After the most exciting “Yes!” of all, it won’t be as exhilarating to say “yes” to some wedding day traditions. And guess what? Not only is that completely normal, it’s completely healthy and absolutely necessary.
Traditions. They may stem from hundreds of years ago from people we don’t even know, they may be following the footsteps of our own family’s wedding days, or they can even be brand new–dreamed up by you and your spouse to be. Traditions can be brought forth in the grandest of events to the smallest of details. From the father daughter dance, to ensuring you have “something blue” on your wedding day, there is an endless array of wedding day traditions you have likely heard of.
Wedding day tradition pressure
I find that a lot of couples get wrapped up in the stress of following traditions, even when they don’t necessarily want to. A couple of years ago, a groom wanted to do a first look with his wife to be. A first look is a relatively new tradition that allows the newlywed couple the ability to see one another in a private moment before the ceremony. It provides the most touching of photos, and creates the first peek moment into something even more intimate. It even allows the bride and groom to enjoy more of the cocktail hour themselves, as their photographer will be able to check off some portraits before the ceremony.
Unfortunately, mother of the groom was appalled at the idea. This led to immense stress on the couple. They thought if they did what they both truly wanted, their family would be upset. As the wedding day is about the couple themselves, this was heartbreaking to hear. Most disheartening of all? This is not a rare roadblock. Nearly all engaged couples run into the wedding day tradition pressure at one point or another. I hear this with things like programs, favors, cakes, unity candle ceremony, rehearsal dinner, and more. The list goes on and on.
So what wedding day traditions to say yes to?
This is far simpler than it seems. Ultimately it’s recognizing when you are saying “I should do this.” versus “I desire to do this.”
Of course, there is a middle ground. If it is something you don’t mind doing that is important to your family, then go for it.
Remember that this rule does not strictly apply to the standard traditions. You can opt into or out of whatever you two would like as it is your day. Don’t want to wear bridal white? Perfect! Would you prefer holding a feather bouquet instead of a floral bouquet? Awesome! I tell every couple to swap the ceremony seating. This goes against the grain, but doing so allows the bride’s side the ability to watch her facial expressions throughout the ceremony, and vise versa for the groom’s family. Some couples feel jarred by this, because it “isn’t normal” and can even feel like it’s not permitted. But remember: it is your day. You make the rules. You say yes to what you love, and no thank you to what you aren’t over the moon about. Just as you felt up in the clouds with joy on your engagement day, build the happenings of your wedding day around all traditions and elements that bring you that same joy. You both deserve it.
Love & Light,
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