22 Outdated Wedding Rules No One Follows Anymore
They say some rules are meant to be broken and we couldn’t agree more.
You need to get married in a house of worship
“We have had a few couples who opt to get married in a church and then come to our venue for their reception,” says Kate Elder who owns Overlook Barn, a wedding venue in North Carolina. “But by far the majority are skipping the church ceremony altogether and opting for a beautiful outdoor ceremony or ceremony in one of our barns.” If you need inspiration for a place to hold your ceremony, try looking at these unique wedding venues.
Your wedding party has to be all women or all men
“It is perfectly acceptable to have either gender as bridesmaids and groomsmen,” says Kristin Watkins, owner and lead planner at Stephanie Rose Events. “We have started using the term entourage to describe the wedding party.”
You need to mail printed invitation and RSVP cards
“More couples are moving to email and digital invitations,” Watkins says. “It was common for my couples with international guests to email information rather than mail an invitation, but now it is acceptable for all weddings. Couples like that the responses are easier to track and emailing saves on costs. Guests like that they can respond by clicking a link rather than mailing back a response card.”
You need to have a big, formal rehearsal dinner
“Without the traditional financial roles or financial help from the parents, this formality becomes an unneeded expense as modern couples see that they are essentially paying for two receptions,” says Amy McCord Jones, owner of Flower Moxie which helps brides make their own DIY floral creations. “Instead, couples are opting for a quiet dinner with immediate family.”
The bride’s parents pay for the wedding
“Most of my couples pay for part or all of their wedding themselves, including the rehearsal dinner,” says Sarah Bradshaw, a Washington D.C.-based wedding and engagement photographer. “If the parents pay, it’s usually for specific things.” No matter who’s paying, you still want to keep costs low using these 10 creative budget-cutting methods for your wedding.
Bridesmaids have to wear the exact same style dress in the same color
“All the bridesmaids wearing the identical, solid color dress is less common as couples opt for more personal wedding party attire,” says Lindsey Nickel, a wedding planner at Lovely Day Events. “Couples are really embracing making the wedding feel like their own wedding and personalizing as much as possible. This is one of my favorite wedding trends because it allows people to pick a dress that flatters their figure and that they would realistically wear again.” Here’s how this tradition began in the first place.
Each family has to sit on separate sides during the ceremony
“Guests used to be required to sit on the left side of the aisle if they were from the bride’s side, and on the right side of the aisle if they were on the groom’s side,” says wedding and event planner Ashley Gelfound. “However, nowadays the wedding couple does not uphold this tradition. Instead, guests sit wherever they feel comfortable and the bride’s side and groom’s side intermingle.”
The bride walks down the aisle with her father and the groom walks down the aisle alone
“More and more we’re seeing brides wanting to walk down the aisle with both parents which is beautiful,” says José Rolón of José Rolón Events. “We’re making more room for three person aisle. Also, grooms are now wanting to feel included in this and want to walk down with their parents as well.”
The couple can’t see each other before the ceremony
People say seeing your spouse-to-be before the ceremony is bad luck, but you can try using some of these wedding traditions that are supposed to be lucky to even things out if you want a look at your partner before you walk down the aisle. “Most couples do a first look and portraits now to help ease the stress of the wedding day schedule,” Bradshaw says.
Every guest needs a plus one
“A general rule of thumb is that any couples who are engaged or live together should get a plus-one,” says Ranu Coleman, chief marketing officer of online bridal retailer Azazie. “In this day and age, most couples live together before they get married—or never get married at all—you need to show respect for their union.”