story short – there is no rule when it comes to wedding traditions, and you totally have to do what makes you happy! It is your day to celebrate marriage and how you choose to celebrate that is your choice! If that means you decide to throw all tradition out then window, then so be it. If that means you want to follow every single tradition there ever was, then do it! It is not about what your best friend did at their wedding last June or what your sister is planning for her wedding next October – the day is about you and your partner – choose ideas that you both love and that reflect what you are all about!
Please note, all of the opinions and comments below are my own and based on experience I have gained shooting weddings and from the feedback I gained from the audience on my Instagram. I am sharing the results from my Instagram polls because found it intriguing to see what a lot of couples are doing today! Hopefully if you are undecided in an area below, then some of this information could be helpful.
An old tradition that I am seeing less and less of at weddings that I shoot. If you are stressed out trying to find something old, new, borrowed and blue – stop stressing, there is no rule that says you have to do this tradition. With that being said, if you have meaningful items that will work in this situation, you should totally go for it!
Instagram Poll Results: 45 votes for doing it and 70 votes for not doing it.
My wedding? I did not do this at my wedding. I honestly could not think of anything to bring along, and it was not something I was passionate about. I figured since I didn’t care to find the items, it was not worth the energy.
I think this tradition is all personality based. I would say I see this 50/50 at the weddings I shoot. It is always so much fun to watch!
Instagram Poll Results: 71 votes for yes doing it and 127 votes for not doing it
My wedding? I did not do this at my wedding. For me the thought of wasting time on a bouquet toss/garter toss hurt my soul because I LIVED to be on the dance floor with my family/friends the entire night dancing. With that being said, I have seen some of my couples have SO much fun with this! If this is your jam – you should totally go for it! One of my couples last year totally killed the game (K + J ) on the garter toss and it was amazing.
This is an interesting one! Dessert tables are super popular right now and over the top extravagant wedding cakes have seem to go out the window (at least from what I have seen). I have noticed that most of my couples opt for a more simple/smaller cake to cut, and then have a donut bar or yummy dessert table instead of serving a ton of cake. Either way – you cant go wrong with sweets! Another quick point here: If you do decide to do a cake cut – it is so good to do this as soon as you enter the reception space! I am seeing this become more common to get the cake cut done right away so guests are not waiting around after dinner for dessert. Keeping things moving on track = more time for dancing!
Instagram Poll Results: 140 votes for yes to the cake and 62 votes for not having cake
My wedding? We did get a simple white wedding cake to cut but it was not super important to me. We did not even go wedding cake tasting – I think my mom even called and ordered the flavors for us because I did not care (ha!). We also did not save any cake to eat on our anniversary.
Oh, bridal party entrances. I notice that most of my couples keep this tradition going and it is not a tradition that seems to be dying.
Instagram Poll Results: 152 votes for yes doing it and 52 votes for not doing this
My wedding? We did this. Looking back, would I do it again? Eh, I am not sure. Maybe I have a bias because I have seen it so many times! Its fun for those involved and a good chance for guests to put faces with names!
Ah, the first look. A burning question for many brides “should I do it, or should I not?” “why would I do a first look?” As a wedding photographer, I see many benefits in doing a first look due to timeline but with that being said, I truly think if you are passionate about NOT seeing your husband/wife before you walk down the aisle, then do not over think this. Your photographer can go over the pros/cons of a first look vs. no first look but at the end of the day, you just have to follow your gut on this one! Another huge factor to take into consideration is the time of year you are getting married – the sun goes down much quicker in the fall which means less time for photos!
Instagram Poll Results: 107 votes for no first look and 112 votes for yes to the first look.
My Wedding? We did not do a first look. It may had been different if we had any type of timeline issue, but for us the ceremony and reception was at the same spot and we were not rushed at all. It was also a summer day in June so we had ALOT of light going into the night. If I had a fall wedding we 100% would had done a first look – the sun goes down much earlier in the fall making the time slot for photos much smaller.
I feel like this is a topic that a lot of couples do not even think about until it is actually happening. Sometimes, there just is truly no time for the bridal party to make it to cocktail hour (depending on drive time/photos/location) but this is something to consider before the wedding day. If your bridal party is not allowed at cocktail hour because you want them hidden, it is always good to have drinks/snacks ready for them while they are hanging out. From my experience, I would say 95% of my couples, let their bridal party go grab a drink and hangout at cocktail hour while they do bride/groom portraits. Usually the wedding planner/coordinator is great at wrangling everyone back prior to intros. Nothing to sweat over!
Instagram Poll Results: 164 votes for yes to letting the bridal party hang out at cocktail hour and 29 votes for having the bridal party hidden
My Wedding: We let our bridal party go hang! We just told them to come back within about 30 minutes. We also had a rock star coordinator who wrangled the troops when it was time for entrances.
This one is pretty simple. I think if you have a couple special small people in your life, then add them in. If you are like scraping the bottom of the bin to find a ring bearer and flower girl – it is not really a make or break. I have seen some couples have their grandma(s) be their flower girl – UM so cute!
Instagram Poll Results: 101 votes for yes and 102 votes for no
My Wedding? We had two flower girls (my little cousins) and one ring bearer(my nephew).
This is such a YOU decision. I have not much to say. You all know I love a good veil shot.
Instagram Poll Results: 125 votes for yes to the veil and 71 votes for not wearing a veil
My Wedding: No veil for me. Just did not go with my dress and I was not passionate enough about it to try and find one I liked. I did a head piece instead. Looking back and doing it again, I probably would get a veil.
Working with a tight budget for your wedding day? Then I would definitely allocate any type of “wedding favor” costs to other areas such as photography, florals, wedding coordinator, etc. I feel like most wedding favors get left behind on the tables or thrown in the trash on the way out (unless it is something super incredible/unique).
Instagram Poll Results: 93 votes yes to the favors and 112 votes for no to the wedding favors
My wedding? Nope, no wedding favors. Instead we spent money on cheap flip flops for guests to wear on the dance floor so they could kick off their heels! We also had cute cookies and a welcome note at the hotel for guests who were staying the night.
Again, this is such a personal preference thing. I think sweetheart tables are slowly becoming more common, but most of the couples I work with do the entire bridal party sitting together up front.
Instagram Poll Results: 50 votes for sweetheart table and 127 votes for the entire bridal party sitting together
My wedding: We had everyone sitting up front. I liked chatting with my friends and having them close by.
All I have to say on this topic is, the more weddings I attend that have bands the more I wish I would have done this for my wedding. There is something about a live band…they kill it every.single.time. Also, most bands take small breaks and during those times, they do play music. This is another personal preference.
Instagram Poll Results: 39 votes for a band and 145 votes for a DJ
My wedding: We had a DJ (after my mom suggested a band 100 times). Looking back, I really wish I would had done a band.
Did you do any of the wedding day traditions listed above? Shocked by any of the results above? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Leave a note with your favorite wedding day tradition or something unique you did at your wedding.
Featured Vendors In Photos: Venues: Loft 310, The Veranda , The Oakley, Sundance & The Secret Garden Weddings: Joe + Meghann, Kenady and Jared, Morgan and Dan Band: The Company Band Florals: Ambati Flowers , Ruby Slipper Designs , Park Place Design Cake: The Cakabakery