Marriage has changed a lot since the days when a wedding was seen as a way to transition a young woman from her father’s care to her husband’s. Although the sentiments behind a wedding ceremony have changed, the celebrations themselves have remained largely the same…until recently. 

As our views of marriage evolve, there are certain wedding traditions that don’t seem to fit in like they once did. Couples are waiting longer to get married, careers often come before finding a spouse, and many couples choose to live together before getting married. Many engaged couples want their wedding to reflect their changing views on marriage, and that means there are some traditions that have got to go.

Here are a few wedding day traditions we’ve seen slowly start to fade away.

Wedding reception outside in the backyard. Bride and groom with a family standing around the table. Aerial view.

“Giving Away” the Bride

This tradition dates back to when young girls went straight from their father’s homes to their husband’s. Looking even farther into the past, the bride’s family would have paid a dowry to the groom, which might include money, property, or both. The walk down the aisle was the transference of the bride from belonging to her father, to belonging to her new husband. 

Of course, many don’t think of it that way today, and it’s typically seen as a sweet moment between a father and a daughter before she becomes a wife. But even though this tradition doesn’t represent the same things it used to, 25% of couples are choosing to reject it. Many brides prefer to go down the aisle solo. 

Father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle

White Wedding Dresses

White dresses once represented a virginal bride. Without going into too much detail, many people are waiting until they’re much older to get married, and many have already been married once. As a result, a white wedding dress doesn’t hold quite the same meaning today.

While some brides choose to simply bend tradition by opting for an ivory or cream-colored dress, many choose to completely break the chains of tradition and go for a blush or bright colored dress. It’s your day, right? Why let tradition dictate what you’re going to wear?

Beauty wedding bouquet in bride's hands


While couples are still choosing to have their friends stand with them during their wedding, many are looking past gender when it comes to who stands with who. Female friends of the groom are standing as the best “man”, and brides are asking their guy friends to stand with them. For many couples tying the knot these days, the role a person plays in someone’s life is more important than their gender. 

Changing Your Last Name

This one has been on its way out for a while, as more and more women are establishing professional names for themselves prior to getting married. 

In 2018, just 36 percent of brides took the groom’s surname, showing that Millenials and Gen Z don’t put as much stock in this tradition as their parents’ did. The surname debate continues to evolve and change, as many choose to hyphenate or continue to use their maiden name in a professional setting.

The Bride’s Family Paying

As wedding costs rise, and celebrations become more extravagant, many couples choose to split the cost between families, or just pay for their day themselves. This is another tradition that dates back to dowries, so it makes sense that this approach would evolve. Couples are also often older when they get married, and they have established careers and make their own money. It’s a far cry from the days when people got married at 18 (or younger!) and didn’t have any money to get started. 


Don’t worry, you’ll still get fed at weddings! But many couples are changing up the way they do dinner. Rather than the traditional (and expensive) three-course sit-down dinner, couples are turning to local faves to cater their day, or even opting for food trucks. Guests go up and place their order when they’re ready and the truck drives away when dinner is over. It’s a fun twist on a yummy tradition. 

Male customer buying food at truck

No matter what traditions you choose to ditch and which you choose to hang onto, the important thing is making it a day that celebrates the beginning of a wonderful journey for you and your future spouse. Celebrate your love in whatever ways make you happiest. 

Need some wedding planning tips? Give us a call and let us help you plan your big day! You can reach our event coordinators by email or phone at 877-545-1002.