Wedding Tips

Three Wedding Traditions You Don’t Need to Do

November 20, 2017

Three Wedding Traditions You Don't Need to Do.

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Hi I’m Morgan! I’m a photography educator and Raleigh, NC newborn photographer and family photographer.

Meet Morgan



Stress. It’s something that should have to check itself at the door on your wedding day. Unfortunately it sneaks in sometimes, though. And sometimes that’s because things aren’t panning out how you expected them to.

But sometimes it’s because you’re trying to cram way too many things into your day. And truth be told – they’re not all necessary.

I’ve found that many times brides don’t even stop to think about what they want out of their wedding day. They simply follow the blueprint that’s been laid for them. Sometimes it’s something they found in a wedding magazine. Other times it’s how they’ve seen every other wedding played out. And then sometimes it’s how their parents did it.

But this is your wedding day, sister. Make it your own. You don’t have to do all of the things that your parents did twenty or thirty years ago. If I would’ve followed my parents’ wedding day to a T, I would’ve been tossing a bouquet to my single lady friends whilst wearing a fancy hat. Because yeah, my mom definitely wore a hat on her wedding day, and she also tossed her bouquet. That’s what was in style.

Thankfully, times change, styles change and weddings change. Here are three wedding traditions that you can forego without hesitation.

Three Wedding Traditions You Don’t Need to Do

1. Waiting to see each other until the ceremony

If you weren’t already aware, first looks are where it’s at, y’all. I know. Your parents are going to be confused about this, because NO ONE EVER did this back when they got married. I assure you that it’s ok though.

It will give you a moment to be alone with the person you’re about to marry, and sometimes it’s your ONLY chance to be alone throughout the full day of festivities. It also gives your groom the opportunity to freely express himself when he’s taken aback by your beauty instead of whispering “You look so beautiful” under his breath up at the altar. In addition, it allows for more flexibility in your timeline and more time to spend together throughout the entire day.

Let’s be honest. I could write a novel about this, but I’ve already done that once. You can read it [here] if you’re interested.

Wedding traditions you don't need to do

2. The Bouquet and Garter Tosses

This part of the wedding almost always goes down the same way. The single ladies anxiously scramble their way onto the dance floor in hopes that they’ll be the one to catch the coveted bouquet. They take their stance, like a predator ready to pounce on their prey as soon as those flowers are released from the bride’s hand. The bride tosses it, and all of their hands go up in the air. There’s usually a little bit of  pushing and nudging as everyone’s eyes watch the flowers fly towards them. The gist of it? They all want the bouquet.

Then it’s the groom’s turn to toss his wife’s garter. The single men reluctantly make their way to the dance floor, acting as if catching the garter and getting married would be the worst thing EVER. Everyone cringes as grandma watches her grandson stick his head up his new wife’s wedding gown to retrieve the garter. The groom slingshots the garter towards his dudes, and they all kind of hang out with their hands in their pockets watching it hit the floor. If there’s a boy under the age of 10, he’ll make an effort to jump up and grab it. If there are no children involved, one of the single men reluctantly picks it up off of the floor and claims the title of “next to be married”. None of the men want the garter.

Here’s the thing: the single male guests at your wedding are not going to be into this, and the ladies in turn look like overly-eager women on the prowl. It’s uncomfortable for nearly everyone involved, and who wants to make their guests feel like that? Not me.

Three Wedding Traditions You Don't Need to Do.

3. The Dollar Dance

I’m really not sure why this is a thing. You’ve invited all of your friends and family to your wedding. Many of them have spent time and money traveling to be there. In addition to that, they’ve purchased gifts for you. And then before you let them dance and have a good time, you ask them to please pay a dollar to share a dance with you.

This is usually masked as “adding to the couple’s honeymoon fund” or making it a contest to see if the bride or groom can collect more money. But the reality of it is that you are asking your guests for money.

Wouldn’t you rather just cut to the chase and let everyone enjoy themselves? These people came to your wedding to celebrate your love and your future together. They want to have a good time. Don’t make them pay you to do it.


The reality is that we get so hung up on doing things because they’re traditions. We feel like we have to do them. But take a moment to think about what is going to make for the best day possible for not only you and your husband, but your wedding party and all of your guests. It may go against tradition, but if it makes for a more joyful day overall, I think that’s perfectly fine.

  1. Whitney says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the dollar dance! One of the things we have been doing for some of our brides is making a toss bouquet with a loose tie. They secretly untie it and throw the bouquet. The flowers go everywhere and everyone gets a piece. It’s a lot of fun! A lot of those brides have also been having their bouquet toss for the kids only, too.

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