Should you ditch wedding traditions?

Should you ditch wedding traditions

My Facebook news feed has been lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree in the past couple of days. Wedding photography Facebook groups are buzzing and people are getting, well, kind of annoyed. The reason? It’s an article that’s been published in Vogue. Someone, who’s obviously out to create a stir (which they’ve certainly managed to achieve) has written about which “Rules” you should break for your wedding. Now normally, articles about weddings are full of inspirational photos and the latest trends. Indeed, Vogue’s sister magazine, Brides (they’re both published by Conde Nast) is jammed full of articles and advertisements that want you to spend LOADS of money on your wedding day! This one however, seems intent on breaking down a lot of the traditions that we take for granted. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one who says that you need to do something just because it’s “tradition”, but some of these ideas are, to be honest, absolutely ridiculous! You can read their article HERE, but I’m going to throw in a few of my own thoughts about some of their suggestions ….

Breaking the mould of wedding traditions

So many of the elements of our weddings are traditional, handed down across the generations.

The wedding ring

Wedding rings

The wedding ring’s probably the best known symbol of marriage. To suggest that it’s outdated because it shows that the wife is the husband’s “property” is daft. Most couples that I know want to have rings, because they want to show the world that they’ve made that commitment to one another. True, rings aren’t for everyone, but very few Brides I know would want to miss out on this one!

Hiring a professional photographer

Weddings speeches

OK, I have to include this one in its entirety … “It made sense back in the olden days, pre-Facebook albums and Instagram hashtags, when the whole world didn’t have phones with cameras on them. Having the actual leather-bound album on your coffee table seemed like the only evidence that the whole thing actually took place. If social media is not your thing, why not scatter some disposable cameras around the party and let your drunken guests go to town? You’ll end up with hilarious and candid pictures without the pressure of “likes.

Right, I know I have a vested interest here, but this is plain stupid! You spend a HUGE amount on planning the perfect day and then let “drunken guests” lose with disposable cameras? Come on Vogue! This is even worse than saying “get a friend with a good camera to take some photos”. In all my years of being a photographer I’ve never met ONE couple who’d have entertained that idea.

You know what? For a magazine that spends HUGE amounts of money hiring some of the world’s best photographers to create fashion images that will inspire you to spend VAST sums on clothes and accessories, this smacks of having double-standards. Vogue – why not just get someone to snap away on their iPhone instead of paying Annie Leibovitz to create that “want” factor in your readership?

If you don’t know why you should consider having a professional wedding photographer then perhaps my article on documentary wedding photography might help.

Walking down the aisle with Daddy

Bride and Father walk down the aisle

Not quite sure whether I agree with their condescending term for the Bride’s Father, but then they’re not in this to please people! On this one I have to admit that this is a tradition that some couples are forgoing. I’ve shot several weddings where the Bride’s not been walked down the aisle, or that the couple have walked down together. Sometimes because of family “situations” and sometimes because that’s what the couple actually want. At the end of the day, it’s what YOU want that’s important.

Bride walking down the aisle with Father

First Dance

The First Dance

I agree that not everyone actually enjoys the tradition of the First Dance. All of those eyes on you. Wondering if you should just do a “shuffle” or go for dance lessons to put on an elaborate show to impress everyone. Personally I like the First Dance. If you’re not comfortable “going it alone” on the floor then why not get the Parents and your Bridesmaids/Ushers to join in? It’s something your guests enjoy and you can be certain those shots will be on Facebook within minutes! For the sake of a couple of minutes, why not?

Bride and Groom First Dance

Oh, by the way. Good luck with getting decent photos of the First Dance if you given drunken guests disposable cameras! 🙂

In conclusion

As I said earlier, I don’t, for one moment, believe that couples should follow “tradition” just because it’s expected of them. To me, a wedding is a celebration of the love that exists between the couple. How you choose to celebrate that day is up to you. You should have YOUR day, YOUR way.

What I do have an issue with is the suggestion that because you choose to have a ring, or have a First Dance, that you’re “boring”. I know that a lot of Brides will probably look at the article and say “No way”. One thing to remember. This day will only happen once. What seems “trendy” today will seem dated in a few years. Over time you’ll change. Your attitudes and your outlook on life will change. So whatever decision you make, there’s no going back.

As I said, you should have YOUR day, YOUR way. In all of the years I’ve been photographing weddings, every one has been different – that’s what makes them SO special.

Bournemouth wedding photographer

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Documentary wedding photography

If you’re considering a wedding anywhere in Dorset or Hampshire (or further afield) then please get in touch to discuss your wedding photography requirements. I’m delighted to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues and would love to hear about the plans for your special day. Get in touch with me now for a no-obligation chat.

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About Ian

About ianH photography

Ian is one of Dorset’s leading wedding photographers. Based in Bournemouth and with over 20 years of experience photographing weddings across Dorset and Hampshire, Ian’s the perfect choice for couples who want unobtrusive, discreet wedding photography that captures the emotions of their special day. Read more about his own personal style of documentary wedding photography on this website.

Proud to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues. 

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