Wedding Traditions We Broke, Part 1

When planning our wedding in May, Colton and I looked to a lot of classic traditions for both our ceremony and reception to help shape the biggest day of our lives. We quickly found that a lot of wedding traditions didn’t feel right to either one of us. We tried to keep our wedding low-key and small so we ended up eliminating some traditions that felt out of place in the event we created.

Today’s post will focus on the Traditions we broke for the ceremony and Friday’s post will dive into the reception. Which wedding traditions did you use or skip? Let me know in the comments section at the end of this post!

All photography is by Sterling Imageworks!

Having A Morning Wedding

While we were in the early stages of planning our wedding, we quickly decided that a morning, or brunch, wedding would be better suited to what we wanted. The main perk of having an early ceremony and reception is having plenty of time after the event to pack up and relax. We even went out to dinner with my friends that evening! Our reception food consisted of brunch food, complete with omelet and waffle stations and mimosas.

Didn’t Have A Set Color Palette

To be very honest, I didn’t have a set color palette at all. Everyone asked what our wedding colors were and I literally had to say “Well, we really don’t have any.” I pulled colors for our flower arrangements, boutonnières, and bridesmaids bouquets from my own bridal bouquet colors, then navy became a recurring color since I chose it for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to wear.

First Look

First looks have become more of a normalized wedding tradition than a taboo in the past couple of years, but I’ll include it anyway. I’m one of those girls who was dead-set against having a first look. I wanted that sweet, emotionally raw moment of Colton and I seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle. But then I realized two things. First, doing a first look would save a ton of time after the ceremony. We could take our couple shots, family shots, and bridal party shots all before the ceremony even happened! And second, our photographers wouldn’t be allowed past a certain area in the sanctuary during the ceremony so they wouldn’t be able to get the shot anyway. So I eventually caved. And I’m so glad I did! Colton’s reaction to seeing me was more amazing than I ever could have imagined.

Bridesmaids Wore Mismatched Dresses

Mismatched bridesmaids dresses are also quickly becoming a popular trend. I wasn’t heavily invested in the uniformity of my bridesmaids so I decided to let them choose their own dresses. I honestly loved how it turned out. Each girl bought a dress that was flattering to her body shape, that was comfortable for her to wear all day, and that she would definitley wear again.

No Ring Bearer or Flower Girl

This was a pretty simple one. We thought having either would be an unnecessary addition to the ceremony. So we dropped the idea.

No Wedding Coordinator

For larger affairs, wedding coordinators can be a lifesaver. But for our small wedding, we decided to do everything ourselves. I really can’t think of anything I would have needed a coordinator for… we made decisions on flowers, the cake, venues, DJ, etc. on our own. We found timeline charts for the ceremony and wedding online and used them as starting points for deciding our own timeline for the day.

No Seating Chart

Guests sat wherever they liked at the ceremony and reception. I read tons of articles that said not having a seating chart for the reception was setting your guests up for awkward moments. But at our wedding, that never happened. Guests sat where they wanted and mingled where they wanted. Not a single awkward moment in sight.


Photography: Sterling Imageworks

Dress: Low’s Bridal and Formal Shoppe

Hair: Sheena Branstetter of Tiffany’s Salon & Spa

Suits: ASOS

Flowers: Johnson Floral Company

Ceremony: First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs

Reception: Hot Springs Golf & Country Club

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