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unconventional bride

I consider myself a more modern, unconventional bride. There are so many traditions out there that just didn't resonate with me at all. I believe a bride should feel comfortable enough to have a choice and that can feel so empowering to make these decisions on your own. This being said, I wanted to share some of the things I decided to forego at my wedding.

  • The bouquet toss: Part of this decision was due to my budget-savvyness (getting rid of a bouquet I paid for; throwing it to someone who would do who knows what with), but I also don't like the undertone: the implying that the woman who catches it will be the next to be married. Personally, I feel like it's a part of that “women should want to get married” mentality that I don't go for.
  • The garter retrieval: Alright, so…this grosses me out. I actually don't know why this is a tradition. IMHO I think it's too sexual and awkward, and thankfully, J could careless too.
  • Not seeing each other 'til the ceremony: I'm by no means superstitious, so this one was easy to get over. I really love the First Look trend, and that's what we decided to do. Not only does it make for a great photo opp, but I kept thinking I'd need to see J before we exchange vows. He calms me down, and I want to feel peaceful when I make that walk down the aisle.
  • “Giving away” the bride: This one's a biggie for me. I just can't ignore the patriarchal roots of this tradition. I know this one means a lot to many brides, and I think it's wonderful when you see a bride coming down the aisle with her father. However, I am choosing to walk down with both my mother and my father. I feel I am a part of my mother as much as I am my father, and I wanted them both to experience this with me. I was shocked when my mom actually went for this; we had discussed me going it alone or walking down with J also; she wasn't pleased with those options. I found out after I made this decision that it's actually a Jewish wedding tradition which I think is pretty cool.
  • Ring bearer & Flower girl: I love kids, but I don't want some little kids stealin' my spotlight. JUST KIDDING!!! Really though-skipping this tradition saved us time and money (no dresses or suits needed; no organizing with the ‘rents), and in both of our families, we really don't have any kids to choose from. I think it can be a cute thing, but I don't mind that I'm not doing it.
  • Seating: Our ceremony seating will probably consist of a center aisle and two sides of seating, but I'm not for the “Bride or groom?” thing. I also am not doing a seating chart for the reception (Haven't we learned from movies and tv that those are just a headache?). I'm very much a fan of the “sit where you want” mentality.
  • Our music: I love me some classical music, but I think something that defines J and me as a couple is that we both enjoy newgrass/folksy music, and we've spent many afternoons listening to it. So in choosing our music, our selections are all songs that hold meaning and/or are by our favorite artists. I am thoroughly excited about the song I'm walking down the aisle to which I will not mention just in case J reads this! I think this is a simply way to make your wedding “you”, so if you're a classic kind of girl, use that Beethoven.
  • Tying the knot: We've seen liquid or sand ceremonies, lighting of the candle, etc. Nothing seemed to fit for us. Enter: Pinterest. I found this pin that shows a bride and groom ‘tying the knot', and I was sold. I think it's adorable, and it fits in perfectly with our modern wedding day.

So brides, this post was to encourage you to make your wedding day personal. No matter what you decide on the traditions, your wedding will be uniquely you because you chose how it'll all go. Best wishes to you all!

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About Laura

Laura is a 26-year old school counselor living in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Laura is married to the love of her life Josh, whom she met online in February 2010. He proposed in a beautiful park on January 19, 2013, and they had an intimate and elegant wedding at an Asheville vineyard on April 26, 2014.

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  • Julie C

    Glad to see someone else is on the same page as me. I was telling someone all of the things we aren’t doing (ie. everything above plus no guest book…they all seem lame and useless to me) and their response was “What are you doing then?” Well, we are getting married in the way that seems most appropriate for us as a couple! Bravo!!

  • Julie C

    And I just realized you are in Hendersonville. My fiancee and I live in Fletcher 🙂

    • Laura W

      Wow, that’s so awesome!!! Sounds like we’d be great friends.

  • Natalie

    I love that as moden brides we aren’t as tied down to the old traditions. I am right there with you in most of these. The only thing I’d urge you to reconsider is the seating chart. Obviously going without is easier on us brides, but it can be really stressful for guests. I’ve been so distracted and worried about getting a “good” seat at the reception that I’ve been totally preoccupied during the ceremony. Obviously it’s your day and your decision, just thought I’d share my experience 🙂

  • anna


  • Ashleigh

    I too skipped having my dad walk me in. We did something completely different. Instead, my parents walked in after the groom’s parents, and my husband and I walked in together. It seemed a good way to show that we thought of each other as equals.

    My dad was sad, but I still did a father-daughter dance with him, and he was supportive.

  • Ashley Lurcott

    Love the “tying the knot” idea… my husband and I did a modified “hand fasting” at our wedding last September – it made much more sense for us than the unity candle or sand!

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