Marriage Traditions We Should Reconsider (and New Ones to Adopt)

Not everyone wants to get married. Millennials are thumbing their nose at the tradition, but they’re not the only ones. Fewer people in general are getting married nowadays.

Marriage might not be on everyone’s bucket list, but if you’ve decided to get hitched there’s no need to buy into the many traditions synonymous with the institution. It’s 2018, you can wear whatever color dress you like on your big day.


1. Big, Expensive Weddings

Speaking of big days, there’s also no need for it to be an elaborate affair with hundreds of guests. The days of inviting extended family members and work colleagues you don’t even like are long gone.

Rather than blow your savings, or worse, get into debt, for a one-off celebration, save your money for a trip around the world, a honeymoon of a lifetime or a deposit on your first home.

Along with being expensive, big weddings are also super stressful. A far better idea is to share the occasion with a small group of close friends and family members. There’s also no reason you can’t just elope. It’s entirely up to you.

So often, we do things to please other people. Compromise is fine if you’re choosing a restaurant or movie, for example, but how you get married is your business. You really don’t have to go the big fat Greek wedding route if that’s not your style.

2. Ixnay on the Gender Roles

If you do opt for a full on affair, there are still plenty of wedding traditions you can skip. For one thing, the old school rule that bridesmaids should be female and groomsmen male can definitely be tossed out the window.

There’s no reason whatsoever why the the best man can’t be a best woman. If you’re the bride and your BFF is a guy, by all means, ask him to be your ‘bridesmaid.’ Just don’t call him that and definitely don’t ask him to wear a dress.

3. No More Matchy, Matchy

In the past, the bride and groom’s wedding bands had to match. Just because you fell in love doesn’t mean you automatically have the same taste. You’re still individuals, so go ahead and express that.

While we’re on the subject of matching, your bridal party should be free to wear whatever they like. Forcing them into a style or color that doesn’t suit them purely because ‘that’s how it’s done’ is so 1987.

For that matter, go crazy on your wedding colors if that’s how you roll. Eclectic for the win, baby. Choose as many colors as you like for your big day. Just because old school rules say you can only have two shades, doesn’t mean you have to.


Most wedding traditions came about centuries ago. They likely made sense at the time, but that’s not reason enough to hang onto them. We need to come up with new wedding traditions that speak to our time.

Make the ceremony a ‘no cell phone’ zone. We humans are unreasonably attached to our devices, but there’s no reason for guests to be checking emails while you’re exchanging vows. They also don’t need to be taking photos either. They can Instagram to their heart’s content at the reception, this part is just for you and your person.

Writing (and receiving) a pre-wedding letter is another new tradition worth adopting. It’s really romantic and it’s something you only have to share with each other (i.e. no weighing in from busybody in-laws).

In the old days it was considered bad luck to see each other before the ceremony, but first looks are the thing nowadays. Sure, they might spoil the surprise, but it’s also pretty special having one last ‘not married yet’ moment together.

There are more wedding traditions and superstitions than you can shake a stick at. Some are fun, some are silly, some are downright ridiculous. Ancient Romans apparently studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry. I think we can safely ditch that one.

Focus instead on celebrating your love in a way that speaks to you as a couple. Don’t get too hung up on the details of what is ultimately just one day (unless you’re from Morocco, in which case celebrations will continue for up to seven days). You have a lifetime of fun and laughter to look forward to, so does it really matter how many tiers your wedding cake has?

Photo Credit: Pixabay


Marie W
Marie W26 days ago

Thank you

Lindsay K
Lindsay K1 months ago

Thanks for sharing. My advice to everyone planning a wedding would be to stick to a sensible budget. I've known people who have spent a huge amount of money on their weddings and then had a migraine on the day and not enjoyed it! Knowing you're not going to be paying off the wedding for the next goodness-knows-how-many years will do wonders for your stress levels and blood pressure! Also, no-one needs to be a princess for a day - a bride is a bride and doesn't need to be a princess, too!!! Thanks for sharing.

Ellen J
E Away J2 months ago

We were thrilled when our son & his fiancee eloped. Her parents not so much.

Ellen J
E Away J2 months ago


Jan S
Past Member 4 months ago

Thank you

Bill Eagle
Bill E4 months ago

As a father of a girl, I am all for getting rid of big expensive weddings.

Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 months ago

Thank you for posting

Cindy S
Cindy Smith4 months ago


Vincent T
Vincent T4 months ago

thanks for sharing

natasha p
Past Member 4 months ago