Weddings are full of traditions, and these traditions vary from culture to culture. Today, we will be discussing western wedding traditions and the new twists that we are seeing in 2023.
A big one is the giving away of the bride by her father. There are many factors as to why we are seeing this walk down the aisle done differently. One of which is that society has changed, and some women feel more comfortable and empowered to “give herself away”. Other reasons for the decline in this tradition are more practical. For example, A couple getting remarried may choose for the bride to walk down the aisle by herself to have the groom meet her half way. Other mature brides simply feel that they have outgrown this sentiment by the time they choose to tie the knot.
Images by Leigh Hayward Photography
Much like the giving away of the bride, the father/daughter dance has become a strong tradition at weddings. You will typically see the bride and groom have their first dance together, then the bride’s father will step in to dance with his daughter. At this time, it is common for the mother of the groom to join in dancing with her son. This tradition lives on, however, we have also begun to see the bride adding a dance with her mother. We love this new trend because as common as it is to focus on Dad letting his little girl go, we sometimes forget that a daughter is mom’s whole world as well. We are glad to see the mother of the bride getting a moment as well. Another way to get the mother of the bride involved is for the groom, her new son in law, to invite her to dance. Although it is not traditional, it is a good bonding experience between the families. Another way to get mom involved is dress shopping!
Images by Chelsea Paige Photography and Jolie Connor Photography
Choosing bridesmaids dresses has always been a huge part of the wedding planning process. They have to match your color palette, the flowers, and the reception décor. This can be difficult to achieve while also ensuring that your bridesmaids are happy with the dress they end up in. The tradition of same color, same style dresses for all your bridesmaids can be a problem. We can assure you that someone will not like the style or color you choose for them. There is a new and innovative trend today that just might fix this. We are seeing bridesmaids in dresses that are the same color but different styles, and we are seeing dresses that are the same style in varying shades of a color. For example, Fern, olive, and sage are all colors of green that look quite nice together. We have even seen different styles of dresses with varying shades of the same color for bridesmaids. It not only keeps your bridal party happy, but it also adds a neat element to your ceremony aesthetic.
Images by Wild Cotton Photography and Shelby Stewart Photography
Speaking of innovation, as we transition into a technology fueled society, we are not surprised to see the rise in e-vites over physically mailed wedding invitations. The tradition of mailing your invitations is one wedding planners are trying to keep alive for various reasons. It is a tangible memento that can be used in a scrapbook to look back on or for your loved ones to keep as a memory of the event as well. We also love them because we feel that you can get much more creative with the design than evites. However, there are a few benefits to sending your invitations by email. For example, you will likely save money by going paperless, there is less of a chance of your invitation getting lost, and you can track RSVPs in real time. That all sounds pretty good, but there are cons to this method of invitation as well such as we find that people tend to RSVP at a higher rate with a physical invitation rather than with an online one. Because of all this, we recommend that you create a wedding website where your guests can RSVP, and you send out mailed invitations as well. Your tech savvy friends can reply online, and your more traditional guests can reply with the printed reply card.
Images by Wild Cotton Photography and Leigh Hayward Photography
As we come to our final wedding tradition, it is no surprise that we are talking about cake. There are many traditions surrounding the wedding cake such as cake cutting and saving the top for your anniversary. These traditions live on, but we have seen new and fun ways to celebrate the dessert at a wedding. For example, many couples are deciding against a cake all together and are going with gourmet desserts displayed on a table or served to their guests. We have also seen couples choose something else to cut such as a pie or a Bundt cake. Finally, instead of saving the top of their cake, newlyweds have chosen to order a separate single tiered cake to be saved for their one year anniversary.
Images by Chelsea Paige Photography and Ava Moore Photography
No matter which way you choose to have dessert, you can guarantee it’ll be a pretty sweet night. We love that many wedding traditions have stood the test of time, but we are excited to see new customs make their entrance. Maybe they will eventually become a well known practice in weddings.
Regardless if you’re going with the classics or you’re more “out with the old, and in with the new,” Engaging Events is the Charleston wedding planner for you. Contact us today to begin your planning journey with our team of Charleston wedding planners and Kiawah Island wedding planners!