Out With the Old, In With the New: Wedding Traditions

We spend every waking moment engrossed in the world that is weddings. We live and breathe this stuff- and it can be a lot of information to absorb if you’ve never been involved with a wedding before. We figured it would be beneficial for us to drop some of the trends we have been seeing evolve over the past few years and hopefully that will help with your planning process!

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

This one is a resounding yes! We still see lots of couples opting for this tried and true tradition and it can be a super sweet part of your day. The most common way these things are incorporated is through charms on your bouquet, wearing jewelry owned by a family member, and by sewing things into the lining of the dress. We are especially fond of adding some of the lace or beading from grandmas dress to your own, or choosing shoes with a baby blue on them. There are countless fun ways you can bring these four items together and we definitely encourage you to do it by using items that have sentimental value to you and yours.

Bouquet & Garter Toss

Ditch ’em. Both of them. This section of the wedding is often the most uncomfortable one and it hails back to the days where women were only interested in finding a husband and apparently didn’t have any other aspirations in life. The vast majority of our weddings forgo the garter all together (most brides don’t want what is essentially a stand in for their underpants to be thrown to a crowd of uncomfortable men) and of the ones who still do the bouquet toss- it’s pulling teeth to get the single women to join the crowd. Be sure and let whoever is announcing the events at your reception know that you aren’t doing these. We’ve seen a few weddings where the DJ just automatically assumed they would be done, and then started announcing that it would happen and the bride is standing there mouthing “NO NO NO” and the DJ didn’t get the hint. Just let them know up front that you are nixing that part.


Not worth it. Half the time people don’t take them- and when they do they don’t keep them. Some great alternatives are for you to set up a photo booth for your guest to take pictures, or leave little cards on the reception tables so they can write advice or well wishes. It helps to provide the feel that the guests are an integral part and that you appreciate them coming without them having to pack home something you spent money on that they’ll likely toss in the trash.

If you insist on favors, go with something edible! A cute cookie with your names on them, or a little jar of local honey or jam. These are cute, usable and appreciated by hungry attendees! Check out these super cute cookies, which also made for great detail shots.

Guest Books

The old school book with peoples name in it is a thing of the past. You still want a guest book- but get a little creative with it! Our favorite option is to have us make you a custom album with your engagement photos for people to sign the day of, but other options include a wall hanging (we’ve seen bourbon barrel lids, large matted photographs and even some mirrors). If your videography package through us includes a second shooter through your reception- we can also do a video guest book where guests can film themselves saying something sweet!

First Looks

Do it. We talk about this in depth with couples and we firmly believe you two need to see each other prior to the ceremony. There is nothing more nerve wracking for a groom than to be expected to preform some spectacle of emotion as the bride walks down the aisle. Let the poor guy see you privately ahead of time so he can dote on you, tell you you’re beautiful, and cry his happy tears in peace.

The first look also allows you to snag more time on your wedding day, and we definitely want you to hop over to our post on first looks to fully understand the impact of this awesome timeline!

First looks are not always just for you and your significant other, make sure to let us know if you plan to share one with a family member or your bridal party! We loved this super sweet first look between Alyssa and her father.

Ceremony Wording

Ok, we are hesitant to put this one here but I’m going to include it just for those of you who have read this far. Lots of ceremonies are worded by the officiant. There are two key phrases that we are seeing be dropped from ceremonies that you may not know about- and we find it important for you to make a decision on and inform your officiant of ahead of time.

First, the “objections” clause. The “Speak now or forever hold your piece” bit. It’s been a couple years since we saw this portion actually said during a wedding and we encourage you to ask your officiant if they are going to use it. It’s fallen out of favor because realistically, what are you going to do if someone objects? Are you going to stop the wedding and go home? We assume if there is someone in your life who objects to the two of you being married that you’ve had this conversation with them in private before- why are we opening this can of worms on the wedding day?

Second, is the “bride will obey husband” bit. This one is common in religious ceremonies and if it’s your style- then by all means go for it, we aren’t here to judge. But be aware that it is VERY common and that if you don’t want this sort of scripture or wording in your ceremony that you should notify the officiant ahead of time. There is plenty of scripture available that doesn’t outline a hierarchy within the home and it’s easy to swap this bit out if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Finally, your wedding should be about the two of you. We urge our couples to make their wedding unique and special to them and to keep and toss whatever traditions they like or don’t like. Lots of times families and friends get involved in the planning process and while we totally encourage you to take help where you can get it- don’t let great aunt Suzie bully you into doing something you don’t like or aren’t comfortable with!

With love and nontraditional guestbooks,

Becca & Mandy

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