4 Timeless Wedding Traditions (And Some Modern Alternatives!)

It’s safe to say wedding traditions have continued to evolve over the years. Where once upon a time the wedding rule-book was followed pretty rigidly, these days we’re seeing more and more couples thinking outside the box to create a truly personalised celebration.

While we reckon some timeless wedding traditions can definitely be worth honouring, we’re also fans of shaking things up a little bit to better suit today’s modern era, too!

From wedding day attire to the bouquet toss and gift registry, keep reading for 4 of the most iconic wedding traditions along with some modern alternatives to be inspired by.

Photo by Shalyn Nelson

Tradition: The White Dress

A white wedding dress has become one of the most recognisable and most-loved traditions when it comes to bridal wear, dating back to the 1800s. Although fabrics and silhouettes have evolved throughout the decades, we do think there’s something pretty timeless about an elegant white wedding gown (although finding that perfect dress can feel like a mission!).

Photo by Ali Harper Photography

Alternatively: With this being said… maybe the classic white dress just isn’t your style! If the thought of a traditional white gown simply doesn’t fit your personality, why not consider a garment that better reflects who you are? From elegant jumpsuits to bold pops of colour, tulle skirts and 2-piece sets, we’ve loved seeing modern brides buck the white dress trend for an outfit that makes them feel more comfortable.

Accessories can also be used to update the classic white dress, too. More of a boho bride? Swap the lace veil for a flower crown, the heels for leather boots, and throw on a denim jacket. Take our bridal style quiz to help you find the perfect look for your big day!

Tradition: Being Given Away at the Aisle

The traditional father-daughter walk down the aisle actually dates back from an era when the bride was technically being handed over as “property”. But as times have changed, we now appreciate it instead as a beautiful gesture that symbolises the special relationship between daughter and dad. We definitely think this is a super sweet tradition and a once-in-a-lifetime moment to share with your dad during those nerve-wracking, butterfly-inducing final moments!

Photo by Alex Kwong

Alternatively: If you don’t love the idea of being given away and would prefer to walk down the aisle independently, why not plan a “first look” with your dad instead? Organise for your photographer to capture the moment your dad sees you on the morning of your wedding, allowing the two of you to share a private, emotional memory that you’ll both cherish forever (with the beautiful photos to look back on, too!).

Tradition: Gift-giving

Gift-giving at weddings was traditionally all about helping the newlyweds prepare for married life together, with presents they required for their new home. From crockery and cutlery sets to linen, homewares and appliances, you’ll still find several guests who are genuinely excited about gifting you something thoughtful and practical for your brand new chapter together.

Photo by Jordan Voth Photography

Alternatively: These days, many of us get hitched with many of these material possessions already ticked off our list. If you’d prefer not to have gifts given at your wedding, there are a plethora of modern gift registry alternatives you can consider instead! From wishing well donations and honeymoon funds to charity donations or even a request for no gifts whatsoever, you can feel free to choose a registry style (or lack thereof) that better suits your situation.

Tradition: The Bouquet Toss

The iconic bridal bouquet toss is one of the more historical traditions, meant as a good luck gesture to the catcher of the bouquet – believed to be the next in line to tie the knot. If you’ve been involved in a bouquet toss before, you’ll know this can be a fun way to kick off the evening festivities before getting the dance floor started.

Photo by Kayla Snell

Alternatively: If you don’t like the idea of putting pressure on your single girlfriends (which can sometimes feel uncomfortable), why not consider another recipient for your bouquet instead? Gift it to the couple who have been together the longest (usually an adorable pair of grandparents!), present a flower from your bouquet to each of the incredible women in your life, or donate your wedding blooms to a nursing home the next day.

While there’s definitely a time and place for certain wedding traditions, you should also feel completely free to shake them up or kick them to the curb altogether. Because the best part about your wedding day? It’s completely yours – so make sure it reflects you and your partner as authentically as possible, without worrying about the rule-book!