Wedding traditions have been altering in the UK over the years. Take a look at how we’re currently embracing them
It’s almost inevitable that wedding traditions will play a part in your big day, mainly because if you are (even if it’s just a teensy bit) traditional enough to embrace getting married then a few more will probably be incorporated somewhere in the celebrations. But how are the UK wedding traditions changing? Here are 8 examples of how the UK is modifying those old style customs.
Read more: Cultural Wedding Traditions
The Bride and Groom
The most important change in recent years has been the inclusion of gay marriage. Weddings are no longer purely that of one man and one woman. Love rules! With this also comes the removal of a traditional proposal. Equality has assisted in widening the gap for any gender to feel free to propose. There’s no need to sit back and wait to be asked. Go for it!
The local church has been the number one wedding venue for a long time. Now, venues can be as vast as the ocean, literally. Some scuba mad couples take the plunge and marry with the marine life; some prefer the sandier shores and embrace the Seychelles. With vintage themes continuing in popularity couples are preferring to be at one with nature so woodlands and gardens too are being turned into beautiful fairy-tale settings for the most magical high tea you’ll ever have. Receptions have been hosted, no longer in the church or village halls or even in marquees but in tepees, castles and even sporting grounds.Some of the more adventurous couples have married bungee jumping and skydiving so, when you’re thinking of a location, the sky’s the limit.
Obey the Vows
To love, honour and obey is now being altered in many vows at the request of the couples to just include ‘love’ and ‘honour’. The move away from traditional venues also means that many couples are writing their own vows to better suit their relationship and wedding ambience.
The White Dress
As a bride you no longer have to look like a toilet roll holder - unless you wish to of course. Elegant lines and a variety of dress lengths to suit all figures can be sourced. Or, if a hem line isn't your thing then maybe a trouser suit, sari or bikini. White and off-white are still the most popular colour choices for wedding dresses but it is becoming more common to opt for a complete colour alternative or to include accents of colour to tie in with the rest of the wedding colour theme.
The Bank of Mum and Dad
Traditionally it was the father of the bride who paid for the wedding. But also, traditionally the marriage was more of a business arrangement. Thankfully, daughters are no longer a commodity and also, luckily for a lot of couples, most parents from both sides will also offer to chip in, sometimes to pay for the wedding completely. However, as an independent couple you may wish to maintain control of your special day. Sometimes when money is involved, even the most loving of parents take over and start inviting old work colleagues and great aunt Bessie three times removed, and as for the bungee jumping idea, forget it. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to pay for your own wedding day and then if anyone wants to offer assistance call it a kind gift.
Daddy, Mummy or Patch the Dog
Speaking of family and their role in traditional weddings, it was always customary for the father of the bride to give his daughter away. These days, people are choosing to have other family members walk them down the aisle or both parents together. Sometimes one decides to go it alone. Perfect if you like all eyes on you or want to assert your independence, but there is another option, and this is a crowd pleaser, the companion who never lets you down – a beloved pet to accompany you.
The Least Favourite Favour
The almond - traditionally five sugar coated almonds were wrapped as a wedding favour for each guest to symbolise health, wealth, fertility, happiness and long-life. The uneaten almonds are, thankfully, now just a distant memory. Luckily for guests in this modern age they have a little surprise package waiting for them at the reception which could include: mini bubble gum machines, seeded paper, handmade chocolates, personalised key rings, photographs in mini frames and even mini games which really liven up the table. Ultimately, the choices are limitless and far more enjoyable.
Let Them Eat … Cheese
The top tier of the wedding cake was traditionally a fruit cake. It would be wrapped up and safely stored until used at the christening of the first born. Now, the variety of cakes on offer vary from elaborate chocolate constructions to the non-cake cake such as cheese stacks. Cakes play a pivotal role in the celebration still, as a focal point and a custom where the couple cut the cake, so why not go for something which suits your style and taste. Not only can your cake to look beautiful but it should taste beautiful too. After all, your guests won’t hesitate to take a slice or two. From fresh raspberry mouse and white chocolate to exotic coconut and rum or even a warming cinnamon, whatever the flavour, whatever the design you can find someone who can create the perfect show stopper for your special day.
So there you have it, 8 changes in UK wedding traditions for you to consider. The question is, will you keep it traditional?
Read more: Wedding Traditions: To Ditch or Not to Ditch