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Modern Twists on Classic Traditions

Wedding Traditions – for some, they are looking forward to participating in the time-honored traditions like tossing the bouquet, saving the top layer of the wedding cake, or having their guests sign a traditional guest book. For other couples – the idea of sticking to the typical wedding traditions seem outdated.

So many couples ask us what the alternatives are to the traditional wedding traditions – or they are afraid of breaking the “super-strict-wedding-rules”. Well good news! It is almost 2018 and you can make your big day just that – YOUR DAY! Below are some ideas on how to spin the old traditions into something more modern for 21st century couples.

Tradition – Signing the Guest Book

Traditionally, guests attending weddings would sign their names and a note to the happy couple in a book filled with blank pages. After the wedding the bride and groom would look back on the book, and then put it on their book shelf to be forgotten.

Nowadays, couples have gotten much more creative with their guest book ideas – with “book” being a figurative term. Most couples now prefer to have guests sign something that they can proudly display in their home. While we have discussed guestbook ideas before, below are some perfect examples of a modern guestbook.

Rachel Gobel Photography

Kristine Herman Photography

Lori Rittinger Photography

Kristine Herman Photography

Tradition – Wearing a Veil

More and more brides of the 21st century are now trading in the traditional veil for contemporary, whimsical hair pieces for their wedding day. With the ever so popular rustic theme, brides are opting for flowy, goddess-like dresses that pair beautifully with floral garlands. To dazzle up a traditional ensemble, replace the veil with rhinestone hairpieces or gold flower headbands.

Oh Honestly Wedding Photography

onelove photography

Blue Lace Photography

Tradition – Tossing the Bouquet & Garter

Time to gather up all the single people! While many couples still like to participate in this tradition, many couples like to put their own spin on it. Maybe the bride isn’t comfortable with the groom going up her dress to get the garter. Maybe there aren’t enough single ladies for a bouquet toss. Today’s couples have come up with creative solutions for all of these problems!

Football garter toss – Don’t want your new husband going up your skirt in front of grandma? Skip that part and instead have a toss garter waiting on a football (or other sports ball of your preference).

Southern Weddings

Not Enough Single Men/Women – Who said that the garter & bouquet toss have to be split by gender? Instead of separating your guests, have everyone join you on the dance floor for your toss!

Huy Pham Photography

Still not working for you? This next one is one of our favorite alternatives for a bouquet toss. Invite all married couples onto the dance floor for an Anniversary Dance. Ask your DJ to make a few announcements – “please leave the dance floor if you have been married for less than 3 hours… 1 year… 5 years… 10 years…” and so on, until you are left with the couple who has been married the longest. Make sure to snap a photo with them, and offer up your toss bouquet to them as a congratulations on a long and happy marriage.

Mike & Carrie DJ’s

Tradition – Saving your Wedding Cake

Wedding cake – one of the best parts of the wedding (besides getting married to your soul mate)! Traditionally, couples will save the top layer of their wedding cake and freeze it. They eat it again typically on two occasions 1. on their one year anniversary, and 2. at the christening of their first child. While the sentiment is beautiful, we have never met a married couple who enjoyed their freezer burned wedding cake.

Instead of eating old cake, how about:

  • Serving left over cake the next day if you are doing a farewell brunch
  • Eating it on your honeymoon
  • Asking your baker to re-make your cake for your anniversary (many bakers are happy to oblige)

Enjoy your FRESH cake at your wedding and eat every last bit!

Business Insider

Tradition – Ceremony Processional and Participation

No other part of a wedding has more traditions than the wedding ceremony itself. While most couples prefer to stick to tradition for this part, more and more couples are putting their own spin on traditions that don’t necessarily work for them.

  • The father of the bride MUST walk the bride down the aisle. In the cases where this won’t work, we’ve seen almost everything. We’ve seen brides escorted by: their mom, close family member, best friend, or even the groom himself! Both parents want to be involved? go for it!

Micheal Keel Photography

  • Bride’s Side vs. Groom’s Side – As cheesy as the saying might be, it does ring true – “Pick a seat, not a side. We’re all family once the knot is tied.” One of our favorite parts of a wedding is how it brings everyone together. Start your ceremony off on this note too!

East Cost Vinyl Decal

  • I Need an Usher and Programs!! – Ushers have become a thing of the past, especially if you aren’t assigning sides! Instead of assigning some young men that you know to help with this, let them relax and enjoy the ceremony while both sides of the family mingle.

Programs – great if you have a complicated, religious or cultural ceremony. It allows guests who are not familiar with the customs to follow along. Doing a simple ceremony? Skip the programs, your wallet will thank you.

A Tale Ahead Photography

Tradition – Serving Wedding Cake

When you think of dessert at a wedding, you think wedding cake. While we LOVE cake, many couples like to branch out with different dessert. You love ice cream? Lets do ice cream! Dessert is a great way to get creative and serve some of your favorite sweet treats.

onelove photography, CREAM ice cream

A Tale Ahead Photography, Primrose Bakery

Lady of Light Photography, A Spoonful of Sugar Cakes

Lady of Light Photography, A Spoonful of Sugar Cakes


The bottom line is, there are no more rules when it comes to wedding planning! Do something to make you happy on your special day!

What is your favorite twist on wedding day traditions?

"When my husband I were looking at venues, we wanted to find a place that would provide coordination and be easy to work with on the day-of, and we felt like Elliston did a great job making this happen. Our coordinator was very sweet, thoughtful, responsive and overall amazing! Elliston helped to put together the layout of the decor and gave us a few options for the room layout that would best fit our wedding. Elliston was a beautiful place to get married, a great spot for a romantic wedding!" - Elaine & Matthew – August 1, 2015