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The times they are a changing … and that goes for wedding traditions as well. So what traditions remain in tact and which have gone the way of the landline? Let’s take a look.
Does everyone need a plus one?
Absolutely not! Gone are the days when people wouldn’t dream of attending a wedding alone. It’s 2021 folks. Single women and men should never feel sheepish about going solo to a wedding. After all, it’s highly likely you’ll know plenty of people in attendance.
Dance and socialize with friends and family, and you never know, you just might meet someone special at the wedding. If not, no biggie. Just attend and enjoy yourself.
Who pays for the wedding?
In the 1950s, the average age of young women to marry was about 20 while for men it was closer to 23, according to the U.S. Census. Today, the average age is about 29 for women and 30 for men. With these ages in mind, you might assume that more couples are paying for their own nuptials since they are likely more financially established. But they’re not.
According to The Knot’s 2017 Wedding Survey, just one in 10 couples pay the entirety of their wedding expenses with parents kicking in at least two-thirds. The majority of expenses are still paid by the bride’s family.
I’ve found that couples are typically paying for the wedding themselves and their parents aren’t paying for much of anything. This gives the couple the freedom to do what they want versus what their parents want them to do. A lot of couples are older and have their own money.
Are big elaborate weddings out of style?
Here at Cactus Collective Weddings we specialize in elopements and destination micro weddings, so that’s most of what I see day-to-day. I eloped two years ago with my husband Matt, having a private wedding in the desert and a reception with family and friends at a later date.
More couples say they want something unique rather than grand. They are swapping 200 guest-weddings at the country club for smaller, more intimate affairs with close family and friends.
And this is happening nationwide as well. According to The Knot survey, since 2009 formal black-tie weddings have decreased from 20% to 16%. Outdoor weddings have increased from 39% to 52% in that same time period. In another twist, weddings held in religious institutions have dropped from 41% to 22%.
What’s acceptable when it comes to asking for cash gifts?
Often, couples nowadays are already living together. This means they’ve already stocked their house or apartment with the necessities. Some of them even own their home together so they don’t need a lot of ‘stuff’.
Most of our couples use their gift option to help with a honeymoon or an experience – using a service like ‘honeyfund’.
While this might be the norm for some couples, the reality is it won’t sit well with many traditional folks who find money requests distasteful. If you’re committed to the money request, consider enlisting your friends and maybe family to advocate on your behalf.
Have them explain that an experience is more memorable than a new set of towels. Even with that kind of help, you might expect that Aunt Betty is going to give you a casserole dish no matter what you request.
One option for couples – make a suggestion to guests that they are welcome to donate toward a honeymoon trip but make it clear that people should not feel obligated to give anything. Let them know their presence is the most important gift. That just might be enough to smooth any ruffled feathers.
Does a bride’s dress need to be white?
Heck no. Dresses can be any color the bride chooses. That being said, most brides are still choosing white or off-white wedding dresses. It just seems to be one of those traditions that endures.
Does the bride still need “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?
This tradition, despite the times, seems to be sticking around. Brides still love the idea of borrowing something from a cherished family member or wearing something blue. It’s not a requirement, but for a lot of brides, it’s still a special tradition.
Are bachelor and bachelorette parties still a thing?
This depends. A lot of older couples opt for an intimate or casual dinner with friends, or even a joint gathering. The raucous bachelor or bachelorette parties of movie fame are more common in younger couples.
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