Wedding Traditions We Ditched at the Altar

wedding, ettington park hotel, ryan and sara photography

Let me tell you a secret – weddings in real life are nothing compared to the ones in films/movies. Shocking, right? I don’t know how they managed to make it so exciting in the films but let me tell you, the missed out the key part – just how stressful managing everything can be!

There were a few traditions that we decided to ditch at the altar to make the wedding process a lot smoother.

Wedding Traditions We Ditched at the Altar

01. He didn’t ask for my mum’s permission

When S got down on one knee the first thing I asked was, “Did you ask my parents?” He was a bit taken aback because a) He didn’t really think about it and b) I didn’t say yes immediately. I mean, of course I wanted to marry him, but did he ask my mum’s permission? After thinking about it I realised just how stupid it is. Our parents knew that we were in a strong and loving relationship, so why did S need their permission for?

02. We didn’t invite absolutely everyone

A sure way to cut down your guest list is to have a ‘no ring – no bring’ rule, which is exactly what we did at our wedding. Only two guests at our wedding were able to bring a plus one because they didn’t really know anyone, and I didn’t want them to feel left out! It saved us a lot of stress in the long run. My only advice is to make it absolutely clear on the invitations that you’re not having a plus one – two weeks before our wedding one of our family members assumed he was able to bring a plus one, so it was a bit awkward for us to turn him down. If you’ve been invited to a wedding then always, always ask about plus ones, and if the couple aren’t comfortable with it then respect that decision.

03. My bridesmaids walked down the aisle before me

We followed the American way and had my bridesmaids walk down the aisle before me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I searched for wedding traditions that I realised that this wasn’t the right way – in the UK, the bride usually walks first. It took the pressure off me too and made me feel a lot calmer as I walked down the aisle.

04. I forgot the garter

The whole tradition of having the groom taking off the garter wasn’t really my thing, but it was the only blue item that I had and I was shocked when I realised that I had forgotten it at home. Luckily my engagement ring had a blue stone in it so we were saved!

05. There were no flower girls & page boys

Another tradition we ditched – having flower girls and page boys. It was quite an easy decision for us to make because we didn’t actually know anyone who was at the right age for this.

06. We didn’t have a hen/stag party the night before

I cannot think of a worse thing than to waltz down the aisle with a heavy hangover, so I was glad that we didn’t stick to the tradition of having a hen do the night before the wedding. My MOH planned ours a couple of weeks beforehand, and I had the best time!

07. We didn’t walk down the aisle to traditional music

Instead we opted for “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri as I walked down the aisle, and then “I’m a Believer” by Smashmouth as we walked back together.

08. There wasn’t an order of service

Whenever I notice that there’s a timetable at the event I always find myself counting down to the most exciting part of the day – lunchtime. I didn’t want everyone to clock-watch at our wedding so we ditched the idea of having an order of service.

09. I held onto my flower bouquet

Usually it’s tradition that I toss my bouquet to a crowd of single ladies, and whoever catches it is going to get married next. However, there was no way that I was going to toss my flower bouquet, especially because Abbie Digweed did such an amazing job with them.

10. We weren’t whisked away on our honeymoon right after the wedding

We spent a few days after the wedding relaxing, and it was during that time that I fell really ill from all of the stress leading up to the big day. So it was a good thing that we didn’t go on our honeymoon straight after!

wedding bouquet

And that’s it! What wedding traditions did you ditch, or are planning to ditch, on your wedding day?


Lizzie xx

All photos were taken by the amazing duo Ryan & Sara, who I can’t thank enough. 

What do you think?

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  • Becster
    April 12, 2019

    Love this! I think we did exactly the same… pretty much ditched most traditions. Although I did walk down the aisle to traditional music – Canon in D on the harp… but that’s only because I knew we were walking back up the aisle to the Red Dwarf theme tune being played on the harp!

    The “no ring, no bring rule” is a good one to cut numbers but pretty rubbish if they’re all couples!

    • LizzieBee
      April 12, 2019

      Aah that is a classic, and I love how you balanced it with a non-traditional tune! My other half and his parents LOVE Red Dwarf.

      All of our friends and family have an other half, but they understood that weddings can be expensive and if you’re not close to their boyfriends/girlfriends, then it’s understandable. I mean, what if they broke up a week or so before the wedding? It really would’ve messed things up! So to save hassle we didn’t allow plus ones. We only had one person kick up a fuss about it so we were pretty lucky in that sense.

  • WritingIntoTheEther
    April 12, 2019

    It was ssoooo pretty! And your photos are amazing 🙂 thank you for letting me be a part of it! And also, great things to cut out – anything that causes you extra stress on your wedding day is a no-no!

  • Jenna
    April 12, 2019

    Great post – I love how you embraced the wedding traditions and ditched/altered the ones that weren’t totally you 🙂 Your pictures are just gorgeous – must have been an amazing night!
    -Jenna <3
    Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake

  • Sammy Mann
    April 12, 2019

    This just answered my question from your other post about whether or not you went straight off on honeymoon straight after the wedding. There are so many things that no one tells you about how to plan a wedding! Me and my fiance are trying to just do things how we want to do them, and stay calm and comfortable doing them 🙂

    Sammy |

  • Hani
    April 12, 2019

    What a lovely post ? I plan to ditch some traditions as well I guess. The first thing was the proposal. He didn’t get on his knee for me, in fact I was the one asking him to marry me ? Everyone was kind of shocked when I told them… We’re not planning to go on a big honeymoon instantly, instead just have a few days off together. I don’t want any bridesmaids, only a MoH. Also the first dance won’t be a classic waltz I guess. There’s still so much to do ? At least I still got time, since the wedding will be next summer ?