The Wedding Traditions We're Skipping

Our wedding is less than a month awa. For the first time since the beginning of the planning process, I don’t feel stressed out. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Almost all the details are checked off our list. And at the end of the day, we’ll have a weekend in Paris with family and friends. We’re getting married! Here are the wedding traditions we’re skipping.

The Wedding Traditions We’re Skipping

There are so many traditions – way more than I realized – and most have the craziest origins. We still need to figure out what our ceremony will look like. Will there be speeches? How will we walk down the aisle? What about a first dance? Would it be strange if our 16 guests watched us dance? Should everyone just with us?

I have gotten a few questions about what my wedding day will look like. And we clearly still have some details to work out, but here are the things i know won’t be a part of our wedding day.


Our Wedding Reception

A look at our wedding reception in Paris, France.


A Bridal Party

I’ve always wanted a small wedding so a bridal party wasn’t something I ever thought about. The thought of choosing my favorite friends to buy a dress they likely won’t wear again doesn’t make sense. And then picking one to be my maid of honor doesn’t feel right to me. I was so honored to stand by one of my best friends last year but this isn’t something that felt right for me. My closest girlfriends will be there with me and don’t need a title to know I love them.

Bridal shower

More gifts and more being the center of attention. No thanks. The concept of registering feels strange enough, so asking for more gifts didn’t seem necessary. No one seemed to disappointed about this one, either. We did have a couples engagement party (no gifts) on a boat – a lovely, low key night with friends that didn’t feel like it was all about us.


Since we’re not having a wedding party it was easy to make the decision to skip this one, too. A weekend getaway with girlfriends would have been fun but I wasn’t about to make girlfriends travel twice, and too many of my close friends are wedding photographers who work Saturdays. I almost caved and did a brunch or dinner with girlfriends but between our engagement party, wedding, and Chicago post-wedding party, decided to skip this one, too.

Wearing a veil

This tradition stems from Roman times when a bride covered her entire body in a red sheet (to make it look like she was on fire, naturally) disguising her from jealous evil spirits who want to ruin her wedding day. With or without the veil, I feel like our guests will probably know it’s me.

Not seeing each other before the ceremony

I can see how it would be really exciting to see each other for the first time at the ceremony that day – so much that Conor might stay in another room the night before our wedding. That said, this one dates back to arranged marriages – couples weren’t allowed to see each other before the ceremony since there was a fear the groom would back out of the arrangement if the bride wasn’t attractive enough. Aww. 

We plan on shooting in the city for an hour or two before the ceremony so not seeing each other wasn’t happening.

Being walked down the aisle

My dad isn’t in the picture so I’ve always had this one on my mind but ultimately, I don’t need to be given away. I’m not being purchased, so I will walk myself down the aisle or we’ll walk down together. Still TBD on this one. Any suggestions?

Bouquet and garter toss

Ok, I’m pretty sure no one wears a garter anymore and there’s a good reason because the origin is seriously creepy. The bride and groom showed the garter as proof of the consummation of their marriage by having witnesses come into the room with the couple while they consummated and then take the garter as proof. Nope.

There will be 16 guests at our wedding and a total of two single women. Tossing the bouquet would be super awkward, but I really don’t get this one, either.

The wedding cake

I’m not really a cake person and we’ll be in France, so we’re opting for croquembouche and French pastries which have always been my birthday dessert of choice over cake.

Matching wedding bands

Ok, so I did initially want our bands but Conor wanted yellow gold and I didn’t, and we’ll be wearing these forever, so we each got what we wanted. Easy. 

Throwing rice

Nothing says love like someone throwing uncooked carbs at you. But in all seriousness, rice is an old symbol of fertility and I’m in my mid 30s which according to the internet is scary (thanks, internet) so I may reconsider and have someone pour a pound of rice directly on me.


Our Wedding Weekend Events

Our Paris cocktail party and river cruise.