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Years ago, you could pretty much count on every wedding featuring Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (a.k.a. “Here Comes the Bride”) during the ceremony and a big, flashy bouquet and garter toss at the reception. These days, certain wedding traditions are considered outdated or in need of an upgrade.

When couples are planning their wedding with Hurricane Productions, they often wonder if people are still doing these “classic” wedding customs and whether they’re expected to uphold them on their own big day.

At the end of the day, your celebration is yours — all that matters is what makes you and your fiance happy. However, if you’re still interested in what a “typical” wedding entails today, we’ve noticed that some New Jersey couples are changing, upgrading, or skipping certain outdated wedding traditions.

Outdated wedding traditions you can skip

The following traditions aren’t as popular as they once were (but it doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t include them in your ceremony!):

Using traditional ceremony music

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Some religious institutions have guidelines about what music couples are allowed to use during their wedding ceremony. However, for couples who aren’t tying the knot in a house of worship, the sky is the limit for planning their ceremony music. Instead of the traditional “Wedding March” or “Bridal Chorus,” couples are going with more modern or meaningful songs for these important ceremony moments:

  • Prelude — the 20 to 30 minutes before the ceremony, when guests are gathering
  • Processional — the beginning of the ceremony, when loved ones (like grandparents and parents of the bride/groom) and the wedding party walk down the aisle
  • Bride’s Entrance — the most anticipated part of the ceremony, when the bride walks down the aisle
  • Interludes/Special Ceremony Events — any breaks or special traditions you might include in your ceremony
  • Recessional — the end of the ceremony, post-kiss, when the bride and groom and the rest of the wedding party exit
  • Postlude — the moments following the ceremony, when guests are mingling/making their way to cocktail hour

Not sure which songs you want to choose for your ceremony? If Hurricane is providing your ceremony sound, we can help you out if you’re stuck!

Garter/bouquet toss

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While the garter and bouquet tosses used to be a fun way to get the party going for single wedding guests, some couples feel it’s a bit outdated. If you’re not interested in this tradition, there are many other ways to include your single friends, like a fun competition on the dance floor.

Elaborate cake cutting ceremonies

In years past, cutting the cake was one of the highlights of a wedding reception. All guests gathered around the dance floor as the couple fed each other a slice of wedding cake (or smashed frosting in each other’s faces) to a specially chosen song. While some couples still do this, others are embracing more “low-key” cake cutting ceremonies. In fact, some even forgo cake altogether, opting for other desserts like cupcakes, pie, donuts, or more savory treats like a stack of cheese wheels. Choose whatever food makes you happiest and most fulfilled. Because, let’s face it: aside from celebrating the couple, the food is the best part of a wedding!

Wedding traditions most couples still do (but it’s OK if you don’t)

These traditions are still going strong! If you want a more modern wedding, consider including the following:

First Look

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Many of today’s couples plan a private moment before the ceremony to see each other in their wedding best for the first time (usually with a photographer and videographer to capture the magic). This intimate “first look” allows you and your fiance to have a few minutes alone before tying the knot in front of family and loved ones, and to really take in each others’ wedding-day glow.

Grand entrance/introduction

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Once the ceremony and cocktail hour are over and you’re ready to party, it’s time to formally kick off the reception. To mark this shift, most weddings include reception introductions, where the DJ announces each member of the wedding party as they walk into the ballroom

There’s typically a specific song playing during the introductions, with the music changing as the newlyweds make their grand entrance at the end. Some pairs even plan a specific dance or walk get the crowd going.

First dance

Perhaps the most anticipated part of the reception is when the happy couple shares their first dance as newlyweds. This is definitely still a popular tradition today, and sharing that special moment in front of loved ones is unlike any other feeling.

Parent dances

Whether it’s father-daughter/mother-son, or another combo of your choosing, parent dances are still just as special as they once were. An ode to those who raised you, this tradition is a beautiful way to say “thank you,” and express the everlasting love and appreciation you have for your lifelong guardian.

What traditions should I observe at my wedding?

Don’t feel pressured to observe any outdated wedding “traditions” (or modern ones) that you don’t care about, just because your parents or siblings or friends did it. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, and you don’t need to add to your stress by forcing any customs that don’t feel true to you.

When it comes down to it, a wedding only requires you, your fiance, and your officiant/witnesses. Everything else is your call.

No matter what your wedding plans entail, Hurricane Productions can help you host the celebration of your dreams. Check out our pricing page to view our all-inclusive media and entertainment packages, or request a quote for your big day.

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