With planning a wedding you can imagine there is a lot of stress, budget planning and decisions to make, but what hadn’t realised and quickly discovered was that sometimes also comes a lot of pressure, expectations and conflict! Everyone has an idea of what they imagine a wedding to be but for G and I, we wanted a wedding that was ultimately a celebration of our love with our friends and family which lead to us breaking some traditions that weren’t suited to us. Here’s the low down on those traditions we ditched!
My Husband Took my Surname
I guess the biggest tradition we broke was that my husband took my surname. I want to make a video on the reasons why he and I made this decision but this meant a huge amount to me. We kept the decision completely secret (bar his parents and our bridesmaids and groomsmen) until we were announced into our wedding breakfast, and it was one of my favourite moments of the day – seeing my parent’s complete shock that our family name would be continued and surprising so many guests at the same time.
I understand this could also be quite taboo in some traditional families and this makes me even more grateful to have in-laws that have always been SO supportive in mine and Geoff’s relationship and in our decisions. We discussed the decision with them a few months before the wedding and they were so excited, understanding and even joked about changing their surname too.
I had a Bridesman
I met one of my best and oldest friends on Myspace when we were around 15 years old and despite the fact that he lives in Wales, he is still one of the most cherished people in my life. He has been by my side through SO many bad relationships and has been one of the only people that I felt I could be 100% myself around growing up. For those reasons I wanted him by my side on my wedding day and I was so happy he said yes to being my beardsman! I actually felt so lucky that I was able to have all my favourite and closest friends by my side on my wedding day without any outside opinions on the matter as I know that those with large friendship groups can struggle with choosing their wedding party on the day.
We had an adults only wedding.
The tradition of having a childfree wedding is becoming more and more common these days and it was a decision we made for our day, (with the exception of my niece and the best man’s baby, both under 1 and who we wanted as a special part of our day). We told our guests this over a year in advance giving them plenty of time to make arrangements and made our decision based on a whole number of factors. One – at our age, almost all of our friends have children now and for that reason, it would have been a lot more expensive had we had them. We also wanted to keep the numbers down and have a small-ish day (80 people) which wouldn’t have been possible had we invited children. The venue also wasn’t the most ideal for children running around and fourth – it was just how we envisioned our day (and really, we shouldn’t even really have to give explanations – it was our wedding day that we were spending an awful lot of money on and we deserved to have the day we wanted). Unfortunately that caused an awful lot of drama within my extended family, the details of which I won’t go into, but which ultimately caused half of my family to drop out two weeks before the wedding despite us making exceptions for them too. The guilt, blackmail and stress this caused me was so bad I eventually needed therapy at the realisation that my families love wasn’t quite as unconditional as I’d thought.
We were lucky enough to have the day we wanted in the end, but in hindsight it made me even more certain that it was the right decision for us – the party was WILD, our parent friends were able to be there fully for us without distraction and they were able to let their hair down (and thanked us for it afterwards). Our catering for children was £130 per head (more for adults) so it also kept the cost down. If you’re reading this and struggling with family politics at the moment, remember it’s your day and you deserve the day you want and the right people and family will respect and support your decision.
Bride gave a speech
I always knew I’d love to give a speech on my wedding day and it was actually one of the highlights of mine and my husband, Geoff’s day. I started writing it a couple of months before the day and was so excited to tell my side of our love story, with anecdotes, shout outs and thanks to our fav people. Our photographer captured the BEST pics of our guests cracking up during my speech which are some of my fav pics from the day.
First look with the groomsmen.
A month or two before the wedding I saw a new trend of the bride having a ‘first look’ with the groomsmen before the wedding ceremony. I showed a couple of videos to G and we thought it a was brilliant way to relax my nerves before the ceremony and also to have a little moment with Geoff’s best friends who have become my besties too throughout our relationship. The way they welcomed me into their gang and the relationship I have with them is so special and so I was so excited to see them and quickly catch up before I walked down the aisle. It ended with a big bear hug and was the perfect start to the ceremony!
We did things our way
Whilst I wore a garter on my wedding day (made out of the leftover fabric from my wedding dress), there were some old traditions we said no to, such as the garter removal (ew). I’ve always found the idea of bouquet throwing icky, seeing women jump and fight to be the next to get married, plus my flowers were way too gorgeous to throw, so we scrapped this tradition. We also didn’t make a big deal of cutting the cake in front of an audience (yes it’s a great picture moment but we didn’t want to bore our guests to watch us use a knife). Instead we had five minutes to ourselves on the balcony with our photographer to cut the cake, have a cuddle and a sway together whilst our guests partied downstairs.
Surprises throughout the day
We also had some surprises for our guests throughout the day which aren’t typical for a traditional wedding, such as guests were given shots between main course + dessert to reset their palette. We hid secret envelopes underneath the chairs of 8 selected guests and had them take part in a mission to become our VIPie’s to serve our main course on wooden crates and in the evening, our band danced around the room and got in with the crowd instead of simply standing on a stage!
I’m SO glad with the traditions we broke and although some of them came at a cost, I don’t regret them as it meant we had a wedding that was truly us and because of the money and time we spent organising the day, we at least got the day we wanted.
I’d love to know what wedding traditions you would break!
Venue: Wiltons Music Hall | Photographer: Ed Godden | Catering: Easy Gourmet | Flowers: Minoux Florists | Videographers: PaperTwin (complimentary) | Dress: Catherine Deane | Shoes: Loeffer Randall | Bag: Vintage via Vinted | Earrings: Helix and Conch | Suits: Jack Bunnys | Bridesmaids: Highstreet | Entertainment Band: New York Brass Band | Transport: London Bus | Cake: Lily Vanilli | Makeup: Jennifer Makeup + Bobbi Brown (complimentary) | Hair: Jack + Samantha Cusick (complimentary) | Perfume: Jo Malone (Complimentary) | Confetti: Proper Confetti | Bow: Gigi + Olive | Lashes: Nouveau Lashes | Brows: HD Brows | Save The Dates: Wilbert and Willow | Wedding Invite Design: Kristyna |