Of course, for many couples it is important to have a traditional wedding ceremony. But, there are a growing number saying – “you know what, we would like to do things a little differently”.
I was interested to see recent research by WeddingDays.co.uk that showed, for example, that 26% of brides-to-be wanted to keep their maiden name in some form and 9% planned to wear a non-white wedding dress.
Some traditions, however, remain popular: For example, 76% of first-time brides said they still wanted their father to walk them down the aisle. In my experience, there’s an increasing number of brides who want both their mothers and fathers to give them away. And why not?! What about second-time round brides? They will usually omit the whole ‘giving away’ scenario and either arrive on their own or with a bridesmaid to escort them.
Another lovely idea I came across at a recent wedding ceremony was where the respective mums of both bride and groom were the ring-bearers. (And I don’t think it was because the Best Man couldn’t be trusted to look after them!)
I think this sort of change is healthy. It’s always nice to give a nod to tradition but the more customized and personalized a wedding ceremony is, the more memorable and magical it is likely to be.
And the emergence and new importance of social media is helping fuel that change. Couples are setting up dedicated websites in advance to provide all their guests with crucial details about dates, times, place etc., as well as useful info about accommodation options, transport and climate.
When it comes to social media at the ceremony, it’s a personal choice. Some couples now ask the celebrant to announce a ban on Facebook and Twitter use during the ceremony. The reason: to keep everyone focused on the readings and vows. On the other hand, others actively encourage their guests to Tweet and post to bring the ceremony alive to those who can’t be there.
Where will it all end? Who knows? But I think that, provided that the necessary legalities are adhered to, anything that keeps the marriage ceremony dynamic, relevant and exciting to new generations of couples has got be welcomed.