How Wedding Traditions Have Changed

While some things remain the same, weddings are definitely not one of them and wedding traditions have changed quite a bit since the beginning. In some cases, this is a good thing, such as no longer believing in superstition and needing your bridesmaids to dress like you in white dresses, and in others, it's just a certain preference to skip an older tradition that is more outdated or doesn't fit your personal style. We take an in-depth look into how wedding traditions have changed and some that are no longer as relevant today.

It's always interesting to see how wedding traditions have changed and how they've stayed the same. We put together some of the main traditions that have changed.

  • Waiting to see each other until the ceremony. It was considered bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony, but now many couples are doing first looks, and making a photoshoot out of the moment when they see each other for the first time, usually just the two of them and the photographer. This makes it much more romantic for the couple who prefers to have a few moments just the two of them.
  • Matching bridesmaids. In the past, every detail matched, from the dress to the hair to the shoes, and now, it is much more common to find bridesmaids that are mix-matched rather than perfectly matching. In some cases, brides allow their bridesmaids to wear whatever they are comfortable in.
  • Tossing rice as the newlyweds go down the aisle together. In the past, rice was the only thing used, but now you'll see confetti, glitter, birdseed, even flower petals.
  • Reciting traditional vows. In the past, vows had a very strict format and couples didn't stray from it. Now, many couples choose not to recite the traditional vows at all and instead they make up their own vows, whether that's writing their own or they read lyrics or a poem to express their feelings.
  • Serving more than champagne and cake. That's right, a big dinner wasn't always the tradition after a wedding. Instead, in the past, couple served champagne and cake for toasting, and then the friends and family went home. It was much more low-key and cost less food-wise on couples back then. Now, many couples do full meals or food trucks or buffets, even dessert tables.
  • Wedding cake. That's right, traditional cake is something that is going out of style for some weddings. Couples are choosing other desserts over cakes more often and we're seeing couples have dessert tables, cupcakes, pies, even donuts. These delicious treats can be used in place of wedding cakes or in addition to wedding cakes.
  • Weddings are multicultural or multi-religious. In the past, you would see one part of the couple concede or even perhaps change religions or allow their culture to not be represented during the ceremony, and now we are seeing beautiful ceremonies that blend two cultures or religions. We'll see different parts of different ceremonies used together that way both parts of the couple get to have parts of their religion or culture.
  • Bridesmaids are only female. Things have changed, there are now men of honor and bridesmen, just like there are best women. Friends of the opposite sex are no longer excluded or included on the other party, and instead they are just changing the norm. The man of honor may wear a tie matching the bridesmaids or the best woman may wear a dress matching the groomsmen's ties.


Not all of these traditions have left weddings completely, it completely depends on the couple, but we are seeing more and more these traditions pushed to the side, while couples do what they want, rather than what tradition states.