When one person raised the question, “What is one wedding tradition you absolutely wouldn’t partake in?” on the website Quora, plenty of former brides laid their opinions on the line and let everyone know what traditions they think are arcane, outdated and just totally offensive to take part in.
From wearing a white gown to having your father at your side to walk you down the aisle, not all wedding traditions fit all. Some brides have vowed to never take their spouses name while other brides have thrown vows out altogether!
Simple Weddings Are Better and Cheaper
“The week I got engaged, I went out and bought a bridal magazine. Read through it. Then wanted to jump out of a window. The main thrust of the magazine was ‘the perfect wedding.’
And for me to have the perfect wedding, at least according to the magazine, I’d have to buy a load of crap, like unity candles and something having to do with sand, plus I’d have go out and research wedding photographers, hair and make-up people, florists, videographers, bands/DJs, and on and on it went.
Or plunk down a bunch of scratch to pay a wedding planner to do it for me. And then the gown. Ay carumba. I’ve owned cars that cost less than some of the gowns they were touting.
So, after the guy I grew up with, who has a very successful DJ/photography/whatever company, told me he could get a DJ for my wedding ‘starting around $2,500’ I finally said, “Screw that, I am NOT hemorrhaging money for this.”
Got a nice gown for $700. Got our rings from Etsy. They’re sterling silver with a 14k yellow gold lining. (Didn’t see the point of the lining, but that’s how they came. ) $400 for the pair. Did the flowers myself, from flowers I bought at Produce Junction and Acme. Total about $50. Did my own hair and makeup.
My sister-in-law offered to do the videography. Another friend offered to snap photos of everything. For the reception, I hired a harpist for about $200. Nobody got to dance, but at least they could hold conversations without screaming to be heard. The reception cost about $1,500. Beautiful wedding cake -about $100. No bouquet toss, no garter.
Over and over through out the years, I’ve been told by the people who attended (we had between 40 and 50 people) that ours was the best wedding they’d ever been to.” Story credit: Quora / Barrie Creedon Wennberg
Pigeons Have No Place At Weddings
“Pigeons are pets. They are not made to live on their own in the world. White pigeons are specially breeded for weddings and released into the wild, where they die. This tradition is animal cruelty.” Story credit: Quora / Christina Rauscher
Father Escorts Are Outdated and Old Fashioned
“Father Escort. I hate this tradition so much because of its original meaning. It stems from a time when a woman was practically “property” for all her life. The tradition basically means the father gives away his daughter (his “property”) to her husband. It’s just awful, no thanks.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Cake Smearing is Just Rude
“I find this appalling & disrespectful along with it being more fitting at a child's birthday party than a wedding reception.
If after spending thousands of dollars on wedding attire, the wedding itself, and spending hours dressing with care only to have my mate abuse & humiliate me in front of our guests, I wouldn't have married him to begin with.
It's more than just cake smeared faces, it's the total disregard of feelings & lack of respect that puts this in the top spot of something I'd never take part in. Ever.” Story credit: Quora / Laurie Parks
White Is Such a Boring Color
“I hate white for two main reasons: First, it looks boring, second, it looks awful on me. Doesn’t suit me at all. Also, most wedding dresses look just like that: a wedding dress.
You spend a ridiculously high amount of money for a dress you’re probably only gonna wear once in your life. I’d rather wear something in navy blue or a really dark purple. Looks much more interesting in my opinion, and you can also wear it in the future.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Diamonds Aren’t Every Girl’s Best Friend
“Diamond engagement ring… nope. I had a garnet in my first engagement ring and my second one was zirconia that I eventually replaced with a garnet. Diamonds (and tradition) are not my thing.” Story credit: Quora / Victoria Elder
Bridal Showers Should Be Fun
“I basically planned my own bridal shower. That’s probably weird to some people, but it just seemed like the easiest thing to do. I just wanted something simple where I could spend the afternoon with some of my closest friends.
We went bowling, drove go-karts, went through a laser maze, and checked out the arcade games and virtual reality set-up that the venue had. A few girls came over to hang out afterwards. Affordable and fun for everyone involved.” Story credit: Quora / Jessica Duhon Quinn
My Guest List Will Be Small, Very Small
“Nah, I won't invite people whom I haven't talked to for months to my wedding. I won't invite all my relatives that I don't really know. I won't invite old friends from school, neighbours, colleagues and so on.
A wedding is a very private thing for me. Actually I'd like to invite no one so my husband and I can share this special moment alone.” Story credit: Quora / Christina Rauscher
Garters Are Just Tasteless
“The garter. I think its tasteless and I wouldn't have been able to have had a toss either with less than 20 people in attendance.” Story credit: Quora / Cole Ferguson
Honor and Obey? Not For Me!
“My answer will be short because the one prohibition for my wedding was in the vows. I ensured that the phrase “to love, honor and OBEY” were not uttered. I know me - somewhat of a traditionalist - but only when a role is CHOSEN, not assigned because of gender. I didn’t feel it necessary to promise to do something that I would never do - on principle alone!
Approaching 20 years, my husband sometimes still teases me if we have a disagreement and I’ve dug my feet in on the issue. He’ll say “hey, weren’t you supposed to love, honor and OBEY?! … oh yeah, you did say you wouldn’t “obey,” didn’t you!” (He thinks he’s being funny!)" Story credit: Quora / Shelia Gulledge
The Red Ribbon
“Speaking for Turkish Wedding Traditions: I actually have many, but I’ll go with the one that really annoys me:
The Red Ribbon. Before the bride leaves the parents’ home for the wedding, her close relatives put a red ribbon around her waist in order to symbolize her chastity. Since the bridegroom is the only one who gets to untie that knot, it also shows her promise to him that he will be the first one to gain access to her body.
Thankfully, this is rarely performed by the modern couples today, but I guess it is still a very common practice in rural areas. Needless to say, I won’t wear a “maidenhood belt” to make myself look like a gift wrapped up in a box ready for my husband to open.
If, by the time of our wedding, both of us are virgins, then WE may BOTH wear purity rings or something similar to show our commitment to each other, but even this completely egalitarian and not misogynistic substitute would make me uncomfortable.
Why does a huge number of people involving many strangers need to know about the intimate details of our relationship? It’s NONE of their business. Cultural connotations aside, I think a red ribbon looks awful on a white dress.
The right wedding dress is the most elegant and classy thing you can possibly wear, I believe. Something so tacky as a red ribbon instantly ruins the elegance of the special dress you’ll get to wear only once. (Generally speaking)” Story credit: Quora / Zeynep Cemre
Bouquets and Garters Are Shows of Competition
“I despise the so-called “tradition” of the groom removing the bride’s garter and tossing it to the groomsmen, with the one who catches it expected to put it on the leg of the mortified woman who caught the bouquet.
A garter is underwear, and any removal of bridal underwear should definitely take place in private, after the wedding is over.
Given the competitive instincts of some young men, especially when free alcohol is involved, injuries are possible.
Any “tradition” that encourages a man to slide a piece of clothing up a woman’s leg in public — possibly a woman he doesn’t even know — while his friends yell “HIGHER!! HIGHER!!” should be discouraged.
It is not even a tradition, it is an unfortunate fad recently introduced in the mistaken idea that the bouquet-toss needed some masculine equivalent.
Even if it were a tradition, not all traditions are worth preserving.
The closest tradition I can think of to this is the old one of displaying the bloody sheets the morning after the wedding night to prove the bride was a virgin — and for some reason that one has died out.” Story credit: Quora / Jennifer Georgia
Flower Girls Have a Symbolic Meaning
“Flower Girls. Won’t be there either, again, because of the original meaning behind this tradition. From what I understand, this tradition stands for fertility for the couple, and since I never ever want children, I will definitely ditch this tradition… maybe I am gonna be doing a strict ban on flowers of any kind to reduce my fertility.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Bachelor Parties Are Lame
“I like hanging out with my buddies but I don’t drink, I don’t like strippers, and I certainly don’t think of marriage as a trap or an end to my freedom.
I get that bachelor parties aren’t specifically tied to all that stuff, I can just go out to dinner with like six of my really close friends but I wouldn’t do that because I’m getting married, I’d do that because they’re my friends.
Also the best thing to do the night before a big event that starts at like noon is probably, I would imagine, not going out and staying up super late with guys who are talking like you’re marching towards death row.” Story credit: Quora / Charles Johnson
Scotland’s Blackening Ritual
“This tradition actually involves family and friends showering the couple with disgusting things (usually wet things) and then tying bride to a tree. This is meant to show that the bride and groom are ready for anything.
I think I might stick to killing the ender dragon and the wither at the same time in Minecraft to show I’m up to anything.” Story credit: Quora / Kyle Dring
Dollar Dances Can Be Strange
“As far as the wedding day, we didn’t participate in the dollar dance, although we considered it. I’m pretty introverted myself and can’t dance as is, so we elected not to. We also chose not to smash cake in each other’s faces…to each their own, but to us just seemed like more of a mess than it was worth.” Story credit: Quora / Jessica Duhon Quinn
Bridesmaids and Best Men Are Unnecessary
“Bridesmaids and Best Man. Not necessary either. Never understood this tradition to be honest.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Stand or Sit, It’s Your Choice
“It’s traditional for all of the guests to stand when the bride came out. I personally have never liked that. I decided to have my officiant tell everyone to remain seated when I came out before the processional began.
Some of the people at the rehearsal the night before thought I was completely insane (some to the point of being combative). They were adamant that I couldn’t go against that tradition and people were going to get confused and stand anyway.
I’m a pretty laid back person, so my response was, “Well, then they stand.” Whatever. It’s not going to ruin my day! In the end, no one stood. Everyone remained seated. And my photographer got a great picture of my dad and I coming down the aisle!” Story credit: Quora / Kelly Bailey
The Cake is Just Another Dessert
“Cutting the cake. I would rather put multiple cakes on a huge buffet and people can just take some as they like.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Loud Music Ruins the Fun
“I love to dance and I have always enjoyed weddings that have dancing, but I also have been to weddings where there was a small group of people dancing while the rest of the guests sit at their tables waiting for the appropriate amount of time to stay until they can go home.
Those guests can’t talk to each other over the loud DJ, so if they’re not in the mood for dancing, then they just sit there [...] We had a lowcountry boil and the majority of tables were standing oyster tables (with a few tables for people that may have wanted to sit down).
People were able to move around and talk and play lawn games instead of hitting the dance floor. It was so fun! We did have our guitarist sing and play in the background, though.” Story credit: Quora / Kelly Bailey
Kidnapping of the Bride is Just Scary
“Some cultures kidnap the bride either just before the dancing or cutting the cake. This is an awful tradition because the people who do the kidnapping usually just go sit in a bar and drink with her. It’s very disrespectful to everyone.
Plus, I once heard a story about a kidnapped bride and a tragic car accident. The bride was killed on her wedding day early in the reception. What selfish people. It isn’t even a clever prank. So if I ever saw someone trying to concoct this, I would blow the whistle and do everything I could to stop it.” Story credit: Quora / Amy Rubins
Bridal Showers Are Awkward Get Togethers
“One pre-wedding tradition I selected not to take part in was having a bridal shower. Prior to my wedding, I had been invited to a couple of bridal showers. They were well-meaning, but they were also just downright awkward.
So many people didn’t know each other, and of course the ages ranged from young adults, to middle-aged women, and the elderly. It also felt weird playing some of the bridal shower games with such a…diverse group.
When two of my bridesmaids brought up the subject to me, they offered to host the bridal shower and even had a theme picked out. Don’t get me wrong— I appreciated the thought, but it just wasn’t for me, and I knew it would only be added stress and anxiety that I already felt just preparing for the wedding itself.
For some of the same reasons, mentioned above, I just felt like it would be more of an uncomfortable event versus the fun event it was supposed to be.
Too many people not knowing each other, and a wide variety of ages, stacked upon the fact that I knew some people on my side were very introverted and probably wouldn’t enjoy it themselves.” Story credit: Quora / Jessica Duhon Quinn
Dollar Dances Are Pure Idiocy
“Jeez…Who thought drunk men attaching money with sharp, pointed objects to a costly, delicate dress was a good idea? And that's the good part. I first heard of this & saw it in 1991.
I couldn't even comprehend the explanation I was given, and then I saw it. Truly, it's one of the tackiest things I've ever seen. The bride covered in paper money while male relatives cajole & ridicule guests into pinning larger bills to the bride's dress.
If guests want to give money as a wedding gift they will. They don't need to be coerced into buying time with the bride. Well, maybe some brides, but I mean really…what's next? $100 bills in the bride’s garter? I just…can’t.” Story credit: Quora / Laurie Parks
No PDA at My Ceremony
“Neither my husband nor I are fans of the tradition of pounding on the tables or glassware for the bride and groom to kiss during dinner. We were both hungry, wanted to enjoy our dinner, were grossed out at the thought of kissing someone with a mouth full of food, and also are not big into public displays of affection.
After the prayer and toasts at the reception before dinner, we announced that we would kiss once (and we did) and then asked our guests to refrain from doing this. A few non-compliant individuals still tried it, but we basically ignored them and they got the message that we truly weren’t going to do it.” Story credit: Quora / Teri Barrons
Most Wedding Dresses Look Like Cheap Dress Up Clothes
“I refused to wear white. Not because I wasn’t a virgin, though that was certainly true… but really, not everyone looks good in white and I’ve seen way more white wedding gowns that looked like cheap dress-up clothes I would buy for my daughter when she was a toddler than ones that looked luxurious and beautiful.
I also refused to buy something I would only wear once that cost more than I spent for the rest of the wedding and reception combined. I wore a red dress to the first one and a red skirt with a black, white, and red sweater to the second.” Story credit: Quora / Victoria Elder
Bouquets Are Too Expensive To Toss
“Bouquet toss, the bouquet was dried flowers, fragile and handmade from etsy. I also believe that I paid $155 for it.” Story credit: Quora / Cole Ferguson
Formal Attire Isn’t Required
“To be honest, I couldn’t care less about it. For my wedding, people can come as they like, as long as they’re wearing something, it is fine with me.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
My History is Nobody’s Business
“I don’t want to wear a white dress. While, as stated in a previous answer, it didn’t originate as a symbol of purity, it has long been associated with that, and I find the focus on a woman’s so-called purity to be weird and disturbing.
Wearing a dress in a different color is a way of saying that my sexual history is nobody’s business but my own and the point is that I’m making a life commitment to someone I love, not whether or not I had sex with anyone else before.” Story credit: Quora / Cherelle-Renée Childs
Typical Cakes are Nauseating
“You know these typical wedding cakes. When looking at the photo above, the only thing that goes through my mind is B O R I N G. Also, it looks so…creamy? I feel like I am gonna vomit just by looking at it.
I’d rather do something special and unusual.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Who Saves Their Cake For a Year?
“There was no saving of the wedding cake in the freezer for a year. At my first wedding, our cakes got demolished by accident (oooo, an omen!). At my second, we actually forgot to cut the cake after the civil service held in our living room with our three closest friends there to witness it.
I don’t remember what happened to the cake later, I’m sure we just ate it.” Story credit: Quora / Victoria Elder
German Polterabend Tradition
“Polterabend is a German wedding custom in which, on the night before the wedding, the guests break porcelain to bring luck to the couple's marriage. (From Wikipedia) Sorry, but I don't have any reason to smash porcelain.
Plus, traditionally on Polterabend the groom celebrates the last night in which he is “free” and unmarried. That's just old sexist thinking.” Story credit: Quora / Christina Rauscher
The One Thing I Will Not Do is Be in a Group Photo
“Well, I have been in charge of the stag, being his best man and the the other members of the group being a little wild, it was my job to keep him safe.
I have dragged up and gone on a Hen night, as we were close friends and she wanted me there, so I made it an event.
I have been in charge of the music on the wedding reception night, in my role as DJ. I have made the wedding cake and catered the wedding breakfast, in my role as a chef.
But the one thing I will not partake in is the obligatory photos.” Story credit: Quora / Paul Lucy Savage
My Father Doesn’t Own Me
“While my father did walk me down the aisle at my first wedding, there was no giving me away. My father didn’t own me and didn’t make decisions about who got to marry me. My parents weren’t invited to my second wedding, something my mom was salty about for a while.
But hey, I love my daughter more than I love her and my daughter went to school that day. It was a very simple civil service and the only reason there were any other people there was because we needed witnesses.” Story credit: Quora / Victoria Elder
No Gifts, Please
“I won't solicit or take wedding gifts. There's no point in people giving me money for getting married. I believe that anyone daring to get married should bear full responsibility for it.
I know this sounds controversial but that's how I see it. If one can't cover wedding expenses, how will they cover the costs of sustaining a family (which are much more expensive)? I don't want to bother others with my choices. I'd rather be given money when I get sick (which isn't a choice).” Story credit: Quora / Walt Moyo
No One Will Walk Me Down the Aisle
“Truthfully, at this point in my life, I would not participate in most of them. Many seem quite silly. But one that stands out in my mind is: I would not have anyone walk me down the aisle. I am a middle-aged woman and the idea of someone else giving me to someone seems ridiculous.” Story credit: Quora / Deanna Boskovich
Veils Just Hide Your Hair
“Veil. Just…why? It looks awful and hides the bride’s hair.” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
Ceremonies Themselves Are Unnecessary
“Well that would have to be the wedding ceremony itself. My parents raised me to believe that a simple, commonlaw marriage was good enough. By which I mean my mom just moved in with my dad and started using his last name and they addressed one another with spouse titles like husband and wife when asked.
But they had no marriage license, no paperwork, no certificates, there was no ceremony. My parents were fine with this for years and I grew up disliking the idea of a ceremony and certificates and stuff. I'm also an introvert so I can't imagine how embarrassing it would be to have all the people I love watching me in a big wedding dress saying vows.
Plus I'm not a Christian, not really anything, my beliefs are my own pieced together from my experience with various faiths around the world.” Story credit: Quora / Glenn Griffon
I Don’t Want to Be the Center of Attention
“I’m definitely not opposed to MARRIAGE. Of course I wouldn’t have a child with someone I wasn’t married to.
But the idea of spending that much money, time, and energy planning a party doesn’t really appeal to me — especially since I know I probably wouldn’t get to talk to the guests for more than a few minutes each.
I also don’t like being the center of attention, and think I would find spending a whole day having everyone ooh and aah over me to be exhausting. Like, if I’m crushing it at a basketball game, I don’t mind people cheering for me and chanting at me for that hour.
If I’m doing a live show, I don’t mind being in front of the audience… But in those cases, I’m the center of attention because I’m doing something I love, not because I’ve found someone to love…” Story credit: Quora / Eva Glasrud
Pronouncement Of Husband And Wife
“Not really necessary, is it? I mean…it’s our wedding, of course we’re gonna be married, right?” Story credit: Quora / Lea Sing
I Won’t Change My Name
"I don’t want to change my name or have the officiant announce me as “Mrs. [Insert name here]” at the end of the ceremony. I want us to find another creative way of announcing that we’ve made a lifelong commitment that doesn’t involve giving me a new name." Story Credit: Quora / Cherelle-Renée Childs