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Modern Wedding Traditions

5th June 2018

In recent years, weddings have started to change. Couples are under less pressure to please their families and follow tradition, and so they have greater control over their big day. This freedom has led to some wonderful twists on old ideas, leading to a new set of modern traditions.

Here we look at the way classic customs have changed in recent years.


White Dress to Bridal Outfit



It was Queen Victoria who began the white dress trend when she married Prince Albert in a white gown. Previously, women wore their best dresses or bought a new dress in a colour they could wear again. For a long time, white dresses were seen as a sign of virginal purity but these days a white gown can feel out of touch with the bride’s taste. White suits, jumpsuits, dress suits, coloured and patterned dresses are all now popular options amongst modern brides.

In a YouGov survey, 29% of those asked didn’t think that wearing white needed to remain a tradition.


Given Away to Walking Down the Aisle



Brides are no longer ‘given away’ as they are making the choice to marry themselves. And while many brides still choose to be walked down the aisle by their dad, they may choose their mother, best friend, both parents, a sibling or even walk down the aisle alone - just like Meghan Markle did when marrying Prince Harry last month!

The options are endless and it’s all about what is right for the bride.

69% of those asked felt that a father giving away his daughter was a tradition to be preserved. However, it’s important couples can put their own spin on this to make it meaningful to them.


Gift List to Money


Many modern couples are happily settled in a home and so don’t need a new toaster or set of dinner plates but would, perhaps, love a trip abroad. Therefore, asking for money to make a honeymoon possible has become more popular.

Even if you are moving into your first home together, you’ll probably want to choose your own style of interior accessories and so money or vouchers would be preferable, so you can shop together as a couple at a later date.

If you are fortunate enough not to need anything, you might prefer guests to donate to a charity that means a lot to you.


Best Man Speeches to Relaxed Speeches



It’s traditional for the best man, groom and father of the bride to make a speech at the wedding breakfast. It’s a high-pressured moment though and not one that every man thrives in. It’s becoming more common for the speeches to be more relaxed, perhaps shorter and to have other members of the wedding party involved. Many brides would like the opportunity to thank their loved ones and speak for themselves and a new tradition is emerging where the microphone is passed between guests, so that everyone can make a toast and be part of celebrating the couple.

Although change is happening, 61% of those asked still felt the best man speech was the most important.


The Groom Mustn't See the Bride to First Look Photos


For a long time, it was believed to be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding. However, modern couples are choosing to have time together before the ceremony and getting beautiful photos of the groom’s reaction to seeing his bride, away from the eyes of their guests. This also reduces the time it takes for photos after the ceremony. If you don’t want to see each other beforehand, you could have a first look photo between the bride and her father or her mother and bridesmaids.

61% of people still think the bride and groom shouldn’t see each other before the ceremony.


Engagement Rings to Engagement Gifts

The tradition of engagement rings has been around for thousands of years. In ancient cultures, the ring finger was believed to hold a vein running directly to the heart and this was why engagement and wedding rings were worn there.

Nowadays, for same sex couples, choosing who will receive an engagement ring could be tricky. Rather than one or both having an engagement ring, couples might choose to buy each other a gift instead. And of course, this a great option for all couples who don’t feel like an engagement ring is for them.


Wedding Favours to Guest Experience

For many couples, they want their wedding to be a memorable day for their guests. Rather than spending a lot of money on wedding favours, the money can be put towards more exciting entertainment. Popular, quirky ideas for adding extra interest to the big day include ice cream vans, pick and mix stations, make your own cocktail tables and photobooths.

Only 30% of people think that wedding favours should still be included at weddings.


Matching Bridesmaids to Tonal Dresses

For a long time, bridesmaids have been dressed in identical dresses with one colour on every bridesmaid that usually fits with the colour palette of the flowers and other decoration. Bridesmaids were originally used to distract evil spirits from attacking the bride. These days they are usually the bride’s closest girl friends who will help to make sure the bride is looking her best at all times.

A popular tradition now is to dress bridesmaids in similar styles and colours but allowing them to wear different shades, tones and shapes that fit with the overall colour scheme. This adds a more unique feel to the wedding and also allows the ladies to find a dress that suits their body shape and skin tone.


Lavish Ceremonies to Homely and Ethical Touches

Often weddings are big, lavish affairs where the couple can really celebrate in style. However, this might not fit with the personality of a couple or their  style and so many couples are now choosing a more homely, handcrafted approach to their wedding.

You could choose handmade table decorations or local wild flower arrangements. Converted barns or rustic restaurants are also options for small and cosy weddings.


Wedding day to Wedding Weekend

For some, a wedding is a one-day event. There’s the getting ready, the ceremony, the wedding breakfast and the reception. But for many modern couples, spending money on one day doesn’t feel like enough. That’s why wedding weekends have become very popular.

You can start the celebration off with a wedding rehearsal the day before, then having a wedding brunch the day after the wedding, Or you could just have one extra day of partying to help make your celebration last that bit longer.


Open Bar to Signature Cocktails and Souvenir Glasses



In the past, a traditional open bar has been the norm at weddings, but now many couples want to add a quirky detail to their wedding through the refreshments they provide.

You could choose signature cocktails that represent the bride and groom, or provide a refillable souvenir glass which guests can refill throughout the evening and take home at the end of the night. Even better, this is an environmentally friendly option!


Garter Toss to Sweet Toss

The idea of the garter toss can be a bit embarrassing as it once related to the couple consummating the marriage and the hope for children. As a modern alternative, some couples are having a sweet or teddy toss for any children attending the wedding.

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