One of the things we get asked most frequently at RMW towers is whether it's ok NOT to do something. And the answer to this, in 99% of cases is yes. Absolutely yes. You don't have to include any 'traditional' wedding elements in your big day if you don't want to.
Do I have to throw my bouquet?
So you've spent a rather large portion of your wedding budget on flowers. Your bouquet made you cry with tears of pure joy. So why on earth would you want to throw it away and let someone else keep it?! It's absolutely 100% fine to have a selfish moment and keep your bouquet, especially if you're not jetting away on honeymoon immediately. And while some bouquet toss moments are epic, like the one captured below, I've seen a lot of awkward ones in my time. And no-one wants an awkward moment on their wedding day.
Do we have to have a first dance?
For some, just the very thought of doing a first dance makes them break out in a cold sweat. Whereas others relish the spotlight, hire a professional choreographer and tango their little hearts out. However you feel about it - please just do what makes you comfortable. As a happy medium and to make sure people get up and dance when your band starts, why not chose a really upbeat song and get people up dancing with you. Children are always great at this, so if you're inviting any, get them involved to avoid awkward shuffles. (It's also important to remember that you'll either be drunk or high-on-life by this point in the day, so the first dance won't be anything like as terrifying as you imagine).
Do we have to have a top table?
If you have a difficult family dynamic, divorced parents or perhaps your families don't get along, then the idea of everyone sitting together on one table is probably rather hellish to you. Yes it's traditional to have the parents and wedding party sitting there, but tradition doesn't mean obligation. Sit with whoever you like - have a sweetheart table just for the two of you, or sit amongst your guests. People will absolutely be happier if they are sitting with the guests they get along best with, and that includes you! (Just bear in mind logistics for the speeches, especially if you have a sound system).
Do I have to have bridesmaids?
Possibly a slightly trickier one, as there will always be friends who are desperate to help you plan your big day, but please don't feel obligated to have them. I know wedding blogs (guilty as charged), make it seem as if a bridal party of seven is small, but honestly - we feature lots of weddings where the couple chose to either just have flower girls and page boys, or totally skipped the wedding party tradition altogether. They just had friends and family helping out with lots of different jobs, with no pressure to plan a hen or wear matching dresses. Whatever you decide to do - make sure you say thank you in the speeches to anyone who has helped you, wedding party member or not.
Do we have to give our guests wedding favours?
Another thing lots of our couples deliberate over is wedding favours. It's expensive hosting a wedding and many couples decide that providing a meal and drinks is enough. If favours are putting a stretch on your budget - then skip them. Or if it's the idea, rather than the cost, consider charity favours, or perhaps making something personalised. A simple polaroid of you with the guest is a nice idea, and serves as a place setting as well as a little thank you.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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