These days, and especially after the pandemic, weddings are a bit anything goes. But all too often, we still hear of soonlyweds being told they “have to” have this or they “should do” that, especially because it’s “tradition”. Consider this your permission to ignore all of that. Your wedding day can be as big, small, formal, laid back, classic, contemporary, quiet, loud, princess-y, or rock ‘n roll as YOU want it to be. Don’t listen to those who try to get you to conform to what they think is the wedding status quo. Times have changed drastically and a wedding should be reflective of the unique couple it celebrates, tried and true traditions be damned. As a matter of fact, here are seven wedding traditions you shouldn’t feel badly about skipping if they aren’t your jam.
1.) Cake Smash
No one really wants icing up their nose anyway. Plus, you likely spent hundreds of dollars on a professional makeup artist. Do you really want to ruin their work? No thank you. If the cake smash isn’t your speed, politely feed each other a bite of cake, but skip the smash part. Put a small dot of icing on the end of your partner’s nose if you don’t want to skip this tradition entirely. You’ll still have cute photos but without a face full of buttercream.
2.) Bouquet and/or Garter Toss
This tradition can be so awkward and honestly, just cringe-y. If you’ve always dreamed of throwing your wedding bouquet, go for it. And if you really must, your new partner can remove your garter and toss it too (although we honestly kind hate this). However, please, let it end there. No one – not even those who catch the bouquet and garter – really ever wants to participate in the exchange and it’s incredibly uncomfortable for everyone. Let’s all agree to just let this tradition die, shall we?
3.) Wedding Shower
Let’s be honest…showers can be totally boring. Games are dreadful and opening presents always seems to take forever. So, we encourage you to think outside the box and plan something different! A cocktail soiree, a co-ed BBQ, or a party that pampers including express manicure stations and chair massages…just do something unique! Your guests will thank you. However, if this still doesn’t sound like your jam, don’t feel guilty about saying thanks but no thanks.
4.) A Wedding Cake
Newsflash: you’ll still be married even if you don’t cut into some multi-tiered confection together. If cake isn’t your thing, that’s ok! You don’t have to have one! Instead, think of something that is your thing. Maybe it’s cheesecake or macarons or even a giant stack of Belgian waffles. Whatever sweet treat you and your partner enjoy together can be displayed and shared with your guests as well.
5.) A Unity Ceremony
Lighting a unity candle, mixing sand together, planting a tree using soil from both your parents’ backyards…whatever it is, it’s just symbolic. And if you are having a non-denominational ceremony, you don’t actually have to do anything at all. Find something that represents you. But if you can’t, don’t try to force it because you feel like it’s a critical component of the ceremony.
6.) Head Table
Your wedding party members don’t have to sit with you. In fact, they may not even want to. Opt for a sweetheart table so your nearest and dearest can sit with their plus ones, and so that you can enjoy some more intimate moments with your new spouse as you share a meal together. Or make it a king’s table and invite everyone to the party!
7.) Cookie Table
Saying that a Pittsburgh cookie table isn’t an absolute necessity just doesn’t feel right. But, hey, if it’s not your thing, then it isn’t right! Why bake dozens and dozens of cookies (or worse…pay someone to do it for you) if you don’t even really like the damn things? If you don’t want a cookie table, don’t have one. Period. Life will go on and your mom/grandma/Aunt Karen/everyone else will get over it.