It’s safe to say that weddings in 2021 are very different from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings. Now more than ever, couples are personalizing their weddings to only include the things they really care about. Although mothers, grandmothers, and aunts may question why modern couples won’t be doing the garter removal in front of all of their guests, the only thing that matters is what the couple wants for their wedding. Here are just 4 of the many wedding traditions that millennials are choosing to do their own way (or not do at all).
Getting Married in a Church
Although holding weddings in places other than a church isn’t a new idea, it is one aspect that is very different from more traditional views. More weddings than ever are taking place in other venues, like the beach, the mountains, mansions, and unique event centers.
It all goes back to the fact that couples getting married right now are customizing every detail of their weddings. The wedding venue has become a way for couples to put even more of their personalities into their special day. For example, a very outdoorsy couple that loves hiking and being in nature might choose to have their wedding on a scenic mountain top. Another couple might go with an elegant and beautiful library. We know what you’re thinking – yes, you can actually get married in a library!
Whether for religious reasons or not, many millennial couples are finding the most unique places to get hitched. A new rule of thumb for venues is that if you can imagine it, there’s probably a way to make it happen. Thinking of places that are significant to a couple or that show their personalities is a great strategy for finding the perfect venue.
Not seeing each other until the ceremony
Another big tradition for weddings is the superstition that it’s bad luck for the couple to see each other before the ceremony. Until fairly recently, almost all weddings involved the couple not seeing each other until the ceremony was starting. This meant that the special moment of the two seeing each other took place in front of all of their guests.
Many people still choose to have the reveal when they’re walking down the aisle, which allows everyone to experience the reactions of the couple. But now, there are other options. It’s becoming less of a bad thing to see each other before the ceremony. For people that want to share this emotional moment with only their soon-to-be spouse, they may choose to do a first touch or a first look.
In a first touch, the couple takes time before the ceremony to come together, hold hands, and even read letters to each other, usually around a corner so that they don’t see each other yet. This is a good option for those who want to spend time together alone before the craziness of the wedding, but still want to save that first look for the aisle.
The first look has gained popularity within the last few years. This option allows the couple to have a private moment of seeing each other in their wedding attire, which often eases nervousness. The first look before the ceremony usually only involves the couple and their photographer. This has become a very popular way to capture a touching moment without the pressure of all the wedding guests watching.
Garter and Bouquet Toss
This old school wedding tradition is quite possibly the most disliked among millennials and younger generations. We’ve all seen the red-faced embarrassment that the garter removal causes. Tradition has it that the bride sits there, in front of all her friends and family, as her new husband lifts up her dress and slides her garter from her thigh, down her leg, and removes it. This really was the way back then, and some people still do it, but it seems that the younger generations are taking a step back and noticing that this tradition is a little odd.
The bouquet toss isn’t as much of an embarrassment issue for the couple getting married, but modern couples are starting to eliminate this tradition, too. For some, it might be that there aren’t many singles in attendance at the wedding and they don’t want to bother. For others, they don’t want to embarrass any guests by making all of the singles get up and try to catch the bouquet. To be fair, it does seem like a pretty embarrassing thing.
So, these traditions that go hand in hand are being left out of more weddings than ever. There’s not really a substitution for them, but their absence allows couples to fill that time in the reception with other things they actually want to do, like dancing, mingling, or playing games.
Having a big white cake
Wedding cakes in traditional weddings all pretty much looked the same. If you try to imagine a traditional bride’s cake, do you picture a tall, multi-tier white cake with some kind of flowers? Most people would, because that’s the epitome of classic wedding cake.
Nowadays, the food (and especially the cake) is very different at weddings. Some may choose to have a traditional meal and big white cake because that’s what they want. But now, couples realize that they can have whatever food and cake/dessert they want, since it’s their wedding. Different options could be just a different flavor or design, or not a cake at all.
Unique examples of wedding cake replacements include: cupcakes, waffles, donuts, and even big wheels of cheese. As with every other detail of the wedding, it really is up to the couple getting married. So if you’re getting married soon and you don’t want a cake: don’t have a cake! Have whatever your heart (and stomach) desires, because the cake is a tradition that’s slowly shifting.
The way millennials are parting with tradition and doing things their own way reaches beyond their weddings. The connotation of things like prenuptial agreements is starting to shift to a more positive one, with more couples wanting to steward the wealth they’ve earned.
Traditionally, prenups had a bad reputation for only being useful for couples that didn’t trust each other or already had suspicions of getting divorced. The modern view is becoming more about the couple caring so much about their relationship and finances that they want to protect them.
Millennial couples are seeing the value of having these important conversations before and at the start of marriage. Prenups are no longer something to be ashamed of! So, if you’re engaged, now is the right time to start discussing the benefits of a prenuptial agreement. Just like with skipping outdated traditions, you won’t regret it!