From throwing the bridal bouquet, to enjoying a first dance, to the multi-tiered fruitcake, there are countless wedding traditions and expectations that you may be bombarded with over the period leading to the big day.
Indeed, there’s a good chance that well-meaning friends and family members have made a great many helpful and not-so-helpful suggestions to you already! While it would have been considered bad form, or even bad luck, to ignore such traditions in years gone by, more and more couples are choosing to break from convention as they plan their nuptials. You may be one such couple, so we’re here to tell you that it’s okay to want things your way and plan your wedding accordingly.
Here are just four of the wedding traditions that you may have considered breaking so far…
The traditional top table layout
A traditional top table, or head table, layout usually features the bride and groom at its centre, with the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents, the best man and the chief bridesmaid flanking either side. However, more and more couples are choosing to break away from this convention, instead choosing to host a table for close friends, or an intimate sweetheart table that’s just for them. Cosy venue Le Talbooth in Colchester, Essex, is the perfect place to trial a less conservative table layout, particularly if you’re keen to mix your guests up a little.
The bride’s parents cover the cost of the wedding
At one time, it would have been customary for a bride’s family to cover the cost of the majority of the wedding, including reception, floral arrangements, photography expenses and the bridal party’s outfits and accessories. The groom’s family, meanwhile, would have gotten away relatively lightly, paying for his suit and those of his groomsmen, the marriage license, transportation, and the bride’s rings, amongst other things. These days, couples are living increasingly independent lives, with many choosing to foot the cost themselves. Prior to making any arrangements be sure to discuss money with the involved parties; only then can you set a realistic budget.
The wedding gift list
Once upon a time, couples would ask for wedding gifts of kitchen and homeware, which would enable them to set up their very first home together – as soon as the groom had carried the bride across the threshold, of course. Things are a little different these days, as increasing numbers of couples choose to live together in the years preceding their wedding. Who needs yet another toaster, after all? If you’re not comfortable asking your guests for cash, consider asking for donations towards a honeymoon or memento of your big day, or even making a donation to a charity that’s close to your hearts.
A bride dressed in white
The image of the white wedding dress was popularised during Queen Victoria’s reign and came to symbolise purity, innocence and virginity. While many brides still choose to dress in white, or derivatives of white, such as ivory, champagne, and blush shades, there are a growing number of women eschewing tradition. There’s something incredibly romantic about a pale pink wedding dress, while shades of gold, red, blue and even purple are being worn by an increasing number of brides. A deep red and white dress, representing the Tudor Rose, would look particularly stunning at our Tudor mansion, Hengrave Hall near Bury St. Edmunds. And why not? Your wedding is your opportunity to take centre stage, so dare to be different.
Of course, there are numerous wedding traditions and customs; many of which you’ll choose to keep, or will deliberately avoid. Modern couples are afforded more choice than ever, as the conventions surrounding marriage relax considerably. With over sixty years’ experience in the industry, our team has witnessed almost every wedding tradition you can imagine, as well as enjoying a few less conventional weddings too. We have some truly stunning wedding venues across Suffolk and Essex, ranging from the traditional country house, to the intimate riverside marquee — perfect locations to ensure memories to treasure for a lifetime. Whatever kind of wedding you’re after, we’ve the perfect space to host your nuptials. Remember: this is your day, so choose to do it your way.