Forget what you've heard — sticking to classic wedding traditions is completely unnecessary. While it can be romantic to do the same specific acts other couples have been doing for hundreds of years to solidify your new forever-bond, you should only follow those traditions if it feels right. I realize some traditions have religious origins, so in those cases, again... do whatever works for you. This is your day. This is when you and your significant other begin the life you always wanted, as a team. You should be deliriously happy the entire time during your wedding, and if skipping some old school traditions is what makes that happen, then skip away.
In fact, simplifying your wedding by passing on dated customs could also save you some serious cash. And if the majority of the wedding budget is coming out of your bank account, you know you need all the financial help you can get. Skipping on certain things will also give you more time to focus on the parts of the event that are the most fun and you're most excited about. These non-traditional wedding plans are not just for celebrities or trend-setting hipsters. These moves can be made by anyone looking to tailor their wedding specifically to them. Here are nine "traditional" wedding elements you can totally ditch.
1. You don't need to wear a white dress
I don't know about you, but white clothes terrify me. It's just so easy to spill on them. And if you're pale, this color does nothing to make you look your best. So go with pink or yellow or WHATEVER color you want. Make the bridesmaids wear white, and you get the bold fun color. You're the bride, so the choice is completely yours.
2. You don't need to have a wedding party
Maybe it's too hard to decide who should be the maid of honor. Maybe your groom has six people he'd want on his side, and you only have two. You can have uneven bridal parties, you can both have a mix of men and women on each side, or you could skip the wedding parties entirely. Your closest friends will still give speeches, and will still help you with final details, with or without a bridesmaid dress.
3. You don't need a long ceremony
Some of us (introverts) hate the idea of a group of people staring at us. Walking down the aisle was the source of multiple nightmares for me, and reciting my vows was even scarier. But regardless of how you feel about being the center of attention, the ceremony can be as long or as short as you want it to be. You don't need to have readings, and you don't need to repeat the complete set of traditional vows. You could make up your own and be done in five minutes or less. Besides, everyone is there primarily for the reception anyway, so you'll never hear, "Man, I wish the ceremony was longer."
4. You don't need to wear a veil
In many religions, the wedding veil is meant to signify humility and respect before God. But if you're not religious, you might not feel the need to wear one. And if you're concerned that a veil may mess with your intricate wedding 'do, then just skip it.
5. You don't need a wedding cake
The only differences between a multi-tiered cake and a wedding cake are the name and the ridiculous markup. Call it a wedding cake, and you're immediately on the hook for 300 more dollars. So do it differently by serving cupcakes, or even pie. A dessert is a dessert, and a cake topper can be placed on top of anything.
6. You don't need a floral bouquet
Flowers are great, don't get me wrong. But they die, and they're pretty expensive and high maintenance until the sweet release of death takes their color away. If you want to cherish your bouquet for all eternity, then use something other than flowers. Etsy has an endless supply of unique bouquets made of pretty much everything. Mine was a bouquet of flowers made from book pages, and they have button bouquets, fake flowers, and fabric flower bouquets, and ALL OF THEM are unforgettably gorgeous.
7. You don't need a bouquet toss
If you feel weird about rounding up all of your single girlfriends to fight for something that is supposed to determine whether or not they'll be the next one to land a man, then just don't do it. Some people enjoy participating, but in most cases, your single friends don't need a belittling reminder that they're single, and would rather be dancing with you instead.
8. You don't need a designated wedding car
It's a nice idea, but are you heading off into the sunset immediately following the reception? Because a car with "just married" written on the back only makes sense if you're actually leaving... not heading back to the hotel with everyone else in time for the after party.
9. You don't need to immediately leave for your honeymoon
Planning a wedding is pretty stressful. And while it might be exciting to top off the best party of your life with an exotic vacation, it might be even better to wait. Saving the honeymoon for a later date gives you and your new spouse something to look forward to, and another insanely romantic celebration of the love you two share. It also helps your bank account if you wait and build up a cushion so you can really enjoy your honeymoon.
Image: Michael Salvato/Flickr; Giphy (9)