While engagement season still has a few good weeks left, it has about come to a close. Which means it's now officially planning time. So if you got engaged over the holiday season, CONGRATS! This is such an exciting time and you get to look at all the pretty things weddings have to offer - yay! Now you'll probably be spending every weekend going to bridal shows and browsing Pinterest to find ideas and inspiration for the big day. You're probably also thinking about all those traditions you always see at weddings and you're thinking "do I want to keep that tradition or start my own?"
This is a super common thought and a question that gets asked to wedding professionals all. the. time. So here are some wedding traditions and ways to maybe mix it up a little.
The cake! As a huge dessert person, I love all the ideas for cakes. The tradition here is a tiered cake (anywhere from 3 to 5 or 6 tiers) that is shared with all the guests. The new age of this is doing sheet cakes for the guests but it's the same concept.
Now we've started to see a ton of different ideas to mix it up. Most couples still opt for a tiered cake but now it's only a 2 or 3 tier for the two of them. That way they can cut it and keep the top tier for the first anniversary. I also love this idea with a donut tower and keeping the top donut! But instead of sheet cakes they choose something different for the guests.
Cupcakes are the most common option.
A variety of cookies.
Cheesecake (the whole cake or just bites).
Mini bundt cakes.
Pies (individual or the whole thing).
The list goes on and on!!
Private first look vs. first look down the aisle. Traditionally the groom does not see the bride until she is walking down the aisle to him. Which originated from the fact that back in the day the bride and groom didn't even meet each other until this moment and the groom had no idea what his bride looked like (hence the veil) which is crazy to compare to now! A lot of couples still choose to go this route and stick to tradition here.
A new trend is to have a private "first look". Here the groom is standing with his back to his bride, she walks up behind him, taps him on the shoulder and he turns around to see his bride for the first time. The photographer (and videographer if you have one) are there to catch this moment from every angle. A lot of times the bridal party and parents are also around to see this intimate moment. This is popular because it gives the bride and groom privacy as they share the moment.
It's also super popular because after you've seen each other you can take pictures! Couples will do the first look hours before the ceremony starts so that they can take all their pictures ahead of time and aren't keeping guests waiting during cocktail hour.
Gifts or Honeyfund? This one is really new but starting to become more popular. One of the first things you do when you get engaged is start your gift registry. You go Target, Macy's and Bed, Bath & Beyond to scan all those household items you really want but don't want to buy for yourself (let's just be honest!). Then you tell all your guests where you are registered so that they can go buy you those things, wrap them and leave them on your gift table. Traditionally couples did not live with each other until after their wedding day, so these items were necessities in order to furnish their first home together.
However, a lot of couples co-habitate before they're married nowadays. So they end up getting all their pots and pans, mixing bowls, lamps and those expensive automatic wine openers on their own over time. Now they don't know what to register for because their apartment is already set up.... How about that expensive honeymoon?? Or that new house??
Crowdfunding has grown in popularity for everything from helping a family with medial bills to protecting Betty White from 2016. Couples can now create an account and accept donations that will go toward their honeymoon or a down payment on a house. On their invitations instead of where they are registered they would mention how they don't need gifts and would rather guests donate any amount of money to their Honeyfund. This is a VERY new concept so if you choose to go this route, I suggest still having a small gift table for those guests that would rather buy you a crockpot.
There are a lot of traditions that comes with weddings because they've been around forever! Your moms and grandmas will also have their ideas from what they did at their own weddings, which are all really fun to listen to. However, lot of couples get caught up in doing what they think they SHOULD do. They follow traditions because they are traditions and that's what Grandma Shirley did at her wedding.
Honoring family traditions, or just wedding traditions in general, is incredibly special and shouldn't be taken lightly. But, if you're not into the whole wedding cake thing then feel free to switch it up! Your wedding is supposed to be about you and your significant other and what has meaning to you guys.
If you want to have an intimate first look in order to capture raw emotion on camera, go for it. If you prefer the groom not see you until you are walking down the aisle to him, do it. Hey if you don't want to do a garter toss because you don't want your dad to see your husband's head up your skirt, scrap it!
The most important part of your wedding day is you and your other half. Always remember and honor that during the planning process!