How to Plan Your Wedding, Not Your Grandparents’ Wedding

The beauty of planning a wedding in this day and age is that the happy couple gets to choose which traditions to keep and which to do away with. But which practices should you keep and which can be dropped? While you have so much room to infuse your wedding with new and creative ideas, there are some traditional practices your mother and grandmother probably had in their wedding that you’ll want to keep. The wedding experts at Rose Hill Weddings are here to help you know what’s best to keep and what’s okay (or maybe even encouraged!) to let go.

Lace wedding dress and matching traditional garter with nude pumps

Do Wear a White Dress / Don’t Do a Garter Toss

Wearing white for your wedding is still done and still a beautiful picture to behold. It’s okay to deviate to a candlelight or champagne hue as an alternative, but no matter how much things have changed since your grandmother got married, there’s still only one person wearing white at a wedding! Everyone loves the show-stopping beauty of a wedding gown, so stick to tradition with this one and there won’t be a dry eye at your ceremony. However, certain practices from long ago we’re glad to see go, like the garter toss. For starters, women don’t even wear garters anymore, so it’s just silly to have the groom remove the garter to throw to his single men. Now is the time to skip this dated practice and allow the guys to enjoy a toast together instead.

Bride and groom wedding bouquet toss

Do Toss the Bouquet /Don’t Throw Rice

However, tossing a bouquet has not quite gone out of fashion yet. Be sure to secure a “throw-away” bouquet for tossing so you can preserve your real bridal bouquet. But definitely feel free to gather all the single ladies for a festive activity during the reception that leads to a great photo op of you and all your girls together! But when it comes to everyone giving you and your partner a big send-off, go ahead and skip the rice. We’ve known for a while now that it harms birds and other wildlife, so opt for bubbles or sparklers as a great way for guests to send you on your way in style.

Wedding rehearsal dinner table setting

Do Have a Rehearsal Dinner /Don’t Let Dad Pay

The pomp and circumstance of events surrounding your actual wedding, like a rehearsal dinner, are still very much a thing. A traditional rehearsal dinner includes only the wedding party and parents. However, today many relatives travel from out of town to attend the wedding, and couples’ families often don’t meet each other until the wedding event. So, a rehearsal dinner is a great chance to let both families meet before the big day. They can then feel familiar with each other at the wedding ceremony and reception. However, unless he offers to do so, it’s no longer general practice for fathers to pay for the entire wedding. Many couples are marrying at an older age than back in your grandmother’s day, and many have their own income now. Be prepared and budget ahead to assert the independence you’re already enjoying and pay for the wedding you’ve been dreaming of.

Bride and groom cutting a small floral wedding cake

Do Cut the Cake Together /Don’t Have a 3-Tiered White Cake

Cake cutting is always a favorite mini-event at wedding receptions. The bride and groom are ready to celebrate and most of the formalities are over by now. Cutting the cake is a symbolic shared experience that everyone loves to photograph and brings the whole room together. However, which cake you cut is totally up to you. There is no longer an expectation that your wedding cake be three stories high with little people on top. Feel free to get creative with donut cakes, cupcake stands, or even deviate from cake altogether with muffins, macarons, or a DIY dessert bar! Just be sure that you and your partner take the first bite and that everyone knows when you do.


Deciding what to keep and what to skip when it comes to wedding traditions can be tricky. At Rose Hill Weddings, we suggest talking to your mothers and grandmothers first- they may have specific family traditions you should include that you aren’t even aware of. Then, come talk to us and tell us what you’re hoping for, excited about, and looking to exclude. We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of planning a more modern wedding while still including the traditions you want to keep.