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Modernizing Wedding Traditions

When you think of weddings, you may think of traditional religious ceremony in your denomination in a church, surrounded by your friends and family. Do you also notice that you associate the word "wedding" with a particular etiquette, and some seemingly old school traditions? Weddings have been around for as long as we can remember, and so have a lot of the traditions that we see at weddings. So much has happened in our world since the beginning of weddings that it seems only fitting that we outgrow some of these traditions. Society has changed, gender roles have changed, and people and ideologies have changed drastically. Just like Charles Darwin's famous "survival of the fittest" observation that in an evolving natural habitat the animals that survive are the ones that are fittest- the ones that learn to evolve with their changing environment, humans must constantly assess our environment and how our roles should be changing. With all of this change, it is inevitable that we too would evolve- in habits, traditions, ideology, etc. It seems absolutely reasonable that we would want to also modernize the way that we do things. And a huge thing/life milestone is a wedding. Why wouldn't we want to modernize our weddings as well?

We've seen so many different wedding trends through the decades- fads that fade over time and quickly become an embarrassing memory to show the next generation, and changes in the meaning of marriage and ideas of what a wedding is and should look like. While I'm certainly not shaming you for wanting a traditional wedding (many people including myself did!), this post is meant to challenge what you think when you think of the word "wedding," and to give it a connotation that is true and personal to you. Because a wedding is a very personal union. Here are some fun and trendy ways to modernize traditional wedding components to showcase your own personal views/style.


We all know the vows that are traditionally exchanged at weddings. Writing and reciting your own vows to each other is a way to personalize the vows to your significant other. Some couples even incorporate pieces of their vows into their wedding (embroidered on their attire, on their cake, etc). If a couple is so musically inclined, they can even sing or perform their vows. However you write the vows, make them personal to you and your partner. Think about how you can make them the most meaningful and deliver them in the way that makes the most sense for you and your relationship.

Guest Book

When we think of a guest book, we usually think of a book that has areas for guests to sign with a personal message for the newlyweds. As nice as this can be for a memento, there are so many ways that it can be spruced up. If you still like the idea of a guestbook, consider opting for a guestbook with photo slots for guests to put photo strips from the photobooth or polaroid photos in. If you'd like a memento from guests but don't necessarily want a guestbook, there are a whole host of options for you. These include having guests sign: a globe, a picture of the newlyweds, a letter of the new couple's last name, a record, puzzle pieces, jenga pieces, wine corks, an art piece for the couple's home, etc. I've also seen guest book time capsules, where guests are instructed to write a letter to the couple to read on their one year anniversary, or each table number writes letters for the couple on that number anniversary. This makes for a great keepsake for later, and something to look forward to as well. Perhaps the most unique of all the guestbooks I have seen is an old phone that guests can leave recorded voice messages on for the couple to listen to. There are so many ways to get creative with this one!

Flower Girls

Don't know any little girls or just want something a little different? Try flower men, flower grandmas, or a flower dog (or other pet).


Wedding cake is very traditional, and many people still like it. But here are some ways to add something fresh and trendy to your dessert table instead:

A cake centerpiece for a guest table at a wedding
Cake Centerpiece
  • Dessert Table

  • Cupcakes

  • A cake centerpiece on each guest table

  • Mini pies

  • S'mores bar

  • Candy Bar

  • Ice Cream Sundae Bar

  • Cheese Wheel Cake

  • Fruit Tower Cake

  • Brownie Cake

  • Donut Wall/ other Dessert Wall

Escort Cards

Instead of plain mini table-tent style cards, why not try something new? Click on the video below for some trendy and fun ideas! (And don't forget to follow me on TikTok)

White Dress

The white wedding dress may be the most famous wedding tradition, as it dates back to the Victorian Era and symbolized the wealth of the Bride. Now that we live in the 21st century, things like showing off wealth aren't the most important virtues to us. Some of us want to show off our personal style, surprise our Groom, fit the dress to a certain theme, etc. There are a whole host of reasons that we choose the wedding dress that we do. And because of that, we have some very trendy variations of the white wedding dress. Very anti-traditional is the all-black wedding dresses, which we are seeing so many of! Usually worn for fall weddings, these dresses are the picture of elegance and sophistication. A little closer to the tradition of white wedding dresses are dip-dyed wedding dresses, white wedding dresses with pattern overlays, white 2-piece outfits, white jumpsuits, and white pantsuits.

Stay tuned for future parts to this series, and let me know what you think in the comments!

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