Weddings are one of those events that everyone assumes has a gigantic list of DO’s and DON’T’s. As it turns out, a lot of the traditional wedding practices have outdated or questionable origins that may not be the vibe you’re going for as a 21st century bride- or groom-to-be. No idea what we’re talking about? Read on, wedding enthusiast!

Rule #1: Invite Everyone You Know

Back when it was traditional for a bride’s parents to pay for the wedding, it made sense for them to take up a fair share of the guest list with business colleagues, distant relatives, and friendly acquaintances that their daughter had probably met once when she was “only this big”. These days, you may be lucky enough for your parents to help out with the finances, but they are no longer the executive producers of your big day – that role falls on you. So embrace the responsibility and invite only the people whom you truly want to laugh with, cry with, and dance with while celebrating this milestone.

photo-1463579934088-98fe605ed062Rule #2: The Walk Down the Aisle

Although this tradition is still well-beloved, it doesn’t work for all couples – and that’s okay! Feel free to skip the bride’s walk down the aisle altogether to avoid being the object of everyone’s teary stares or a nasty fall in beautiful but deadly high heels, and simply meet your partner at the altar without all the fuss. On the other hand, if the inequality of the bride and groom is bothering you, then why not have both the bride and the groom take the walk with their parents? This is the case for most Jewish weddings, as they both get the chance to honour their parents in this big moment.

Rule #3: Don’t Let the Groom See You!

Accidentally seeing your partner before the ceremony may be ruin the surprise, but it won’t give you any bad luck. The old saying actually comes from the time of arranged marriages, when the bride’s parents worried that the groom would get cold feet if he saw his betrothed on the day of. And if that’s what you’re worried about, you have bigger problems! So if this custom just doesn’t do it for you, then don’t sweat it. it can be extremely rewarding to start and finish your wedding day with your partner, going through all the emotional ups and downs together.

Rule #4: The Honeymoon Begins When the Reception Ends

This old tradition can turn into a nightmare in so many ways – you have to drag your luggage to the party, have any flight documents ready, and keep to your travel schedule down to the minute. Not to mention being the first to leave one of the biggest celebrations of your life! Funnily enough, German weddings call for the exact opposite – the bride and groom to stay put until the very last guest leaves. Whether it’s to enjoy the moment to the fullest or just leave some relaxing time before planning a whole new adventure for your honeymoon, don’t worry about breaking this rule.

photo-1430799593721-27f43821710dRule #5: But I Definitely Need a [insert traditional wedding staple here], Right?

You could put a lot of things in that box, including a cake, altar, and white dress, and the answer would be no every time. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with these wedding classics, but you should know that they’re not written in stone either. In this modern age, there’s an alternative for pretty much anything – so if one doesn’t catch your fancy, there are plenty of replacements to consider. The 21st century wedding is all about spending this day how you want it, so do you! And if creative inspiration is what you’re looking for, The Wedding Planner Magazine has plenty of blog posts on alternative wedding ideas for you to peruse to your heart’s content.

So there you have it – weddings are a lot less black and white than you’d think! Don’t get us wrong, following any or all of these rules will make for a beautiful wedding. But we hope you’ve gotten a few ideas on how to have an equally beautiful wedding doing know which rules you’re going to break in the comments!

by Chantal Lim

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