Wedding Traditions That Were Made to be Broken

Weddings, with all their accompanying pomp and circumstance, can be a beautiful mix of ritual and history. Whether it’s a family tradition carried from generation to generation, religious practices or simply the standard custom of “something borrowed, something blue,” we all know the usual things that are done for a wedding. But there’s no reason you have to follow these traditions for your own marriage ceremony.

The wonderful thing about weddings in today’s society is that we have the freedom to do exactly what we want. Gender bias, societal norms, old-fashioned notions of what’s proper or not: none of these have to be considered when planning your ceremony. Many couples are opting to throw old school ideas out the window, creating a unique and meaningful wedding that fits their individual personalities and style. After all, this is your special day. You should be able to showcase all the aspects of your relationship that make it so worth celebrating.

Here are some wedding traditions that daring brides and grooms are breaking today.

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Traditionally, the bride has bridesmaids, while the groom has groomsmen, standing nearby them at their wedding. But there are plenty of couples who have opposite sex best friends and relatives that they want beside them at the altar. There’s no reason you can’t have a “bridesguy” instead of a bridesmaid or a “best gal” instead of a best man. Some people even have a parent or grandparent stand as their witness. Choose the people that matter most to you and are important in your lives, as opposed to choosing based on gender or convention.

“Giving Away” The Bride

Historically speaking, marriage was created as a way for families to grow stronger in land and power, bonding them through a union between their children. Women didn’t have any kind of say in these matters and their fathers made a show of “giving away” their daughter to the new husband, usually alongside a hefty dowry. But it’s no longer medieval times and families are no longer bound by a patriarchal society. Not to mention, there aren’t too many brides these days who come with a dowry! Wedding parties today often have a beloved friend, their mother, children or another family member walk them down the aisle, without anyone being “given away” to anyone else.

Matching Bridesmaid Dresses

Remember the movie 27 Dresses where the main character had a closet full of worn-once, horrifically-themed bridesmaid dresses? Do you really want to do that to your own bridesmaids? It’s become more and more common to let the wedding party choose their own dresses, so that everyone feels comfortable and is wearing something that suits their body type and personal style. Even similar color themes have gone out the window, as wedding participants are able to explore different attire that works best for them. As a plus, the bridesmaid might even have a chance to wear the dress again, rather than cramming it into a dark corner of her closet.

White Wedding Dress

The idea of a white wedding dress being a symbol of the virginal bride is not only outdated, it’s inaccurate. White wedding dresses were originally intended as a symbol of wealth, not purity, as white was one of the most difficult colors to clean and considered frivolous by the working class. White wedding dresses didn’t really become popular until 1840, when Queen Victoria wore white for her wedding to Prince Albert, and the white dress has eventually evolved into the standard color choice. But fashion-forward brides everywhere have long eschewed white, choosing colors that suit their own style and not worrying about whether their dress makes them look “pure” or not. Conversely, it is no longer considered poor taste to wear white for a second wedding, or even a third! Wear what you feel most beautiful in, wear what you love, wear something that tells the world what this day means to you and your partner.