Wedding Traditions We Kept (And Ones We Didn’t)

Wedding Traditions We Kept (And Ones We Didn't)

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One of my friends (@takinglachance on IG) mentioned this topic and I thought it was perfect. There are so many different wedding traditions depending on your location, religion, age, etc. There were a few traditions that were important to us and others we really did not care about.

Don’t worry about what other people do. Talk to your fiancé/fiancée and keep the traditions that are important to you both (or create new ones together). I hope my traditions (new and old) help you decide what is important to you and what is not. Remember your wedding day is about you and your fiancé/fiancée.

Traditions We Kept

Father/Daughter Dance:

One tradition that was important to me was the father/daughter dance. It was so nice to have a few minutes with my dad because after that I really didn’t see him for most of the night. We cried, talked, and sang. It was a moment I will never forget. I let my dad chose the song and he chose My Little Girl by Tim Graw. It was absolutely perfect.

Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue:

I honestly didn’t think about this tradition, but I ended up having one of each. My something old was my grandmother’s wedding band. I wore it on my right ring finger. My something borrowed was a handkerchief from my husband’s grandmother. My something new could be a few things. My dress, ring, shoes, etc. I didn’t put much thought into it. My something blue was my garter. I did not care about wearing a garter, but my mom bought one for me that had blue writing. This tradition wasn’t necessarily important to me, but I guess we technically kept it.

Cake Cutting

We had a small cake pretty much just to cut to take a photo. We had 500 bite-sized cupcakes and those were perfect. We had 8 flavors and I didn’t get to eat any. Thankfully I had a ton at tasting events but I am still sad I didn’t get any cupcakes.

Reception Sendoff

We had the typical sendoff with sparklers. Sparklers are so easy to get, easy to clean up, and pretty cheap. The photos came out great! We didn’t want to pay for a sendoff car. I was fine with an Uber haha. Joe’s dad was not so he rented a Rolls Royce Phantom for us and it was BEAUTIFUL! It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.

No First Look

Joe and I did not see each other before the ceremony and I have no regrets about that. We still had plenty of time for photos together during cocktail hour. We did all our individual bridal party/family photos before the ceremony. I wasn’t sure if I would cry when I walked down the aisle since I cry at like all weddings, but I didn’t. I just smiled the whole way. The sun was beaming through the drapes behind Joe so I actually couldn’t even see his face until I was closer haha. That definitely helped with me not crying!

Traditions We Didn’t Keep

Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss

Joe and I both felt like these are outdated traditions and we both didn’t want them at our wedding. The garter toss is just weird to me (and if you look up the history it is even WEIRDER). I had no desire to throw my bouquet to my few single friends. I am just not a fan of either of these traditions.

Feeding Each Other Cake

We just cut our cake for a photo but did not feed each other a piece. We both didn’t want the other person to smash it in our face haha. At that moment, I asked Joe if he wanted to feed it to each other and he said no. I was okay with that, so we just cut it for a photo and moved on!

Unity Candle/Sand and Traditional Vows

We wanted a very short ceremony. Our ceremony from the first person who walked down until we walked out was 18 minutes haha. We did not feel the need to have a unity candle/sand/whatever. We decided to write our own vows (Joe’s were AMAZING) and that was enough for us. Joe went first and when he was saying his vows I was just thinking DAMNIT THESE ARE SO GOOD.

Maid of Honor/Best Man Speeches at the Reception

We did our maid of honor/best men speeches at the rehearsal dinner the night before and it was so nice. I have 2 sisters and Joe has 2 brothers, so we had a lot of people that wanted/needed to speak. I did not want to take up a lot of time at the reception with speeches because it already goes by so fast. The rehearsal dinner was perfect for speeches. Everyone that wanted to pay attention was there and it was more intimate. We still had 75 people at our rehearsal dinner haha. At our reception, we just had Joe’s dad and my mom give quick speeches. At the rehearsal dinner, we had my sisters, Joe’s brothers, Joe’s dad, my dad, and my best friend speak. My best friend gave a surprise speech and I cried like a baby through the entire thing.

Bride/Groom Gifts

We did not give each other gifts for our wedding. Our rings (and our wedding) were big enough gifts. We did write each other cards and that was all I needed (besides marrying Joe of course).

Matching Bridesmaid Dresses

This is more common now, but I didn’t make my bridesmaids wear the same dress. I chose a color and let them pick from 6-7 different dresses. I wanted them to pick a dress they actually liked even though bridesmaid dresses always suck. They all looked so great!

New Traditions

Mother/Daughter Dance

My mom is my best friend. For my Bat Mitzvah, I danced with both my dad and my mom. My mom has always been adamant about having a mother/daughter dance and honestly, I didn’t question it. It is not a typical tradition, but I am so glad we had that moment. I am one of three girls so my mom will not have a mother/son dance. I was honored to dance with my mother at my wedding. Both my mother and father walked me down the aisle as well.

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First Look With Dad

This is pretty popular now but I did a first look with my dad and we both just cried. It was nice to have a few minutes just me and my dad before the hecticness of the day really started. I love this tradition!

Ring Engraving

My grandparents had their wedding bands engraved with their initials and their wedding date. My grandmother’s ring says, “HC to HA 7.3.54” and my grandfather’s ring said, “HA to HC 7.3.54”. I wore my grandmother’s ring as my something old. Joe’s wedding band says, “AR to JW 8.17.19” and my band says “JW to AR 8.17.19”. My super thin band is engraved! I have no idea how they did that. I am hoping we can pass this tradition down to our children.

What are some wedding traditions you kept? What are the ones you didn’t keep? Did you start any new ones?

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Alli Williams

I’m the CEO of FinanciALLI Focused LLC and our mission is to you get rid of financial anxiety, build wealth & reach your big money goals. You can pay off debt, save, and spend at the same time (I’ve done it, you can too). 


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