Wedding Traditions : The Do's & Don'ts - Riane Roberts

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Wedding Traditions : The Do’s & Don’ts

Oct 7, 2019

When it comes to planning a wedding, there is already plenty of things to stress about.

But, it doesn’t have to be stressful! (As a matter of fact, if you download my wedding details checklist and join my bridal email list.. I can help make it not stressful at all!)

Especially when you start to look at wedding traditions. There are things that have been done in weddings for generations and generations. However, traditions change over time. And now, there are so many things that you get to chose to do or do not.

So, today’s blog post is all about the wedding tradition do and don’t. At least, based on my experience! Now, I have photographed over 100+ weddings, so I have seen just about everything! And I want to share with you what the majority of people chose to do when it comes to wedding traditions.

For each tradition, I will thought about giving it a rating. There could be either ‘YES!’ which means at least 80+% of my clients do it. ‘NO!’ which means less than 20% do. And then would be “YOU DO YOU!” which means it is pretty much a 50/50 split.

However, at the end of the day, I think they all get the same rating. They ALL are ‘you do you!’. So, instead of any ‘rating system’ I am just going to share my observations and experiences with each tradition.

Because even if everyone decides to do something or not, it doesn’t matter. You get to chose what feels right to you, what is important and what will work best for your wedding day. Not for anyone else!

So, with that… let’s look at some traditions!

  • The bride and groom not seeing each other.
    • I would say 80-90% of my clients decide to do a first look. I have discussed the reasons I love first look’s in the past and recently talked about them in a monthly Q & A. But I would say that, overall, the tradition of the couple not seeing each other before the ceremony is slowly becoming the old way of doing things. It is a major shift in the last few years where the tradition is to do a first look.
  • A bouquet and garter toss.
    • This is a tradition I think is split pretty 50/50. Sometimes people do both a bouquet and garter toss. Other times they only do one or the other. And a lot of the time they don’t do either! This is a tradition that is so dependent on the couple and what they want!
  • The bride being ‘given away’ and walked down the aisle by her father.
    • Now, while I think this can be incredibly sentimental and sweet, I also do not think it is a necessary tradition. I have had clients have a step dad walk them down, their mother, their brother and even brides walk down the aisle by themselves. Yes, the majority of my clients have stuck to the traditional way of having their father walk them down. But if your father is no longer with us, you don’t have a great relationship with him or you just have someone else you want to walk you down, don’t stress. People mix it up all the time!
  • Bride wears white!
    • Do most brides wear a shade of white/ivory? Yes. However, back in the day, they were starch white dresses. Now, there are so many different variations. With darker colored under-aliments or different colored, contrasting lace details. So really, there is wiggle room. And if you want to wear a colored dress, do it! Your day!
  • Something old, new, borrowed and blue.
    • I would definitely say that details for a bride are important. And that is why I give away my free details checklist, to make sure that my clients have everything in order that they need. Within that, there are a good amount of people that have something old, new, borrowed and blue. But the ones that don’t aren’t dooming their wedding day! So, this is another 50/50 split in my opinion!
  • Having a traditional wedding party.
    • Nope! There is no ‘traditional’ wedding party. People have ring bearers and flower girls sometimes and don’t sometimes. There are groomsmen and bridesmaids but I have also photographed grooms-women and man-of-honors. I have even had dogs be included in the wedding party as a flower girl. And there have been a few weddings I have photographed where they broke tradition and had a lot of people standing by their side. On the other end, I have had weddings where they chose to do no wedding party at all.
  • Cutting/feeding each other the wedding cake.
    • Usually, there is a dessert involved. Having it be a cake that the newlyweds cut together and feed each other is the most common version of that. But I have seen donut displays, chocolate fountains, macarons or entire dessert tables that didn’t have a cake on them at all.

And there you have it! A little information on what I have seen the majority of my clients do (or not do!). But again, remember there is only two peoples opinions who matter. You and your fiance! The wedding day is about celebrating your love, your unique story and beginning your marriage. Don’t start that off by pleasing other people, do what feels right for you!

Plus, you can always be traditional..with a twist






A place to see all the beautiful weddings & engagements I photograph, as well as get tips and tricks for photographers, business owners and brides.


a blog by Riane Roberts

sharing life, travels and my journey with mental health and self love.