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10 Dying Out Wedding Traditions

December 26, 2023


The wedding industry is in constant evolution with trends, nonetheless, some customs have stuck around for centuries. In recent years I have noticed a big shift in staple wedding traditions no longer being done consistently. Out with the old, I’m sharing the 10 wedding traditions going extinct:

not seeing bride before ceremony

More couples are opting for first looks before the wedding ceremony. This trend reflects a shift towards prioritizing shared emotions and personal connections over traditional customs. First looks allow couples to share a private, heartfelt moment, easing pre-ceremony nerves and creating lasting memories. Additionally, practical considerations such as optimizing photography schedules and newlyweds joining guests during the cocktail make first looks popular.

wedding programs

Couples not using printed wedding ceremony programs can be attributed to environmental concerns, cost considerations, and a shift toward digital alternatives. Unless you have a lengthy ceremony that is multicultural  or interfaith (with several ritualistic events) a program is not necessary. Couples today often prioritize sustainability, opting for eco-friendly choices by minimizing paper usage. For example, as QRS code people can scan with a phone. Outdoor ceremonies occasionally have printed programs that can shape it like a fan so guests may cool themselves off. Most couples are skipping the program altogether.

gender separated wedding party

Couples are increasingly embracing mixed-gender wedding parties as a reflection of evolving social norms and a desire for inclusivity. Breaking away from traditional gender roles, couples opt for attendants based on personal relationships rather than gender expectations. Embracing diversity in wedding parties allows for a more authentic representation of the couple’s diverse friendships. Ultimately, the choice of mixed-gender wedding parties symbolizes a departure from outdated conventions and a celebration of individual connections.

traditional signing book

Couples are mostly choosing creative wedding signing books now over traditional book and pen. Customized alternatives, such as fingerprint trees, audiobooks, or interactive displays, allow for more meaningful and artistic expressions of love. Couples seek to capture the essence of their relationship and the individuality of their guests, turning signing into an experience. This trend reflects a broader shift toward personalization in weddings, as couples prioritize creativity and originality.

head table

Gone are the days of seating the wedding part at a head table during the reception. Couples are choosing a sweetheart table to create a private space, allowing them to enjoy each other’s company. It’s also more enjoyable for wedding party members when they can sit with there partner, relatives, or friends during dinner. A sweetheart table offers you a chance to savor the joy of your union while still being surrounded by friends and family.

champagne pour for toast

Fewer couples opt for a formal champagne pour during wedding toasts due to evolving trends favoring informality and personalization. Many choose alternatives like signature cocktails to better align with their personalities and create a more relaxed atmosphere. Also people tend to toast with a drink of choice that’s in their hand than grabbing champagne. If you do toasts before food and drinks are on the table, then a champagne pour is more appropriate. In this case, couples are opting for a glass pyramid that they pour champagne into the top and it waterfalls into all the glasses.

announcing the cake cutting

More couples are opting to not have the Emcee/DJ formally announce the cake cutting. They choose a cake cutting song, walk over to the cake unannounced, and cut it with photography & video (and the few guests that notice and gather around). More couples are prefer to integrate the cake cutting seamlessly into the flow of the event. This also avoids a structured pause in the festivities.

extra sheet cake

Sometimes the cake on display isn’t large enough to serve the total guest count. Therefore, couples usually purchase extra sheet cakes to be cut in the kitchen and served. There are times when wedding planners see tons of leftover cake thrown away at the end of the night. There’s no need to order “extra” cake, only get enough for your guest count. 

garter toss

I honestly can’t remember the last wedding of mine that did a garter toss. The tradition is outdated and, in some cases, potentially uncomfortable for guests. Couples today often prioritize creating an atmosphere that is respectful and inclusive for all attendees. Additionally, moving away from traditional gender-specific rituals contribute to the decreasing popularity of the garter toss. The bouquet toss (and it’s variations) I have seen still being done.

grand exit with a prop

Not gonna lie, I still adore sparkler exits— more for the photos later than the moment. Grand exits allow newlyweds to have one last dance alone while we organize the guest into 2 lines near the exit. However, less couples are doing grand exits with a prop (sparklers, glow sticks, confetti, etc.). To save money on photography, couples are having photo/video end after the cake cutting. This is because the last hour is dancing anyways.

In conclusion, couples love following trends and leaving antiquated customs behind. Be it budget reasons or modern times, there are several wedding traditions no longer being done consistently. I am looking forward to all the new wedding trends to come!

Cover Photo on Blog | Applemoon Photography

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