Over the past few weeks, I’ve met and been hired by new wedding clients and trained a variety of wedding venues via my work with my consulting business. In both cases, there has been plenty of discussion about wedding traditions and alternative ideas where some of the newer trends are fast becoming new traditions in themselves. I thought it would be a bit of a fun and hopefully useful to set down my top 3 (going up) and my top 3 (going down) tradition list! Here goes:
- The long top table – the mainstay of the classic wedding, it’s once in a blue moon that I plan this for clients now, partly because the layout of a room where a long top table can reduce capacity, but partly as guests just prefer the sociability and more informal feel to a round table.
- Evening buffets – the curly dried-out sandwich, the entirely breadcrumbed & battered buffet – fortunately almost things of the past. A lot of couples choose to focus on less but better quality evening food, often opting for cheeseboards & cake platters or bacon rolls and pizza vans and often being distributed canapé style as guests are partying rather than at a fixed point.
- Long speeches & gifts – these have got shorter over the years and the tedious father of the bride speech or the wildly inappropriate best man speech seems to be a thing of the past – however, we do get more speakers now (maid of honour, bride for example). The tradition of giving out gifts during speeches has waned too – often the bridal party do receive gifts from the couple but it is sometimes done privately earlier in the day or separately and not in front of all wedding guests.
And what are the new trends becoming traditions:
- The pre-ceremony drinks – a way to ensure guests arrive in plenty of time and are not running in late for the ceremony start – give them an earlier time to arrive by with a pre-ceremony event – around 45 mins before the actual ceremony.
- The creative seating plan – couples are wanting their seating plan and the way it’s presented to be far more than functional and often a statement piece that gives a ‘wow’ factor or certainly something they can keep after the wedding and frame.
- The paid bar – yes this is budget driven but couples tend to recognise the importance of hosting and laying on something special and the efforts some guests got to attend the wedding, so it’s much more traditional these days to fund the evening bar than it is to run a cash bar, albeit we often limit the free options to make it manageable.
Are you a bit overwhelmed by etiquette? As well as the practical planning aspects, we support our clients and their families with guidance and advice on all areas of wedding etiquette and tradition along the way.
Do get in touch if you’d like to talk.