Wedding Traditions – When Is It Okay To Break Them?
Wedding Traditions were made to be broken!
A lot of brides ask us about wedding traditions. They ask us for advise on what they need to do, and what they don’t need to do.
Our advise is very simple … don’t do ANYTHING some ancient wedding traditions say you are supposed to do it that way. It is your day and you should only use traditions as an inspiration to give you ideas of what you want for your day. There is no way you have to do any of them if you don’t want to.
You will encounter family members and friends that tell you that you HAVE to do something because it is traditional, or it was done at their wedding etc. NO! You don’t! If you don’t like it … don’t do it!
There was one wedding that comes to mind specifically where we suggested to the bride and groom a way of doing something (which I won’t give away here), which makes everything run much better, but is NOT the traditional way of doing things.
The bride and groom LOVED the idea and agreed to do it our suggested way. On the night, when it came time to do this certain thing, the bride’s sister came up to me and the bride and said “No! You can’t do it that way! It’s not the way it is supposed to be!”.
I explained to the bride’s sister that we are aware this is not the traditional way, but the bride and groom both wanted to do it this different way. The bride’s sister became almost frantic and said to me “But it’s not the way it is supposed to be. It isn’t traditional!”. I had to tell her firmly but politely, that we are all aware it is not the traditional way, but it is the bride and grooms day and please be respectful of their wishes.
The bride’s sister left (in somewhat of a huff). The bride turned to me and said “You know what? Do it the way she wants it! I want to prove her wrong!”. WHOA! I suggested it wasn’t a great idea to do something that they didn’t want just to prove a point. It seemed a bit extreme to me. But the bride told me that her sister had always all her life been trying to tell her how to do everything. She was always “miss right” (in her words).
I again told her, I suggest we delay this thing for another 5 minutes so she can collect her thoughts and make a clear decision. No, the bride was adament to do it the “traditional” way that her sister was fixated on. So … we did. And … it was terrible.
In a weird way though, the bride was happy about it failing as I predicted it would. The bride (embarrasingly) afterwards brought her sister up to me and said to her in front of me “See? You don’t always know everything!” Then pointed at me and continued “This man does this for a living. Why would you think you know better tahn him? You ruined this part of the night because you always think you are better than me and have to know everything all the time!”.
Talk about awkward! I wished I had the ability to just dissapear into thin air! The brides sister of course realised that she was wrong about it and learnt a lesson the hard way, but I still think it would have been much better to go ahead and do it the way we suggested and have THAT as the proof of how well it works to sometimes break with tradition.
I would never suggest doing something like falling out with any family member or friends over something so trivial (there were obvious signs in the aforementioned case of past rivalry of course). The important thing to remember is that your family and friends mean well. They are trying to look out for your best interests, but remember to stand your ground and be firm if there is something you want to do (or not do) that does not fit in with their preconceived notions of what a wedding should or shouldn’t be.
Remember … it is YOUR wedding day. Do it YOUR way. Who cares about wedding traditions. Don’t let vendors, family, friends or anyone else tell you how to do it. Listen to the advise and then consider if it fits YOUR vision or not.