5 Wedding Traditions That Will Never Die (And Why!)

By now you’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s tradition!” like a hundred times. While some wedding traditions are arguably on their way out of fashion (it seems like every year fewer brides make time for a garter toss) there’s good reason why some of these tried-and-true wedding staples are still around. They’re steeped in history. And while your version of the tradition might look different than the original, the sentiment and meaning is still there.

The Wedding Cake

The sweetest part of the wedding day dates back to ancient Greece when couples shared crushed sesame cakes to ensure fertility and the concept evolved into the confection we know and love today. And while the wedding cake might look like anything — from a three-tiered buttercream cake to a cupcake tower, or even a stack of doughnuts — the idea behind the wedding cake is still intact. In other words, sharing something sweet together on your wedding day with each other and your guests is a symbol of your union that’ll never go out of style.

Fresh New Idea: “We’re not cake fans (I even own a bakery), so we didn’t really want cake. I’m making a small cutting cake so we can have that tradition, but then we’re breaking all the rules. I have some friends who opened a self-serve frozen yogurt place in town a few years ago and last year they started doing mobile events. Everyone gets a 6oz serving and can then pile on as much toppings (we get 5) as they want! We can even choose up to 8 flavors and if we don’t serve it all, no big deal, they’ll use it in the store!” – snowdaisy822

The Bridal Shower
Traditions That Will Never Die and Why


Bridal showers are just as steeped in tradition as the details of the actual wedding day.  This tradition beganthree centuries ago in Holland. If the father didn’t approve of his daughter’s fiance and refused to give her a proper dowry the girl’s friends would come to her rescue, showering her with gifts so that she would have a dowry and could marry the man of her choosing. Today, bridal showers are thrown by the bride’s friends and family as a show of love and support for the bride and her transition into married life. Today’s pre-wedding parties are leaving behind the formalities.That means couples are changing the traditional pre-wedding party format to fit their style and preferences.
Fresh new idea: “When my daughter married, the shower was small enough to include members from both families.  Her FI arrived half way into the shower just prior to gift opening.  He sat beside her and they opened gifts together.  I think his family enjoyed seeing him there.” – mobkaz

Not Seeing Each Other

There are so many options from a classic white ball gown to an edgy and mod jumpsuit that can will make a bride look stunning on their wedding day. It’s more about the anticipation of the couple seeing each other for the very first time on the day the’ve chosen to commit, than it is about. You’ve spent a lot of time choosing every detail of how’ll you’ll look from your dress to the shoes and your makeup, and you want to make it a moment where you soak it all in and make it romantic. Doing a first look makes for a great photo shoot and creates an intimate moment together before you meet up with family and friends. It doesn’t matter if the big reveal happens on the ceremony aisle or the day before. It’s about the feeling you have in that moment, and for a lot of couples that’s very emotional. Take a look at these first look photos if you don’t believe us.

Fresh new idea:”I went out and got a 2nd dress, a tea length dress, and am going to wear that for the first look. Yeah, it kind of defeats the purpose a little, because the plan is for him to think that’s my wedding dress, but I’m going to change into my gown after the first look. I’m sooooo excited about it though! We get the special moment of a first look, but also the surprise when I come down the sandy aisle in my gown. He’s constantly surprising me, so I’m ecstatic for this on our big day!” – kls33145

Holding the Bouquet

Brides throughout history have carried or worn flowers on their wedding day (it’s true!). In some cultures it was thought that carrying a bouquet of flowers would help ward off evil spirits and in ancient Rome brides carried bunches of herbs to symbolize fidelity and fertility. Even if you’re not into the meaning behind the flowers carry a bouquet is a no brainer to add pretty fresh decor, color and scent to your wedding, not to mention they can be arranged to fit any wedding style! Fresh flowers aren’t the only option available to couples, paper and flower bouquets are a hot alternative to fresh blooms and since they’re non-perishable it means you can keep your bouquet forever (and even pass it down to future brides!).

Fresh new idea: “I’m debating between paper flowers, fabric flowers, pinwheels or brooch :)  But so far the front runners are (recycled) paper flowers :)” – FrankensteinsGirl

The Rings

Circles have been a symbol associated with everlasting love since the time of ancient Egypt (it is believed the Pharaohs of Egypt first used the circle, a shape with no beginning or end) as a symbol of eternity, but wearing a ring as a public pledge to honor the marriage contract did not become customary until Roman times. The earliest rings were made of simple iron, but gold rings set with gems became fashionable by medieval days. The point is, it’s not that couples will always have the biggest flashiest diamond ring, but it’s the physical symbol of commitment that won’t go the way of the shoulder padded wedding dress. For some couple that doesn’t mean a ring, it could be any piece of jewelry or something different altogether, but it’s the idea of keeping part of your loved one close by at all times that’s here to stay.

Fresh new ideas: “My fiance and I are going to get wedding symbols tattooed on instead of wearing rings. He works in a place where he couldn’t wear a ring and we both like tattoos, so it works for us. We are still going to exchange something during the ceremony.” – lizreuter

Want more? Of course you do!

> 5 twists on the unity candle

> Weddings through the ages

> 20 wedding traditions you can skip

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  • Stephanie
    01/20/14 at 03:16

    Love this article! One thing: The ring dates back to even before Roman times, as a ring symbolized betrothal in the Torah (Old Testament) for Yitzchak (Isaac) & Rivka (Rebecca)! Possibly the world’s first engagement ring :)

  • Shannon
    03/02/15 at 10:34

    I don’t know about #3, because it seems like more and more couples are opting to take their formal posed portraits before the ceremony, so as to not miss out on their cocktail hour. I get that the “first look” photo shoot is supposed to solve for that, but it’s not exactly the same, although it is very sweet! Anyway, all of my married friends saw each other before the wedding, and some even got ready together! So maybe this tradition is evolving gradually.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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