Top 8 wedding traditions that have to go - Alice - Bridal Wedding MagazineAlice – Bridal Wedding Magazine



Top 8 wedding traditions that have to go

Posted May 1, 2013 by Zarn Ballentine in 2013

These traditions deserve their rightful place in history, but that’s where they need to stay.

Requesting your hand in marriage

I’d like to hear from anyone in the last year who actually asked the Brides father for their hand in marriage?!


Why bother throwing little tiny pieces of paper that not only affect ‘keeping green’ but also just gives somebody a hell of job to clean up. Go for the new trends like bubbles!

Seeing the Bride before the wedding

Who cares if you see your Bride-to-be the night before the wedding? Theses days most of us are already shacked-up prior to the wedding so what’s one night? In fact, a growing trend in the US is to have wedding photos together before the nuptials!

Carrying the bride over the threshold

OK, so this tradition is in fact quite a romantic one but lets be honest, most of our blokes after an amazing wedding day and plenty of drinks to celebrate don’t really want to consider the potential of dropping his Bride the night of the wedding.

Tin cans and ‘Just married’ signs on the wedding car

Simply put – cheesy!

Father of the Bride pays for the wedding

Unfortunately living together prior to the wedding wipes this one out.

Best Man’s Speech

Why should it just be the Best Man who can give a speech? Why not let anybody who wants to give a speech, speak?! There are many Best Men who don’t want to do a speech; why should all the pressure have to be put on them. If he wants to – super! If not, give others a chance.

Cheesy group shots

Documentary/Reportage wedding photography is so much more powerful at capturing your day. Loaded with emotion your wedding day is so much more memorable if you drop the typical ‘stand and deliver cheesy grins at camera’ type photos.


So what new traditions should we take up for the modern wedding? Have your say and leave a comment below.

Featured image: Kevin Mullins Photography


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About the Author

Zarn Ballentine

I confess, I am a wedding addict and am living a beautiful, fuzzy dream, blurred by everything that encapsulates unique weddings that ooze style and creativity. Doing things differently, you won't find over saturated puffy white weddings here! Welcome to my wonderland, my menagerie where all things creative and stylish collide. Come on in and have some tea!



    Love this! Although I do like confetti, I think I could be persuaded to go for bubbles. I’m thinking they’d look great in the photos.


    I got married last summer and I did none of these! Spent the night before with my H2B as we wanted to wake up together for our day…


    I shot a destination wedding in Bratislava last year which involved photographing the bride and groom in all their awesome wedding day attire. I thought it a bit bizzare how the groom got to see his hot bride in her awesome dress the day before the main event, however it kind of made sense from a photographers perspective.

    We had as long as we wanted to get the shots and film that we needed without holding up the ever hungry waiting guests, which resulted in very chilled out relaxed shots. The ones taken during a latte break outside a caffe in the town square were among my faves! So there is a big plus to this concept, and of course we nailed lots of other awesome pics the very next day at their wedding. Needless to say there was plenty of processing to be done.

    On the other hand, nothing prepared me for when I turned around and saw my own hot bride for the first time as she sauntered down the isle to Eva Cassidy’s somewhere over the rainbow. Totally buzzed me right out: )


    There are so many things that couples do without knowing the origination of them – like asking for the bride’s hand in marriage, coming from the days when a father owned his daughter, and a man owned his wife. I’d love some of these out-dated traditions to be left to the history books.

    With group shots though, I love photographing carefully crafted group shots with a lot of laughter and fun to them. But I do hate those victorian line ups, as people call them. Funnily enough though, the victorians had far more interesting group shots than many photographers create today LOL

    Great article, thanks for writing it :)

    Tamar Carter

    My fiancé asked my step-dad and my brother, but I never expected him to! It was quite sweet that he thought of it though! :)


    To the best man’s speech I would add generally that the tradition for the men to be the only ones speaking at the wedding overall should go. At so many weddings, we get the traditional round of speeches from the father of the bride, the groom and the best man yet we never hear a word from any of the women. I would love to hear some women’s voices!


    I agree with most of these. However, as someone who gets involved in a lot of weddings…I find that many couples just want to be knee-deep in cheesy traditions and will go out of their way to do so. Asking her father for her hand? A lot of my grooms have done this, and yes, the tradition does hark back to ownership of course, but these days grooms are thinking about respect and hoping that the father will see them as good enough for the daughter he loves. I don’t think many prospective grooms are asking with the idea that they will back out if the Dad says no though ;)
    Even though the original intent of this tradition was far from romantic, I believe that traditions can evolve just like everything else does, and these days, this is a sweet, romantic, thing to do. I don’t believe it carries a lot of meaning as couples don’t NEED this permission, but as a symbolic gesture it is still extremely popular.


    I agree there are a lot of traditions that can definitely just be blown up! I think my top 8 would be a little different, for example; I like the idea of traditional portraiture. Not the cheesy poorly arranged group shots that come to mind, but think of all those old family portraits of grandparents etc.. In time, they become family heirlooms and are so important to look back on for personal and historical purposes.
    I design and print wedding invites. I’m always amazed at how much couples cling to traditions; I think that they find comfort in them. These traditions are the only guideline or measure they have when making their wedding plans. I’m always trying to encourage couples to express themselves and reflect their personalities. If they do this, the end result will never be wrong!

    Ally Harkis youdale

    I was extremely ill in hospital when my husband proposed to me last year . my husband took my father for a pint and asked for his blessing before proposing to me in my hospital bed whilst i was waiting to go in for my 4th surgery that year,even though it might be a dated tradition it made my dad happy to know his future son in law had the respect to talk to him about it before anyone else. It made my dad happy so that made me happy, that’s all that counts at the end of the day! That is one tradition that should not be taken lightly as it should be for a father to decide and family respect goes along way x

    Pantomome Reject

    We’ll be keeping some of these things, modifying some and throwing out others.

    Requesting your hand in marriage
    My fiancé asked my dad before asking me even though we are both in our 40s :)
    – as some others have said, it’s about showing respect for what will be your new family.

    I happen to think bubbles are worse than cheesy! – they were fun and novel in the late 80s but now they are just old hat. At least paper confetti has ‘vintage’ value, especially if you can find some of the old style stuff – multicolour tissue paper cut in different shapes – horseshoes, rings etc – no biodegradability issue with tissue paper that I can see – I’d be more worried about the chemical soap in bubbles. However mine is a pagan, not a vintage, wedding so my guests will be throwing wild bird feed seed in lieu of rice – though I’m thinking of substituting dried mealworms and not telling anybody *wicked grin*

    Seeing the Bride before the wedding
    I will be staying at my mum’s house the night before the wedding along with my sisters so that we can have a girly night and all get ready together in the morning.

    Carrying the bride over the threshold
    If he can manage this, I will love it!

    Tin cans and ‘Just married’ signs on the wedding car Simply put – cheesy!
    Weddings are like Christmas – you’ve got to have a little bit of cheese or it’s not a proper wedding :D
    We’ll be going back further to the older tradition of tying on old shoes brought by our guests.

    Father of the Bride pays for the wedding
    Dad’s paying for the honeymoon :D
    We’re paying for the wedding with a bit of help from my mum – hence our tiny £2000 budget – for EVERYTHING!. It has forced us to be very creative though and at the moment it’s looking like people will enjoy it far more than an expensive bash – boy do you get to know who your real friends are too – we’ve had hundreds of amazing offers of free stuff for it and presently feel cocooned in a bundle of warm friendship and family love – no better gift to start your married life with.

    Best Man’s Speech
    My dad, Stepdad and the best man will be making a speech at my wedding but so will my mum and possibly me – My stepdad and the best man have been instructed to make their speeches completely unserious and cheesy with plenty of bad jokes about the bride and as silly as they like. My mum and dad are allowed to do the emotional/serious stuff as long as they don’t get too ‘earnest’ (we are English after all :D)

    Cheesy group shots
    We will be throwing this one out entirely – we have a lot of amateur/artist photographer friends with pro abilities and about 8 of them will be bringing their equipment with them and taking informal/reportage style shots throughout the day and evening – we think the resulting mix of different styles and subject matter choices will be really interesting. We also have one professional photographer friend who will be making sure that all the important/essential shots are taken. He does do weddings but specialises in gigs and concerts so this will make for an interesting style we think. Plus, it’s all free :)


    I actually think a few of these should stay! Not seeing each other the night before the wedding builds anticipation for the big day, although I love the idea of a first look as the couple get to have some time alone and it takes the pressure off a little bit.

    I do agree on the cheesy group shot front!

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