Ideas & Advice

7 modern alternatives to wedding traditions

These tips will help you come to a compromise with your parents' traditional expectations and your modern sensibilities.
 

Image: 123rf.com/GalynaTymonko

We think these some of these meaningful traditions should be honoured in one way or another. Here, our suggestions on modern alternatives:

1. Gatecrashing ceremony
We’ve heard of stories of grooms getting nervous before their big day – not because they’re afraid of botching their vows, or welling up in unmanly but happy tears – but because of the tasks that await them during the gatecrashing ceremony.

While there are tasteful ways to get through the ceremony, you can also opt to skip this altogether.

The gatecrashing ceremony originated in China for the bride’s family and relatives to show that they are unwilling to give the bride away, and in today’s context, this is just an opportunity for the bridesmaids and (to a lesser degree) the groom and his mates to have fun. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, consider having a first look instead, to soothe pre-wedding nerves.

2. Tea ceremony
This Chinese tradition usually takes place at both the bride and groom’s place.

When the groom picks his bride from her place (where the gatecrashing ceremony happens), they will then return to his parents’ place to serve his elders tea. After that, they will go to her place to offer her relatives and elders tea.

Nowadays, you can simply skip all that traveling, and hold the ceremony in a function room (or in the bridal suite if it’s big enough) in between the solemnisation ceremony and banquet.

3. First look
A recent trend, Western brides are divided as to whether they should have a first look or not, as tradition dictates that a couple should not meet before the ceremony in case of bad luck.

The superstition of a couple not seeing each other before the wedding stemmed from the days where arranged marriages are common, and it was feared that the groom might call off the marriage if he found the bride unattractive. So this one's really up to you. 

4. The white gown
If you prefer wearing a rose gold or blush wedding gown, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear it.

The tradition of the white wedding gown only came about in 1840, when Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom wore a white dress when she married Prince Albert. Her colour choice was unusual for a time when brides traditionally wore their best dress, or in rich hues for royal brides.

5. Walk down the aisle
Can’t wait to see your groom? Meet him halfway down the aisle, like the Swedes do, or simply make your entrance with him, like real couple Wilma and Cameron did.

6. Bouquet and garter toss
It is said that the next one to catch the bridal bouquet and the garter will be the next to get married.

While this may or may not be true, there are some couples who are uncomfortable with the idea of singling out their non-married friends. You can skip this altogether, or consider these options: give the bouquet to your mother, or to the couple who’s been married for the longest at your reception.

We’d advice you to skip the garter toss for obvious reasons though.

7. Gown changing
It’s not uncommon to have several gown changes at Asian weddings. This usually occurs one to two courses after your first march-in.

If you’re not keen on the extra attention (and would rather spend more time with your guests, or eat a few more bites in between photos and greeting well-wishers), you’re perfectly entitled to wear that one dress all through the afternoon or evening.

See also: DO AWAY WITH THESE WEDDING TRADITIONS - 8 COUPLES SHOW HOW