Weddings come with a lot of traditions, but some of our modern traditions surrounding weddings and marriage aren't nearly as old as we may think. In fact, some of them are down right recent! Anyway, here's a list of traditions that you can probably skip without anyone really noticing- and if they do, feel free to share this list with them.
1.) The veil- this tradition was started because ancient Greeks believed it would hide a bride from evil spirits on the way to her wedding. Today, it's a fashion accessory that can sometimes be hard to manage. If you're not feeling it, don't wear one! I didn't.
2.) Wagner's Wedding March- this tradition was started by Queen Victoria, and caught on as a fashionable trend that simply hasn't gone away. If you've always dreamed of walking down the aisle to it, go for it! But, if not, it's okay to find something else.
3.) Bride and Groom Cake Toppers- this is another Queen Victoria wedding trend that hasn't gone by the wayside. This day, it's common to find all sorts of things on top of wedding cakes- anything from flowers to fruit to nothing at all. I had flowers on top of my wedding cake.
4.) Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony- this hails from the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that seeing each other before the ceremony gave one (or both!) of the couple the opportunity to back out of the marriage. This day in age, we're used to seeing and speaking with our fiancés on a regular basis and doing so before the ceremony can help you feel calmer and more relaxed on your special day.
5.) Tossing the Garter- this hails from the time of wedding guests waiting around to see that a marriage was consummated before leaving. Today, it's become a bit of a game wherein grooms remove this strip of fabric from the bride's thigh and toss it to the awaiting single men. If you're not comfortable with this, then skip it.
6.) The Dress Has to Be White- yet another Queen Victoria trend (she definitely was a trendsetter!) that hasn't gone by the wayside. Most people associate white with purity, but in fact, it was really hard to come by pure white fabric, which made it expensive, and therefore fit for a queen. Today, feel free to add color to your dress with accessories, or even a colorful dress!
7.) Tossing Rice Upon Your Exit From the Church- I'm not sure where this tradition started, but it used to signify a healthy financial future for the bride and groom. Today, we know that the rice gets eaten by birds, and, well, they don't live much longer. Try something more environmentally friendly like bubbles, bird seed, eco-confetti (it's a thing!), or even leave it out all together.
8.) The Ceremony Program- it's supposed to give your wedding guests the lowdown on who's who and what's going to happen during the ceremony, what it means, and why you're doing it. In reality, it's an expense that most people will leave behind afterward. If you feel the need to have a program, try a fun and funky display at the ceremony, a wedding website with this info, or turn your programs into some sort of souvenir that people will want to keep.
9.) Diamond Engagement Rings- believe it or not, this tradition was started by a jewelry store as an ad campaign (talk about successful advertising!) to promote the sale of diamonds. Before this, engagement rings- if there was one given at all- had all sorts of gems and metals in their stylings. Many times, there weren't any rings at all, as most people couldn't afford them, and if there was, it was meant as a sort of 'savings' account. If something happened to a woman's husband, she could sell her rings to help support herself and her children for a period of time.
10.) Weddings Should Take Place in Religious Institutions- I'm sure this stems from the view that people are sealed in Holy Matrimony before God, but traditionally, couples were married in the Bride's family home. Weddings were much simpler affairs. They were attended by close family and friends, and if a reception was given, only cake and punch were served. Today, feel free to get married wherever you'd like, so long as an officiant will meet you there.