Planning a wedding is such an emotional journey for everyone involved. Then, throw wedding traditions into the mix and you have yourself a roller-coaster ride! Family seems to come out of the woodwork with their opinions on how things should go, who should be invited, etc. My wedding philosophy is that your wedding should reflect who you are as a couple and your love story. At the end of the day – all that really matters is that your goal has been met – that you got married.
Focus On The Wedding Traditions That Are Important To You
When you think about it, how many people do you absolutely need to have witness you getting married? What are the essential elements? Words like officiant, witness, and marriage license come to mind. Every other part of a wedding day are the extra blessings – the blessings of family and friends, music, decor, flowers, food, etc.
More often than not engaged couples have to decide what they will prioritize on their wedding day. They have to decide what the elements are that they must have to make their wedding meaningful to them. This can sound stressful, but I think these discussions provide a special time to get to know yourself and your future spouse even better than you did before. This is a time for you to decide as a couple what is the most important to you at your wedding and what you could do without.
In my opinion, there are some wedding elements that are more traditional and others that are fads. I tend to lean into more of the traditional elements and where budget dictates, cut out the fads first. The most important thing to keep in mind is to choose for yourself what is most important to you and what tells your love story best.
Below is a list of wedding elements that I love and some I could do without. Please keep in mind – this is my humble opinion.
Wedding traditions to keep:
Invite Guests In Tiers
Families come in layers or groups – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc. My point here is to invite everyone in a tier. For example, if you are inviting your grandparents to your wedding, you should invite all of them – don’t pick and choose. The same goes for each tier of family members you decide to invite. Inviting in tiers is extra helpful when you have a tighter wedding budget and need to cut down the guest list. For example inviting all parents and siblings – then grandparents – then aunts/uncles – then cousins – and so on. Unless there is serious family drama with a family member and they just will not be invited – it is best to invite everyone in the tiers you choose.
For example, it wouldn’t feel fair to invite a few of your closest cousins and not all of them. Take this advice with a grain of salt. You have to decide with is best for you and your wedding when finalizing your guest list – just keep in mind that inviting family in tiers is a societal norm in many cultures.
Traditional Wedding Duties
Did you know there is most likely traditional protocol within your family and culture on who is asked to perform certain wedding duties? Most cultures give traditional wedding duties to key family members or friends. There is very likely traditional wedding duties to be delegated that come from your culture and even family expectations. To overlook them could make a family member a bit sad.
For example within my family and culture traditionally the aunt or aunties cut the cake for the guests. Back in the day it was an honor to be asked. It might be different in other families, cultures, and socio-economic statuses but I bring it up so you can keep in mind those traditions that might be extra important or extra special in your family. Having some meaningful traditions as part of your wedding can make it feel extra special for you and your family. However, it is just as important that you incorporate traditions that are most meaningful to you. I don’t think you should feel pressured into having traditions in your wedding that you don’t want. After all, you are choosing elements that tell your love story best.
Wedding Traditions To Skip:
Please keep in mind this is entirely my opinion to skip wedding favors. If you have your heart set on wedding favors and it’s within your budget – go for it. I personally don’t think they are that important in a wedding. They are a fun idea but be honest, how many people do you know that would keep an item with your names and wedding date on it? How many wedding favors have you kept? Especially with more people de-cluttering their homes – an item with someone else’s name and wedding date probably won’t end up in the “keep” pile. If you plan to have favors I think handing out favors that are consumable or earth friendly are best – like candy or chocolate or flower seeds to plant.
Comparing Your Wedding
Don’t choose wedding elements to try to keep up with your friends’ weddings. I wrote about wedding comparison more in-depth in another blog post. I think it is important enough to be addressed again. Choosing the wedding elements that are most important to you and your fiancé is best. Don’t worry if your food isn’t as fancy or if your dress isn’t as expensive. What matters most is that you like your wedding and that it is meaningful to you. For more on wedding traditions to skip, check out this video from my mentor, Jamie Wolfer.
This blog post is intended to give you the freedom to make wedding choices that are best for you and the people most important to you. When you think about it, one of the most important things you take away from your wedding day is the memories you make – all the rest is put into the proper perspective.
Happy memory making!