Wedding Planning

5 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip (and 5 You Can’t)

You don’t have to follow every convention.

Sometimes there’s a fine line between wanting to personalize your event and totally breaking an etiquette rule. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five traditions you can omit or personalize, plus five that are better off staying put.


Skip or Swap:

1. A cake cutting ceremony: If the idea of feeding each other is just not your idea of a good time, skip it. In fact, you don’t even need to serve cake. You can opt for any number of desserts, or even a cheese and fruit plate.

2. A traditional registry: Are you just not a butter dish kind of couple? That’s okay. There are tons of alternative registries out there today, ranging from charities to honeymoons.

3. The bouquet and garter tosses: Do you love your friends too much to single them out and line them up? Nix these. 

4. A dramatic exit: You’ve forked over major time and moolah for this party. If you want to be the last ones to leave, by all means. We understand.

5. A large wedding: Many couples want an intimate ceremony with only family and very close friends. Go ahead, and if you want, you can invite additional guests to the reception.


1. Thank-you notes: No, tweets don’t count, even if you hashtag #thankyou. Send handwritten notes within three months of receiving the gift.

2. A reception for ceremony guests: Want to save yourself the expense of a reception? Elope. If you invite guests to a wedding ceremony, you should also host a reception. Although, for the record, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. A simple party can suffice.

3. Leaving the registry off the invitation: Is it convenient to include there? Yes. But it’s still rude, so just don’t.

4. Greeting your guests: It’s up to you whether you say hello to your peeps via a receiving line or not. But at some point, you should talk with each guest (even if just for a moment).

5. Gifts for your wedding party: These people have been your indentured servants for the better part of a year. The least you can do is buy them a personalized knickknack they will never use again. But seriously, say ‘thank you’ with a token of your affection.