After seven years in this industry, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when it comes to your wedding, everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks their opinion is right. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, someone is going to have something to share. One of the hardest parts of wedding planning can be learning how to listen to everyone’s opinions, making them feel heard and then at the end of the day doing what’s best for you.

The number one thing everyone seems to have an opinion on are wedding traditions such as the groom can’t see the bride before the wedding, bouquet and garter tosses, signature dances, cake cutting and more. And while these traditions can be fun and are deep rooted in meaning, they aren’t always necessary.

I often find clients asking me if it’s okay to skip one thing or another. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know the answer is always “you do you.” But, sometimes it’s nice to hear a little validation that you can in fact skip the tradition if it doesn’t appeal to you. Here are five wedding traditions you can totally skip and you’re guests won’t even know the difference.

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#1 – Wedding Favors: I talk about this often, but wedding favors can be a major budget killer. The cost can really add up and most of the time they get left behind at the end of the night leaving you with an excessive amount of koozie with your names on them. You’re guests will thank you for cluttering their cabinets with yet another trinket they won’t use.

#2 – Cake Cutting: This tradition can go either way. I think that if you’re having a traditional tiered cake that you should do a ceremonial cut. However, with dessert bars and cake alternatives becoming more and more popular, you don’t have to do a cake cutting unless you just really want to.

#3 – Grand Exit: By the time you’re ready to leave the reception, a lot of your guests will have already gone home. Plus on top of that it will be dark which limits your options for cool pictures especially with many venues prohibiting sparklers now. Additionally, if you’re throwing an after party and guests will see you again in about 10 minutes when you get to the bar, it just doesn’t make much sense. If you’re in it for the really cool picture, I suggest doing something as you’re recessing up the aisle after saying “I Do.” All your guests will be in their seats, present and since it’s daylight, you have way more options.

#4 – Toasts: I still encourage the host of the evening to say a short something. But, no one needs to hear your college buddy tell the story of how you drunkenly met one night. No one seems to remember when they don’t happen and you can avoid the potentially embarrassing and awkward moments.

#5 – Bouquet/Garter Tosses: Think about your friends. How many of them are already married? A good number of them right? As the median age of couples getting married has risen, the number of people participating in bouquet and garter tosses has decreased. Plus, the time spent trying to get everyone on the dance floor is time you could have spent celebrating!

Now of course, as I always state, you have to do what’s right for you and your wedding. If any of these traditions are important to you, then absolutely include them. But, if you were on the fence and feeling a little like you were obligated to have them, then it’s 100% okay to skip. It should also be noted you can skip any tradition you like. You aren’t just limited to these five.

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