As a Jackson Hole wedding photographer, I have been to so many weddings, and a lot of these weddings are pretty similar. There’s always a happy couple getting married, a ring, some cake, and wedding traditions. Nevertheless, these traditions are inevitably found at weddings, and it’s time to kick them to the curb. I’m talking about the bouquet toss, receiving lines, the garter toss and so many more. I’m a sucker for some romance, but these traditions need to go! Let’s get to it, the worst wedding traditions to avoid when planning your big Jackson Hole wedding.
The bouquet toss is a tradition that many brides always look forward to, and it makes for fun pictures, but I’m calling this one out. It’s time to change the story and do something different, and here’s why. The bouquet toss targets the women that are single, and can get dangerous. Your wedding guests can get a little bit excited while vying for the bouquet, leading to injury among the group.
Wedding traditions are continually brought up and planned because they’re tradition. However, change isn’t a bad thing. Maybe the bouquet toss at your wedding is meant to bring good luck, and you have single and married people join in for the fun. Or, instead of throwing the bouquet, you break it up and give all your friends and family individual flowers to show your love and appreciation to them. It’s your day, make it yours!
Is there anything more awkward than having your bridesmaids stand in line and hug your Uncle Frank? I love when my couples have the freedom to move around and chat with their guests in their own time. It works out so well, and is organic and not forced. Whereas having a receiving line often leaves the bridal party hungry and tired after chatting with all of your guests that they don’t know!
Consider leaving behind the receiving line, and as the bride and groom take charge and talk to people. Those that want to talk to you, will come and find you. It’s your event, you should enjoy it!
Sit with your guests! I can’t express this enough. Spend time with the people you love, and sit with your grandparents, and your aunts and uncles. Family and friends will be traveling to get to you, so show them you care and sit with them! It’s been a popular tradition to have bride and groom sit at their own table, that puts you both in the spotlight, but it also can isolate you. You’re going to be spending the rest of forever together, spend time with your family and friends and make it a night to remember!
Another one of the worst wedding traditions, separating the bride’s and groom’s guests. Isn’t this day supposed to be about bringing two families together? Allow your guests to sit wherever they choose during the ceremony, eliminate sides, and allow guests to come together and celebrate one common theme, your love!
The garter toss needs to go. It’s time. My absolute least favorite tradition that is always a little awkward for everyone involved. Especially if you’re having young kids, or your grandparents there, no one wants to see your spouse take lingerie off you with their teeth! Traditions are meant to be broken, and this one is a great example of one that needs to broken, buried, and never brought up again.
Instead of a garter toss, plan something else fun for guests to enjoy. Maybe you play outdoor games with your guests during your summer wedding, or even have indoor games during your winter elopement. I always encourage an interactive element to the day to keep guests interested and engaged throughout the event. One popular event that your guests will enjoy, is the shoe game!
Trust me on this one, this is another tradition that isn’t going to be missed. While it’s tradition, you spend so much time and money on your dress, and hair and makeup just to get covered in cake? It is a fun event, that makes people laugh, serve cake to everyone and just have fun being with family and friends. Avoid the whole cake fiasco altogether and celebrate with your favorite desserts! I know I’m biased because I don’t like the texture of cake (shh!!), so I would choose almost literally any other dessert. Bring doughnuts, pie, cheesecake or even cookies to the event.
Ever heard the old advice of not seeing each other before the ceremony? Or if you do, it’s bad luck for your marriage? Let’s ditch this thought completely, especially for my couples that choose to elope. If you’re choosing to elope consider getting ready together, it can be an incredibly intimate and romantic moment for you to share. For my couples choosing a traditional wedding, consider a first look. Seeing one another for the first time alone, on your own terms is such an emotional moment. It allows for you both to have a moment alone before the madness of the day starts.
No matter what your day looks like, it’s going to be perfectly yours. If you decide ditch some of the worst wedding traditions on my list, or include a couple traditions, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to do something unique and special to you and your relationship, this day is all about you and your love story, forget trying to impress. Do what’s going to make you happy!
Already imagining a perfect wedding day experience with me? Let’s chat!