The last two years have essentially turned the wedding industry on its head. While couples have opted to break tradition for quite some time, COVID has really had brides and grooms rethinking the way they approach celebrations from keeping the ceremony guest list to family-only, to foregoing a large celebration in favor of a micro wedding. But one of the best parts of this reimagining of wedding traditions is that it’s allowed for greater personalization of your nuptials; the pressure to host a lavish fête has subsided, which means you can lean even more into what you or your partner want for your special day instead of catering to an arbitrary standard.
With all that being said, sometimes there’s an intangible charm that comes along with keeping certain traditions. There are some elements that have been around for so long that implementing them helps solidify the day, like sharing a kiss as your guests clink their champagne glasses, or hiding a little something blue in your outfit. It’s all up to personal preference: Whatever brings you and your partner the most joy and helps share your love story with your guests should be included in your wedding day.
Take it from Layne Kula, founder of Penny Layne event production company and creative studio:, who says, “While we are all about the path less traveled, there is something to be said for classic traditions that never go out of style. When I work with my clients, I always empower them to honor the traditions that are important to them [and to] not do anything for the sake of doing, but to honor what resonates with them. This brings a fresh perspective and real authenticity to traditions that might seem dated.
Below, wedding planners share the time-tested traditions they still love seeing today.
1. Incorporating “Something Blue”
Perhaps blue is already a part of your wedding color palette, but the time-tested tradition can also be a fun way to sneak an Easter Egg into your day. “It’s a beautiful visual story that you can incorporate into your photos and remember for a lifetime,” says Mindy Weiss, celebrity wedding planner and expert for personal consulting platform, Intro. “In the past, brides would sew a blue ribbon into the dress, but the modern versions are personal details and accessories that you want to keep.” Weiss notes that incorporating the color in an unexpected place like a piece of jewelry with blue stones in it or into your footwear is a thoughtful and modern way to incorporate this classic tradition.
Many brides are opting to have fun with their accessories, finding them to be the perfect place to mix traditional and modern elements in their bridal look. Lucky for those Brides, Nine West just relaunched their bridal collection, full of swoon-worthy shoes every bride will absolutely love.
Ranging from $69 to $109, the exclusive collection is not just affordable, but offers six unique styles ranging from classic to modern, all with a thoughtful yet understated blue sole. There is truly something for everyone. We are loving the variety of silhouettes from lace and peep-toe pumps to kitten heel mules, including the "Darla," a crystal-embellished, flared heeled sandal for the fashion-forward bride.
We also love the "Fresh," a perfectly pointed toe pump that is ideal for the traditional bride.
2. Cake-Cutting Ceremony
Sure, giant dessert spreads or donut walls are immensely fun and great photo opps, but there’s something special about a tiered cake and the shared couple’s moment of slicing into your future together. “I love a great personalized, meaningful cake for the couple,” says Lee. “The cutting of the cake is to symbolize the sweetness of your marriage and it is really the first joint task as a couple. It's a wonderful moment to savor and share the first ‘sweets’ of your life.”
Weiss agrees: “Some people are skipping this in modern weddings, but I’m a big fan of the tradition. If the parents are still married, I also love displaying photos of them cutting their own cake and showcasing that tradition across generations.”
3. A Processional
The formality of having the bride and groom walk down the aisle brings with it an element of grandeur and elegance to any celebration. “I think the look of the walkway and the song selection for the walk to the ceremony/altar area [are] SO important,” says Jung Lee, founder and event architect of Fête and Slowdance. It creates a special atmosphere. It's not just the wedding canopy, chuppah mandap et al, but the actual visual and sound of the procession. I particularly adore when music is live for the procession—it makes it super special.”
4. Rice Toss
“I have a newfound love for the classic rice-toss grand exit.” says Kula. “The ancient story goes that as the [couple] are recessing, guests would toss rice, millet, or grains at the couple to promote a long, healthy life, wealth, and good luck together. This past season, we were fortunate enough to plan and design a large destination wedding in Iceland and it felt so fitting to honor this tradition as the bride and groom exited the church into their vintage getaway car. I'll never forget watching it—we had chills!” If rice isn’t your thing, you can also opt for flower petals, bubbles, or biodegradable confetti.
5. Wearing a Veil for the Ceremony
“For me, wearing a veil just adds that unique special vibe,” says Lee. “No matter what type of bride you are, you can find a veil that suits your style.” If long, flowing veils feel too formal, we love the understated glamor of a birdcage iteration.
6. Reciting Vows
“Vows will never go out of style,” asserts Weiss. Exchanging words of confidence and promise with your soon-to-be life partner is a beautiful testimony for both you and your guests to witness, whether you follow a reading or pen your own.