Written by Melissa Woods
For anyone who is planning the less traditional route, I hope you find this post about outdates wedding traditions both reassuring and insightful... in a non-history lesson kind of way.
There's no getting around it, your wedding is likely to be one of the single, biggest expenses of your life, even if you set a low budget. There are so many boxes you think you must tick to fulfill what we have all come to expect from a standard wedding. This is down to traditions we have inherited over the years, many of which are now null and void. Having had the big, traditional wedding myself, minus most of these outdated traditions, I guarantee you will make significant savings on the cost of your day without compromising the experience for your guests.
1. Diamond engagement ring
Sorry girls, but, whilst this popular tradition dates back to the Romans who, would give a ring to signify ownership... yep... The 'diamond' thing is actually the result of an aggressive marketing campaign by De Beers in 1947, coining the phrase 'A Diamond is Forever' to symbolise love and commitment. Clever, eh?.... I mean, romantic. I have no idea what the average cost of an engagement ring is, but, wouldn't it be nice to seal your intent with something that can't be measured in monetary value?... and, if you still want a rock, how about all the other precious stones out there bursting with healing powers and energy? Do some research. Be original. Be personal.
'The best thing about weddings is that shitty little chocolate in a box you sometimes get' said no one, EVER...
.. Ok, once upon a time European Aristocrats would give guests a trinket box of sugar cubes... to show off... basically. Sugar was an expensive commodity back then, unlike now, so, a yucky chocolate in a box won't have the same kudos I'm afraid, you might as well put the money towards another part of the wedding. Unless, of course you really want to give your guests a gift and have a great little idea within budget, then go for it! ... but don't just do it to tick a box, no one will care. Give them the gift of a brilliant day, that's more important.
3. The Cake
Those bloody Romans... It started with a piece of bread broken over the brides head to bring good fortune to the couple, but, traditional wedding cakes as we now know, have been around since 1882. The cutting of the cake was to symbolize continuity of the relationship and the bride would then distribute the cake to 'ensure' fertility. This is all well and good if a) you like cake, b) you want children and c) you are deluded enough to think that this ritual would ensure fertility. There are lots of alternative wedding cake ideas that can be a work of art, but, with that comes a hefty price tag... all well and good if you really want it, but, totally unnecessary if you don't like cake.... or kids.
4. The BIG White Dress
It's almost kind of creepy how old fashioned a lot of bridal gowns are and the iconic big, white dress only became fashionable in the 19th century thanks to Queen Victoria. Before this, women would get married in any colour, particularly black, in Scandinavia... more of this please! You can still make a statement on your big day by wearing whatever you like and if that just so happens to be a big, white dress... cool, if it's something completely different?... even better. It doesn't even have to be a dress, or cost a small fortune but it should be an extension of your personality. It's 2016, and yeah, the whole vintage look is great but maybe keep it in the last century, OK?
5. The Morning Suit
As for the traditional morning suit worn by men... come on... it's not a one size fits all scenario. Not all traditions were designed to make people look silly but this one might well have been. This style does nothing for anyone on the short or round side so choose something that suits your body shape. Also, do you really like that sweat inducing shiny, pink, swirly waistcoat and matching cravat? If the answer is 'no' then don't do it. Simple.
Of course, we all have different budgets and tastes so if money is no issue and you want all of these things then do it, but, try to keep it personal. For those on a shoestring, don't feel obliged to carry on with these pointless traditions. Do things because you want to, not because you think you should. Any decisions you make should add to the awesomeness of the day, not take away from it. Decide what's important to you and forget the rest. PREACH!
What's your view on these outdated wedding traditions? Will you be sticking to them? Feel free to comment and share this post with anyone who may benefit from it!