The Cheers Babe Blog

Wedding Traditions: In or Out?

Some wedding traditions in the U.S. have started to lose steam as couples opt for more aligned trends, but simultaneously, there are a handful of wedding traditions that are tried and true staples at most American weddings. As you plan your wedding, remember that you get to decide which of these traditions to participate in! There may be family pressure for a few of these, but use your best judgment as you decide whether or not to include a certain wedding tradition so your day can feel exactly the way you hope it does.

Wedding traditions that are going “out”

The following are traditions I’ve observed losing steam in modern day weddings. Couples are choosing to opt out of them or to modify the tradition to fit their personalities and wedding day style.

the bouquet toss and garter toss

This tradition is probably one of the ones I see the least often these days. I think I photographed one bouquet toss in the last year — it’s becoming quite uncommon. I believe the reason the bouquet toss and garter toss have lost steam is because couples are realizing it can be uncomfortable for their single friends to be called out in front of all of the other wedding guests and instead, want to make everyone feel welcome and included. Not to mention, do you want everyone you know to see your partner take lingerie off your body? Awkward vibe imo.

not seeing each other before the ceremony

As the popularity of the first look soars, we are seeing fewer couples waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. Choosing this tradition can significantly impact your timeline and how much (or how little) time you get to spend with your guests.

grand exits

The dramatic grand exit tradition has lost major steam in recent years. A combination of reasons including: The couple already lives together so they don’t need to leave right away (… read between the lines here – they’re not virgins ha!), the couple doesn’t want to leave the wedding earlier than their guests, or the couple plans on hosting a lively after party for their guests.

immediate honeymoons

When I ask couples about their honeymoon plans, I’ve been hearing a lot of couples say they’re taking a postponed honeymoon. Rather than jetting off the day after their wedding (when they’re absolutely exhausted), they’re choosing to spend the next day relaxing with their guests at a brunch or pool party. Then they head home and settle into married life a bit before going on their honeymoon. This gives you the freedom to travel to your destination after you’ve built up a few more vacation days at work or even during a more optimal season for the destination you’ve chosen.

something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

This is a sweet tradition that I rarely see these days. The origins of this tradition aren’t widely known, so it’s become less important to most American couples.

having a wedding party

Now that most couples are getting married later in life than the previous generations, they are also taking a closer look at the tradition of having a wedding party. For some couples, having a wedding party sounds like the most fun thing to do with their group of friends. For other couples, particularly couples who have participated in many wedding parties themselves, are opting out of having a formal wedding party. Rather than ask so much of their close friends, they are simply adding a few photos with their close friends to their shot list. 

As a side note: also “out” is non-inclusive language about the wedding party. Rather than calling it a bridal party, choose inclusive language such as wedding party. We are also seeing more wedding parties that look less traditional (like all ladies on the bride’s side & all guys on the groom’s side). Instead of calling them bridesmaids and groomsmen, we like to say bride’s crew or groom’s crew or even simply use the couples’ names. For example “Tyler’s crew and Sean’s crew”.

Wedding traditions that are still very “in”

If the traditions listed above are on their way out, which ones are still going strong?

wearing white

We love the tradition of wearing white on wedding day and so do our couples. This classic tradition (though occasionally broken for a pop of color) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

seeing each other before the ceremony

There has been a huge rise in the popularity of the first look and we are big fans of that here at Cheers Babe. Not only do you get to see each other earlier in the day and have a sweet, private moment together to take in all the feels, you’re able to accomplish most of your group photos before the ceremony. Say hello to more time with your guests after the ceremony!

long veils

For a while, I hardly had any brides wearing veils as they dipped in popularity, but they are back, baby. Not only are we seeing more brides wearing veils, we are seeing tons of ultra long, dramatic veils and we are here for it!! Bring on the drama, babe. 

cake cutting

I actually thought this tradition was going out as there was less focus on the moment of cutting the cake, but I’ve seen a resurgence of cake cutting this season.

Who doesn’t have a cute photo of their grandparents cutting a cake at their wedding? This is such a timeless moment that most couples want to capture. What I have seen lately is couples adding on a fun, champagne tower to this tradition!

the first dance & parent dances

The first dance is a great way to kick off a reception. Following that, most parents are thrilled to have their special dance in front of family and friends with the child they’ve raised. Both are very special traditions! 

toasts from close friends or family

Wedding toasts are a staple when it comes to American wedding traditions. Typically, a parent will kick off the reception with a welcome toast, later the maid of honor and best man give toasts to the couple and we have seen a huge rise in the couple themselves offering a thank you toast before the dancing begins.

big dance parties

People still love to boogie down at weddings and a dance party reception is a tradition that I don’t think will ever go out of style.


At the end of the day, my best advice is to trust your gut as you make these decisions about your wedding day. If a tradition feels like you’re checking something off a list, you can absolutely opt out. You can also modify these traditions to fit your vibe and your relationship. For example, maybe you want to wear white, but you choose a modern gown that has a white base with a subtle floral print on it — instant romantic vibes! 

Be sure to keep your close family involved in these conversations and manage your family’s expectations of how the day will flow. A parent may be disappointed by your choice at first, but I find that open and clear communication before the wedding day can really go a long way to diffusing any tension! 

On a personal note: at Cheers Babe we LOVE a non-traditional wedding. When a couple curates their wedding day to feel one-of-a-kind and 100% authentic to who they are, we are always on board. Let your creativity and personality soar!

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