Weddings are a very traditional ceremony (usually), but often we don’t think about where those traditions come from or what they really mean. Women are no longer seen as the property of men, nor are they expected to become child-bearing machines as soon as the ceremony is over. So, what outdated wedding traditions are there, and what can you do instead?
You could also go the other way completely and have a REALLY traditional wedding. After all, our modern services are descended from Roman weddings, so a traditional wedding could include the groom sacrificing a cow and looking for omens in the liver!
Asking Dad before popping the question
Traditionally the groom needs to get the permission of his beloved’s father before proposing. However, the decision to get married does not belong to him – it belongs to the two people who actually intend to spend their lives together. Make it clear to your hubby that the only person they need permission from is you.
Giving the bride away
Another sexist ritual that comes from a time when women were seen as the property of men, and a wedding was simply a transfer of ownership from father to husband. Rather than being given away, lots of modern brides are having their parents walk ahead of them up the aisle, so that they can have their moment in the sun to themselves.
Having the wedding in a church
In modern Australia fewer than 5% of people regularly go to church. In fact, “no religion” was the largest nominated religious group on the latest census! Given that it is extremely unlikely that religion has played or will play a role in your life with your partner, why would you choose to celebrate your love in a church?
Tossing the bouquet/garter
Traditionally the bouquet toss (and the more risqué garter toss) was to bring luck to single friends. The woman who catches the bouquet, or man who catches the garter, is apparently going to be the next to marry. Now, however, marriage is not an essential part of a good life and it is insulting to assume that your friends are desperate to marry.
This is a big tradition to break – after all, lots of women look fantastic in that white dress. The colour symbolises virginity, however, and how many people still wait for marriage to have sex for the first time? There are also increasing numbers of second marriages, so it is time to give the idea that the dress needs to be white the boot.