Twist on Tradition

A twist on tradition

Weddings are steeped in tradition – from wearing a veil to tossing the garter. If you’re a bride looking for some twists on those old themes, here are some ideas.

Instead of covering her face, some brides today wear the veil away from the face, and some are skipping the veil entirely, choosing to wear flowers or jeweled hairpins instead.

Some brides aren't fond of the symbolism of their father walking them in, feeling that the idea of being "given away" is ill-suited to an independent woman. Some variations on the usual scene include the bride walking down the aisle alone, arm-in-arm with both parents, arm-in-arm with both her biological father and stepfather, or joined by her own child(ren) or soon-to-be stepchild(ren).

Don’t want to single out your single friends? Many women see the bouquet toss as pressure, and dislike the implication that single women are chomping at the bit to be married. An alternative idea is to invite all the women onto the dance floor, married and single. Ask them all to make a wish right as the bouquet is tossed and whoever catches it will get their wish. Or consider an anniversary dance: All the married couples join on the dance floor and are eliminated by the number of years they're been married (from fewest to most), and the last couple standing gets the bride's bouquet -- a sweet way to honor a lifetime of commitment.

Speak at the reception rather than letting the best man do all the talking, or ask others to give a toast as well -- someone like a favorite old teacher or the best man from your parents' wedding.

Allow your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses. You can choose a particular color and let your bridesmaids choose the style they would like to wear, or they can choose a coordinating color that goes well with their skintone but keep the style uniform.

This is all not to say that old traditions aren't worthy of inclusion in weddings. Just know that you don't have to conform to traditions. The most important thing is that you create a day that feels just right for you.