Wedding Traditions You Can Switch
Weddings are steeped in tradition, but here are 7 tips for bucking the trend if you want to mix up your big day...
1. Ring, ring... If the thought of paying more than a month's salary on a wedding ring is enough to make you panic, there's no need if you're both not into jewellery. While, yes, it's traditional to exchange rings during the ceremony, it's not compulsory. And if it means more budget for fizz, what's not to love?
2. List or no list? Years ago, when you got married you would be moving out of your childhood home with your new spouse, so you'd need things like pots and pans and toasters - epic wedding lists used to be popular, and guests would be fighting over who got to buy the teaspoons. But nowadays, when you've both been living together for some time, you don't have to ask people to buy you homewares for a gift. Instead, you could ask for people to donate to charity, or towards a tree planting scheme which is a much more environmentally friendly way to celebrate your marriage.
3. Squeeze that guestlist Some people want 200 daytime guests and the biggest venue in town, but what if you only want close family and a couple of friends? Big weddings aren't always everyone's idea of fun, so if you'd rather keep it small and simple, that's fine too. Remember, it's your day, and if 10 specially selected people in the room is more your thing, then you do you.
4. Hate dancing? First dance can go! Not everyone is a Strictly pro on the dancefloor - if you've got two left feet then don't worry about the first dance. If you want to nail the Dirty Dancing lift that's amazing, but if you'd rather not have a traditional couple's first dance, and have the whole crowd out there with you throwing shapes instead, that's great too.
5. Stuck on surnames? Since the 14th century, women have taken their husband's last names, but times are changing. Some women choose to keep their "maiden" name (when you think of the word maiden you really realise what it meant!). Some men choose to take their wives' surnames. In same-sex couples there's the option of double-barrelled surnames, you could pick a new, joint name that means something to both of you, or simply keep your surnames - what matters is that you're both happy.
6. Walk the line Tradition has always had it that the bride walks up the aisle towards her groom. But let's face it - weddings don't have to be super traditional affairs. You both might be feeling extra nervous, or simply so excited that you want to walk in together! That way you can both experience the same feeling - nerves or no.
7. White dress woes... Not up for the big dress? A tea length dress or jumpsuit and Converse can look just as great! Don't want to wear a suit? Nobody says you have to... whether it's full on fancy dress (it happens) or just a pared down casual look, the day is yours so wear what you're going to feel happy in.
We just love seeing your unique takes on wedding traditions here at TOPR so keep them coming!