Wedding Traditions: Out With the Old

September 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm , by

I’ve been to lots of weddings in my time – church weddings, beach weddings, a traditional Indian wedding and even an Armenian one – and I’m always fascinated by all the cool traditions that brides (and grooms, from time to time) choose to work into their special day. But according to a report in the U.K.’s Daily Mail, the times are a changin’. Formerly standard procedures like asking the bride’s father for her hand in marriage, decking out the wedding-mobile with “Just Married” and heading off on that fairytale honeymoon right after the wedding are dying out. Researchers found that couples find them too cheesy or impractical to do today. In the ’60s, half of all brides changed into a “going-away suit,” and today just 7 percent do. (I’m surprised it’s even that many – where do they go?) About half as many brides wear something old, new, borrowed and blue now as they did 50 years ago. And forget about schlepping over the threshold: Only 13 percent of grooms today sweep their new wife off her feet, compared with 68 percent that did the symbolic move in the ’60s.

But other, more modern traditions have taken off: best-man speeches (done at 78 percent of weddings, hopefully before the speaker has had a chance to hit the bar), favors for guests (48 percent) and signing of guest books (43 percent). And the down-on-one-knee proposal has gained popularity, too.

What was your favorite wedding tradition you had on your own big day? Do you regret skipping out on any? Or did you do all the traditional things and end up regretting it? (Garters, anyone?)
Photo courtesy of aleske.

3 Responses to “Wedding Traditions: Out With the Old”

  1. I never really gave much thought to most wedding traditions or rituals until I had to plan my own. Then when I thought about each detail to make a decision about it, it seemed like everything was suddenly strange/offensive/cringe-worthy to me. Like giving the bride away (Hey, I’m here of my own volition, thanks.). Or when the officiant announces the newlyweds as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” (Just like that the lady loses her name!) So we’ve resolved to keep the traditions that feel meaningful to us, and ditch the ones that don’t (or just feel outdated and a smidge sexist).

    I’m all about the something old/new/borrowed/blue though. :)

  2. I believe a couple should do whatever they want these days, especially if they are paying for it. I still like the idea of a traditional wedding gown in either white or off white. One couple I know wanted to do a black dress and everyone objected to that. The bride needs to stand out amongst the guests. A gown that is some shade of white makes her shine during her special day. Guests traditionally do not wear white, so that allows the bride to have her day.

    We recently went to a wedding where the music was favorite music of the bride & groom & it was beautiful. They did some non traditional things, but the bride was beautiful in her off white gown.

  3. Let will be your way. Do, as want.

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