4 Outdated Wedding Traditions to Ditch and What You Should Do Instead

Hello Smooch Family!


Tradition has always been a part of wedding culture, and with tradition, a feeling of obligation may sometimes follow close behind.  My goal is to dispel the obligation and instead, shed some new light on the subject that leaves you with freedom to create your perfect love story. For some, traditions are near and dear to their heart, while for others they prefer to pave a new trail. Either way it is OKAY! In fact, by the time you are done reading this you may find yourself somewhere in between the two! A major part of building your wedding, regardless of where you fall on the thought of tradition, is finding balance between old and new. At Abernethy Center, we have been hosting weddings for nearly 20 years and have seen countless traditions combined with trendy, modern approaches to nuptials. We have watched couples try to find a balance between sticking to what has always been and finding their own wedding individuality.  

To help you navigate your way through some outdated wedding traditions, I have compiled a list of 4 traditions you might consider doing away with when planning your big day!  

Is a Wedding rehearsal really a pre-wedding must?

Many Couples are opting out of the traditional wedding rehearsal. Aside from some final touches and last-minute errands, the day before your wedding should be spent in relaxation mode! The days leading up to the “I Dos” can be busy and stressful; there’s no reason to contribute to the stress by adding a rehearsal into the mix. Let’s face it, everyone knows how to walk down an aisle and that action doesn’t become more difficult because it’s your wedding day. However, skipping the rehearsal doesn’t mean you should nix one of the best pre-wedding get-togethers ever – the rehearsal dinner! A celebratory feast is fun, relaxing, and gives you the opportunity to connect with and thank your parents and bridal party for their love and support in a more intimate setting. This dinner also serves as the perfect opportunity to go over all the information that is important to you regarding the big day!


Give your Wedding Guest Book an Upgrade!

For your wedding guests, the big day isn’t just about seeing you crazy kids say “I DO”. It’s about the fun and inclusivity that you will provide; and if a traditional guest book just isn’t giving you those vibes then consider some alternatives. This small aspect of your wedding can be a source of creativity and set the tone for the fun everyone is going to have celebrating you! Not only is it enjoyable on the day of your wedding, but the fun will continue down the line in a few years, when you look back. Pictured are some fun and creative wedding trends and ideas that can be an alternative to the traditional guest book!

Photography: Ashley Cook Photography

It’s time to throw out the Wedding Bouquet & Garter Toss!

More and more couples are deciding to do away with this tradition due to its perceived inappropriate and uncomfortable nature…such as slipping under someone’s dress in front of a crowd! With kiddos and grandparents present, you may want to consider cutting this activity from your timeline. However, there are plenty of fun, inclusive wedding trend alternatives that you can build into your wedding reception that everyone can enjoy, such as lawn games, the Anniversary dance, and the Newlywed game! Make sure you pick a venue that can accommodate these activities with enough room in the ballroom or gardens. We may be biased but the world famous Abigail Gardens or our spacious ballroom could be perfect.


Wedding favor ideas: Is there a better way to say thank you?

 Yes, wedding favors are a sweet little thank you for your guests, but when we talk with our couple’s we often hear that favors end up being more work and expense than expected. Having hosted the actual events, our staff has seen well over half left behind at most receptions. Perhaps that’s why we are seeing fewer couples each year giving out traditional wedding favors. Rather than stressing over a personalized trinket, show your guests your appreciation by spending that money to enhance their experience by having a late-night snack available or providing them with safe transportation back to the hotel. These alternatives paired with a sweet thank you letter in the mail is all you need to show your guests that you are grateful for their presence at your wedding.


When building your dream wedding, it can be easy to get swept up in the traditions that have been around for generations. The big fabulous world of weddings is constantly changing and it’s important to keep in mind there is no rule book to how a wedding should be done or a list of the traditions you must follow.  This is your big day and I encourage you to plan it your way, with no added pressure to follow the “norm”. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and allow space for a creative mindset, so that your wedding is all that you want it to be. My hope for you is that you’ll find a sense of relief when you begin to peel yourself away from expectations and dated practices. In the End, the wedding you have built is all about the two of you and traditions are fantastic but only when they are meaningful to you! 

Love always,