When it comes to planning your wedding day there are lots of elements to consider, including all the wedding traditions. For many years the bride has traditionally worn white, with a veil covering her face and her father has walked her down the aisle. However, some modern couples are choosing to turn their back on some of these age-old wedding traditions as they don’t work for them.

I do not believe in “one-size-fits-all” weddings. I encourage my couples to make their wedding reflective of their personalities and unique style. You have every right to tailor your wedding to suit you, despite what some of your conventional relatives may say.

At the end of the day, a wedding is a celebration of true love, and I love brides who break the mould and say “I did it my way.” Below are just some wedding traditions which are changing:

First Look

There is nothing quite as magical as the moment when the groom sees his bride in her magnificent wedding dress for the very first time. But you don’t have to wait until you walk down the aisle to see one another!

Consider having a ‘first look‘ where you and your groom meet before your ceremony and your photographer captures the moment. Not only can this help free up some time for you to enjoy your drinks reception with guests, it can also ease any pre-wedding nerves.

Bride covering groom's eyes for wedding first look

Bridesmaid Chic

The days of matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses are over. Modern brides have come to realise that dressing their bridesmaids in a stylish design that suits each individual’s shape, rather than matching designs, works best. Mix and match bridesmaid dresses are also bang on trend for 2017 weddings, whether it’s the colour or the shape.

Bridesmaids wearing mismatched dresses

Engagement Ring Style

It’s unlikely the traditional diamond engagement ring is going anywhere soon. However, if this isn’t your style then feel free to opt for coloured stones and different cuts or settings.

Yellow Sapphire Engagement Ring by Lulu Kachoo

Radiant Cut Diamond Engagement Ring by Lulu Kachoo

Wearing White

Queen Victoria made white the traditional colour for British wedding dresses in 1840 when she chose to wear a white gown on her wedding day to Prince Albert. Before then, brides chose their favourite colour or wore their best Sunday dress. So, with that in mind, brides should wear whatever they want!

Undoubtedly, most brides will still opt for the iconic long white or ivory dress, but if that’s not you then feel free to choose something different. Make it colourful, wear a trouser suit, make it casual – as long as you feel fabulous!

Bride wearing coloured wedding dress

Don’t Take Sides

It used to be that guests of the bride sat on one side at the ceremony and guests of the groom sat on the other. However, weddings are not about taking sides. More couples are embracing the idea for guests to ‘Choose a seat, not a side – we’re all family once the knot is tied’.

Choose a seat not a side wedding sign

Personal Vows

There’s nothing wrong with following wedding traditions when it comes to your vows, but adding your own personal words can make the ceremony more sentimental.

Just remember to talk to your officiant about this. There will still be some sentences you’ll need to exchange to meet legal marriage requirements.

Bride saying personal wedding vows to bride

Bridal Entrance Music

The Wedding March is an iconic piece of wedding music, but it’s not the only bridal entrance music option. Have a gospel choir sing, a steel drum band play, or ask a string quartet to play a version of your favourite pop song as you walk down the aisle.

Steel drums at wedding

Greeting Guests

Wedding traditions used to always include a receiving line, where the bride and groom stand at the end of the aisle and greet each wedding guest straight after the ceremony, or before dinner. However, this is decreasing in popularity as it’s both time consuming and tedious.

Instead, consider making time for each of your guests at other points during the day, such as in between courses during dinner. You don’t have to spend a long time at each table, but your guests will appreciate you stopping by to say hello.

Bride talking to guests during wedding breakfast

Speeches

The wedding speeches are traditionally a male-dominated affair, with the father of the bride, the groom and the best man often making a speech.

However, I’m seeing more and more wonderful bride speeches. Sometimes a bride just wants to say her own thanks and propose a toast to her new husband. As another idea, the bride and groom could even do the speech together which is both touching and fun. For more ideas read 5 Wedding Speech Ideas Which Break with Tradition.

Bride giving wedding speech

Send Off

A wedding is often the one day in a couple’s lives when everyone they love is together in the same place at the same time, so why should they leave the celebration early and miss out on the fun?

Fewer couples are leaving early in the evening and are instead staying right up until the end of the night. Some couples also join some of their overnight guests for breakfast the following morning to regale special moments from the day before.

Bride and groom walking past guests holding sparklers

Guest post by Liesl Lamare of Lamare London

Images from…

First Look, Bridesmaids and Vows: Amy Fanton Photography

Rings: Lulu Kachoo

Coloured Dress: Julie Michaelsen Photography

Sign, Steel Drums, Talking to Guests, Bride Speech and Send Off: Anneli Marinovich Photography