Tradition. Beliefs or behavior that is passed down through generations.
Ricky and I appreciate and respect tradition. We love the idea of a shared, repeated action, particularly with regard to family. In fact, we feel a strong responsibility to fulfill many annual traditions and do our best to do so.
But when we began to consider conventional wedding traditions, we felt less obligated to participate in them.
Maybe it's because both of our parents are divorced (more on this later). Maybe it's because we're older than the average engaged couple. Maybe it's because we're paying for the whole damn thing ourselves, but we felt very free to pick and choose traditions as we please. Our families, while curious about some of our choices, were very supportive of our decisions.
Whether we participated in them or not, it was important to us for these choices to be intentional. Not just, "eh I don't feel like cutting the cake." We had a reason for just about everything we are or aren't doing at the wedding.
So here it is. The Big Bad List of wedding traditions and why we are or are not doing them at our wedding.
1. Having a Ceremony with Friends & Family Present
Yep! It was important to us to profess AND SHARE our love before loved ones. They are the reason we are the people we are. I am the person Ricky fell in love with because of my support system of amazing humans. Ricky also found meaning in making the lifetime commitment in front of friends and family to lock it in, so to speak.
2. Father Walking Bride Down the Aisle
Nope. My dad hasn’t earned a fatherly position in my life, and my brothers and mother have more than filled the void he left. My brothers will be walking me down the aisle, and my mother will give me away. Tissues, please.
3. Carrying a Bouquet
Yes. My wedding ensemble isn't conventionally BRIDAL, and one of the things that made me feel very much like a bride was holding a bouquet. It's important to me to feel a little different on my wedding day than I usually do, and since I feel extraordinary basically every day of my life, carrying flowers is a way to set this day apart.
4. Tossing the Bouquet
No. It's archaic, demeaning, silly and a profound waste of time if you ask me. No offense to anyone who has or will toss the bouquet. I just don't feel the need to artificially charm one of my single friends into being the next person to get married. I'd rather just keep dancing with them.
5. Something Old/New/Borrowed/Blue
Yeah, why not. My mom got really excited about me wearing her mother's sapphire ring as my old, borrowed and blue. Seeing her so into the tradition made me want to do it for her. But having my grandmother's (whom I never got to meet) ring in our photos is pretty baller, regardless. Her ring covers everything but new, which my outfit is. So I kind of love that one super meaningful object encompasses this tradition.
6. Cutting the Cake
Nah. If we're all really honest with each other, this tends to be a forced, awkward moment at the reception. We aren't interested in spending that much time trying to herd everyone over to the cake to watch us pretend to smash it in each other's faces. Once again, we'd rather just keep dancing. We are instead supporting a friend's pie business which is way more awesome.
Yes! Our marriage is a CELEBRATION! What's a celebration without a toast? (Yeah, okay, and I just really love champagne.) We can't WAIT to hear our nearest and dearest speak about us! Narcissistic? Maybe. But we're really proud of our relationship and are excited to toast our union with our loved ones. In fact, we're so jazzed about the toasts, that we are making a champagne toast our unity ceremony rather than a candle or sand pouring.
Hard yes. One could argue that rings are as antiquated as tossing the bouquet, but the feeling I get when I look down at my engagement ring is worth the risk of participating in a dated tradition. There is something about the visual symbolism Ricky and I both love. Placing this object upon each other's bodies in front of loved ones, to wear forever. It's beautiful. We are looking forward to glancing down at our rings for years to come, being reminded of the day we joined our lives together.
9. Garter Toss
10. Dollar Dance
No thanks. Attending a wedding is expensive, and we are already so fortunate (thanks, Rupie). We also registered for a lot of honeymoon help, which is traditionally what the couple uses those dollars for. And who carries one dollar bills anymore anyway?
11. Family Dances
Yes, but in our own way. We're doing mother/son, mother/daughter, and brothers/sister dances. They're our favorite humans, and we want those couple of minutes with each of them.
12. The White Dress
Yeahhhhhhhh. I think anyone reading this knows I ain't no virgin bride, but did you know that white was associated with wealth rather than purity when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert? I'm into that.
What traditions did you or do you plan to have at your wedding? How do you feel about tradition in general? What's your favorite wedding tradition?