Five alternative wedding tradition ideas
You don’t have to go down the traditional route for your wedding (Picture: Koby and Terilyn Brown, Archetype Studio Inc)

When you’re beginning to plan your dream wedding, you’ll automatically think of all the traditions or formalities that go with it, because surely that’s just what everyone does isn’t it?

Well, no actually. There aren’t really any rules anymore, so if you are worried about forcing unwanted formalities into your day, then don’t be.

Here’s five examples of how you can shake things up and do things the way you want for your big day…

1. Adopt a ‘first look’

Whilst walking down the aisle can be an amazing moment, for some the fear of having all eyes on them can be too much. To ease the nerves, before you say ‘I do’, you could consider a ‘first look’ before your ceremony. This is a private moment where you and your husband-to-be meet for the first time, but just the two of you (and usually your photographer), a perfect peaceful moment within a calm surrounding to ease those nerves so you can walk down the aisle with confidence and excitement.

Wedding ideas: a 'first look'
The first look (Picture: Joanna Brown Photography,

2. Mix up the speeches

Speeches are often one of the most drawn out parts of the day and the mere mention can send some guests to sleep but, of course, they are also a special moment for the couple. So, why not kick off with your speeches as your guests take their seats so they are comfortable and still fairly sober? Or, you can spread them out before each course, but just make sure your caterer knows!

Bride's wedding speeches
Spread the speeches out so your guests don’t get distracted (Picture: Emma Case Photography,

3. Enjoy a ‘last dance’ 

We’ve all been there – watching the first awkward ‘shuffle’ wondering just how long that Adele song is going to go on for… well, if you think you’ve got two left feet then skip the first dance and end the night with a last dance instead. Choose something upbeat, which will naturally become an anthem for the night (and beyond!) and thanks to copious glasses of fizz and wine, no one is going to be looking at your two left feet.

Wedding ideas: a last dance
You’ll find the last dance far more fun than the first one (Picture: James Melia,

4. Have your cake and eat it

All too often, you see a beautiful cake at the end of the night gone untouched. If you’re going to splash out on having an eye-catching cake then make sure your guests enjoy it too. You can keep the ‘ceremonial’ cake cutting but why not serve your cake as dessert with a selection of fresh fruit and cream as a great cost saving idea whilst making sure nothing goes to waste?

Wedding cake ideas
Why not have your wedding cake as your dessert? (Picture: Deborah J Clarke)

5. Table hop

Having a ‘receiving line’ for all your guests to be introduced to you and your family is a very traditional and dated concept. If you want to ensure you manage to speak to and welcome all your guests, then table hop during the meal, it’s much more informal.

Wedding table ideas and traditions: table hop
Why not move round the tables to speak to your guests rather than have a long receiving line?