Traditional weddings follow a set pattern. You say your vows, make a grand entrance, cut the cake, dance for dollars and much more. While some customs are eternal, many feel out of place in modern times.
Today’s brides and grooms are ditching the pomp and circumstance for a celebration that suits them. Do these 11 wedding traditions still have a place in 2019?
1. The Wedding Ring
It’s a tradition to wear a wedding ring on your left hand when you get married. For years, diamonds reigned as king of the engagement ring. Today’s consumers are more conscious of unsustainable mining, instead opting for lab-grown diamonds or alternative gems. Other couples choose rubber rings, tattoos or no jewelry at all.
2. The Paper Invite
Paper invitations are a classic way to announce your nuptials. An invitation adds to the overall aesthetic and theme of your event. At the end of the day, however, most are thrown out. In 2019, some couples are switching to eco-friendly options, such as recycled paper and e-vites. According to one study, nearly 75% of couples create a wedding website — a convenient place to share all the details.
3.The Ring Bearer
The ring bearer is usually a male relative who holds onto the rings during the wedding ceremony. In 2019, many couples are doing away with the routine for something new. Some have the best man take responsibility. Others involve their favorite pooch, training him to walk down the aisle with rings attached to his collar.
4. The White Dress
Before the 20th century, it was normal for brides to wear gowns in stunning scarlet and gold. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, where she wore a white silk-spun dress, that the trend took root. The Queen’s goal was to showcase her good sense and prudence, traits she used when she ran the country. While the white dress is still part of 21st-century wedding tradition, some modern brides are choosing colorful alternatives.
5.The Cake Cutting
The cake cutting is traditionally a big wedding moment — all eyes are on the couple. Some go all out and smash dessert into each other’s faces. Yet many modern couples are rejecting the custom. Instead of attention, they prefer a private, solitary moment. Plus, some see the cake-smashing bit as outdated.
6. The Hope Chest
Ancient Egyptians relied on hope chests to protect their coveted treasures and crucial documents. Today, it’s tradition for mothers to pass along a chest to their newly-married daughters. Most are made of cedar and filled with items like handmade quilts, linens and dishware. In 2019, a hope chest can still make a meaningful gift on a child’s wedding day.
7. The Bride’s Family Pays
The average wedding costs $38,700 — a hefty chunk of change. Luckily, in 2019, the bride’s parents aren’t expected to foot the bill. Today’s couples cover around 45% of the costs by dipping into savings, getting side gigs and acquiring credit card debt. Friends and family help cover the rest. Some couples skip typical wedding traditions — like a ballroom venue — to cut costs.
8. The Wedding Party
It’s a wedding custom to invite a horde of bridesmaids and groomsmen — your closest allies — to accompany you at the alter. Each respective group throws a celebration, and brides often have a wedding shower. While the tradition of wedding parties is strong in 2019, some couples are choosing to do away with it altogether.
9. The Wedding Veil
According to Susan Waggoner, wedding historian, the veil dates back to ancient times when brides wrapped themselves from head to toe. The idea was to present a modest and virginal image. For modern brides, history alone is enough to ditch the tradition. You should know, however, that veils supposedly protect from evil spirits. If you’re getting married in a potentially-haunted spot, a veil is a must!
10. The Bouquet Toss
One well-known wedding tradition is the bouquet and garter toss. What was once a centerpiece of wedding tradition — having your friends line up to see who will get married next — now seems outdated to many modern couples. The garter toss alone, which where the groom removes the garment from the bride’s leg with his teeth, will leave most guests uncomfortable.
11.The Rice Shower
You’ve likely heard rice thrown at weddings causes birds to explode — it’s a popular myth. However, Cornell ornithologist Steven Sibley claims rice poses no risk since you have to boil it before it expands. If you’re a 2019 bride who wants to head to her honeymoon in a shower of rice, have at it! Other couples opt for alternatives like birdseed, bubbles and flower petals.
Are you ready to say “I do?” If so, a wedding is about you and your partner. Modern couples are ditching outdated traditions and planning events that suit their unique personalities.