Marriage is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
When I started to plan out my wedding with my partner, I soon realized how much bullshit it involves. A traditional wedding is an ordeal that's filled with overpriced items, superficial gestures, and more little doodads than you could shake a stick at.
It's very hard to fully realize how much work goes into putting a traditional wedding ceremony together until you actually have to play wedding planner yourself. It's not just involved, either. It's expensive!
The more you actually add up all the "traditional" tchotchkes like ring pillows and corsages, the more you start to understand why a typical wedding costs as much as a car. Eventually, I ended up saying it all wasn't worth it.
My partner and I started to look for new wedding traditions that can take the place of traditional acts. Here are some of the coolest ideas that we found.
Alternative Wedding Rings
I personally have a lot of beef with the old diamond ring tradition. This tradition was actually started by DeBeers in the early 30s, which makes it more of a corporate shill than anything else.
There was never a need to spend a month's salary on a ring; DeBeers told people to do that. There was never special symbolism behind a diamond ring; they just wanted to have people buy a stone that wasn't really that popular back then.
To make matters worse, a lot of the diamonds sold in engagement rings and wedding rings are blood diamonds. In other words, they are mined by people in war-torn countries, often using slave labor.
One of the hottest new wedding traditions to take hold is the creation of alternative wedding rings. These rings can be made from any stone, any material, and any design. In most cases, they're handmade by artisans who really enjoy making art.
If you ask me, that's a tradition worth trying out!
The last thing that any married couple wants to see when they look back at photo albums are candid photos of people taking selfies while you're declaring your love to one another.
Sometimes, new wedding traditions arise out of necessity. Having phones put away out of sheer respect is one of those things that's become necessary to do.
The fact that this is such a huge issue is pretty telling, isn't it?
A lot of couples are starting to wonder why wedding cakes are worth it. I mean, really—$500 for a goddamned cake? That's the price of rent in some areas!
As couples are getting increasingly fed up with the prices of baked dough covered in white fondant, they are beginning to seek out other types of goods to celebrate the big day. Some choose to do wedding cupcakes. Others are opting for mini cakes.
I've actually heard of couples who skip the cake altogether, opting instead for pie or fruit salad. Considering that a wedding cake can easily cost hundreds of dollars and you are probably looking for ways to save money on your wedding, you might end up saving quite a bunch with this idea.
Skipping Cake Smashing
I don't honestly know how this tradition got started, but isn't it a little bit weird? Smashing a cake in someone's face is pretty disrespectful in most situations, but when you're married to the person, it's okay?
While talking to a professional wedding planner, they told me that couples who took part in this old tradition had higher rates of divorce than the norm. I'm inclined to believe that.
Here's a novel idea: Don't ruin cake you spent hundreds of dollars on with a shitty food fight.
Colorful Wedding Dresses
People who hail from Asian cultures might not be able to claim this as a new tradition, but for many Westerners, wearing a colorful wedding dress is a fairly novel idea.
The old tradition of wearing white was meant to represent that a bride was pure—but really, who has time for all that chastity crap? As a fan of bright colors and unique styles, I wanted a wedding outfit that made me feel alive.
I ended up choosing a black and neon blue wedding ensemble, making my appearance a part of one of the coolest new wedding traditions I ever took part in. By just switching the color and outfit type, I easily shaved off hundreds of dollars from the price of my wedding.
More importantly, I got to have a wedding that made me feel like a true princess.
Brides Making Speeches
Weddings are romantic, sure, but they definitely aren't exactly egalitarian if you think about it. A lot of the traditions that are typically done are fairly patriarchal in nature.
I mean, at one point during a typical ceremony, the father of the bride literally gives his daughter away. What is she? Chattel? Millennials and younger generations are starting to notice this, and they're crafting new wedding traditions to equalize things.
Couples Getting Ready Together
It wasn't too long ago that people insisted it was bad luck for a groom to see the bride before the wedding. Those days are long gone, and now, one of the more common new wedding traditions includes the couple getting ready together.
If you think about it, it's really sweet. This gives the bride and groom the opportunity to walk down the aisle together after giving each other an epic pep talk. The couple that works together, stays together!
Let's talk about the price of the wedding a little more, shall we? A typical wedding is around $25,000 to $30,000. Traditionally, the bride's family foots the bill in its entirety.
Back in 1950, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Unfortunately, a lot of families make $30,000 in a single year. Trying to have one family foot the whole bill is just not happening for most of us.
A newer, better, and fairer idea would be to have both parties foot the bill equally. You guys are all going to be family, so wouldn't it make sense for both parties to pitch in?
This is one of the more enjoyable new wedding traditions I've seen take hold, and it really seems to be a good way for bar-loving couples to enjoy their time together.
This tradition says that you should work together to come up with a signature wedding cocktail. Then, you can either serve it at the bar, send recipes to guests, or just use it as an anniversary treat. How you work it is up to you, but regardless, signature drinks are a winning wedding idea.
As a fan of being told to eat, drink, and be merry, I totally approve of this tradition.
Getting Rid of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
I had a couple of friends pitch massive fits because they weren't asked to be bridesmaids at my "rough draft" wedding planning party. More ridiculously, said friends were male and they wanted to wear dresses to the celebration.
Traditionally, there should be an even bridesmaid-groomsmen ratio, but there's no way this was happening. So, you want to know what you should do if you don't have enough friends to be bridesmaids? Like many other new wedding traditions, be rid of the roles. I do not regret it.