If you’ve been to a few weddings, you know that while each one is true to the couple you’re there to celebrate, there are also a lot of things that each of them have in common. We like to call these the typical wedding traditions. They are wonderful and are used again and again with good reasons. From toasts from the Best Man and Maid of Honor to the bride’s veil to the bouquet toss, there are dozens of traditions we love to watch play out in slightly different variations at every wedding.

But, it made us start to wonder: Is there a way to slightly revamp some of the traditions to make your wedding day even more unique? 

Before we get into it, we want to throw a disclaimer out there. If you do all of these things in the traditional way – that’s great. If you do some of them and eliminate others all together – go for it. If you want to switch up every single one of them – we can’t wait to see it. No matter what you decide, it will come together wonderfully because it’s your day. We’re not writing this blog post to say that the typical wedding traditions are a bad thing (in fact, there are plenty of them we hope always stay!) but we know how easy it is to not love some traditions and think the only option is to just deal with it or eliminate it all together. We wanted to show you ways where you can keep tradition and what it adds to your day, but update it to be more reflective of your love story.

Wedding Toasts Revamped: Wedding Videos

We love a good wedding toast, but we also think it would be great to either incorporate those toasts into a video or have your Best Man and Maid of Honor do their toast at the rehearsal dinner so you can show a short video of your love story instead. Showing a video is a super fun way to let your guests get to know you a bit more and show off some of your favorite aspects of your relationship. Love the wedding video idea but not a fan of ditching the toasts? You could also have a video playing on a loop in the entryway or on the patio that your guests could go and watch throughout the night.

Bouquet Toss Revamped: Longest Married Dance

Oh, the bouquet and garter toss. Of all of the wedding traditions, we think this one is the most commonly ditched. If it’s not something you’re interested in, you can spend the time you would have spent on it showing off the couple that’s been married the longest, instead of the friend that’s most likely to get married next. Choose a song for your DJ or band to play and invite all of your married guests out to the dance floor. Have your emcee announce, in increasing increments, the number of years of marriage until one couple is left dancing, then gift them with your bouquet and ask them for a piece of marriage advice to share with the crowd. If you’re planning on preserving your bouquet, you can skip that step or gift them with a bridesmaid’s bouquet.

Bridal Party Revamped: House Party

And speaking of bridesmaids, you don’t have to have them. We’ve seen an increasing number of people either have house parties only or have a bridal party and a house party. You can do it in a lot of different ways, but for this purpose a house party is basically inviting a group of your friends to be guests of honor at your wedding – they can get ready with you (if you want), typically you ask them to wear coordinating dresses, and they get to be a part of all of the pre-wedding festivities but don’t have to stand at the alter with you, give toasts, be introduced at the reception, etc. You can take a couple of photos with them too, but they are normally a bit more casual so you have more time for couples photos or something else that’s important for you to have included in your day.

Wedding Favors Revamped: Wedding Experiences

This is one tradition that is already pretty much transitioning, but we’re still throwing it in. It’s no longer expected to give your guests a physical gift as a parting reminder of your day. Instead, take the money you would have spent on favors and make it an experience for your day – photos with donkeys at cocktail hour, bringing in Whataburger for a late night snack, dance floor props, cigar rollers, dessert bars, the list goes on and on.

Guest Book Revamped: Not a Book

Want to have a guest book that you’re likely to look at for years to come? Then you probably don’t want the (very) traditional guestbook where each guests writes their name on a line and says “congrats!” For a revamped guest book, you have a few different options. You can do something book-eqsue, like creating a photo book for people to sign or having people sign their name by their favorite Bible verse, or go away from books all together. Signs for your home, rocking chairs for your back porch, serving platters that you can get sealed and use for years to come, ornaments for a Christmas tree, funny question prompts… you get the idea. Have your guests sign something that is either representative of you or can be used in your home.

Bridal Veil Revamped: Bridal Headpiece or Cape

We’ve talked about bridal styles before, and it’s honestly one of our favorite topics because every.single.bride. is so darn stunningly beautiful that we’ll never get over it. But, one major tradition is for the bride to wear white and wear a veil. We’ll always love a bride in white and off-white, but veils are so fun to change up. You can find a unique veil (like these that we highlighted on our top 10 Pinterest Trends) or you can ditch the veil all together and accent in a different way. Love the idea of a veil on your head? A hair piece or floral crown may be perfect for you. Adore the dramatics of a long veil? A cape could be the perfect fit. If you want some more ideas for how to mix up your bridal looks, click here for our blog all about it.

Wedding Dinner Revamped: Experiential Dinner

Finally, one of the biggest revamps you can make for your big day is changing how you do dinner and making it more of an experience for your guests. Family style dinners, plated dinners or serving stations are all ways to revamp the traditional wedding dinner and encourage your guests to get an experience out of the dinner that they are having. Want to revamp dinnertime with a buffet or take the above options a step further? See if you can serve food that’s true to your relationship and tell people why you chose the meal that you did with a card on each table. If you had pizza every Friday night while you’re dating, bring it in for a late night snack and let guests know it’s on the way. If short ribs are your favorite meal to cook at home together, put them on the menu. Or, if you have a time honored family recipe, see if your caterer is willing to recreate it.

A big part of revamping wedding traditions to keep in mind is that it’s not about trying to not be like everyone else or trying to go against tradition, but rather about creating a day that gives you the memories and experiences you want. Some of them provide a different experience for your guests, some of them are about giving you something different to look back on, and some of them do both. So, what do you think? Are there any things you want to revamp for your wedding now? Anything you did or plan to do that we missed? Let us know. We love hearing about your big day!

Vermillion Vendor Spotlight:

Coordinated and Florals by R&R Events

Catered by Werner’s

DJ, Photo Booth, and Videography by Toast Entertainment

Bartending by Bartenders4You

Photography by Tim Waters Photography

Cake by Naegelin’s Bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes

Hair and Makeup by Beauty Concepts 22

Donkeys by Borracho Burros

Officiated by Bradley Fretwell