Your Something New: Top 10 Revamped Wedding Traditions for 2020

New wedding tradition twists on the old favorites/standbys as well as trends we hope catch on for years to come!

Weddings have long been driven by tradition. Bridesmaids, for example, originated in Ancient Rome as a method of protection for the bride. The matching dresses would confuse the evil spirits and prevent them from finding and taking the bride! Rules or expectations for what to wear, what to say, who to invite and more abound. Add in opinionated family members and planning a wedding that feels like you can feel impossible.

Not every tradition has to be “til death do us part”, however. Weddings are meant to reflect the couple and celebrate the unique love between them. Modern brides and grooms don’t have to follow a wedding rulebook. Instead, today’s couples are encouraged to design a wedding that’s fun, memorable and free from stuffy traditions that don’t feel right. With that said, here are 10 new wedding trends growing in popularity we think are worth considering as you plan your big day!

1. Micro Weddings/Elopements

Gone is the expectation that you must invite everyone you’ve ever known. Huge weddings are expensive and unwieldy (how do you find a location that can hold everyone? How can you find time to chat with each guest?) Add in travel and large weddings can become a logistical nightmare. Particularly in light of COVID, 2020 weddings have shrunk significantly. Micro weddings are intimate affairs with close family and friends only. The small guest list removes the stress and allows the couple to focus on the point of a wedding–getting married to the one you love!

Elopements are also gaining in popularity. Many couples are saying their vows now and then planning a party for the future, when COVID concerns aren’t so prevalent. 

Consider if a shrunken guest list could work for you.

2. Ditch the Bouquet Toss

Gathering all of the single women on the dance floor has always felt a little icky to me (are we trying to single shame?!) A cute new trend is to give the bouquet to the couple in attendance that has been married the longest. This is a nice way to honor their love story without embarrassing anyone — or risking a bouquet to the face mishap.

3. Color, Color, and More Color

Who decided that wedding schemes should be made of two complementary colors only? Bridesmaids dresses in varying hues are all the rage. For fall 2020, sunset shades are a stunning choice (peach, coral, burgundy and more). Planning a winter wedding? Consider a variety of rich jewel tones. Flower arrangements are blooming with color, too. 

My favorite option to consider is a colored wedding gown. White is still the traditional choice, but brides are no longer chained to white. If pink feels right, go for it. Ombre? All the way. Some brides are even opting for black. It’s chic and dramatic and will certainly make you stand out. 

Basically, if color makes you happy, you should add as much of it to your day as you want. 

Wedding Tradition - Bride and Groom

4. Wedding Party Shake-Up

Similar to the micro wedding option, many couples are opting for smaller wedding parties or no wedding party at all. Also, equal numbers are no longer the rule. Symmetry be damned–if the bride has more attendants than the groom, that’s OK. Be creative with who walks down the aisle and toss out the old-fashioned idea of one groomsman to one bridesmaid. 

Another adorable trend is asking grandparents to participate in the ceremony. Grandmothers as flower girls? Pass the tissues! 

Pets are an important part of our families, so consider bringing your pooch to the festivities. Dogs can bring the rings down the aisle or stand up at the altar for a great photo op. 

Basically, design the wedding party you want and enjoy the support of your loved ones. 

5.Alternative Rings

Diamonds only became ubiquitous with engagement rings after De Beers’ advertising campaign in 1947, “a diamond is forever.” Before that, engagement rings often didn’t include a diamond, and sometimes no stone at all. Today couples are branching out to other beautiful options. Stunning non-diamond stones to consider include morganite, sapphire, emerald or ruby.

Jewelry not your thing? Consider matching tattoos on your ring-finger! Couples can get solid black lines, one another’s initials or other tiny, meaningful images inked. Again, no need to follow some societal expectation here. Your ring, your way. 

6. Unplugged Wedding

Cell phones are everywhere, but they don’t need to be a distraction at your wedding. Some couples are hosting “unplugged” ceremonies and receptions, meaning guests are asked to put their phones away and instead enjoy the party. This allows the photographer to do his or her job and gifts everyone the gift of undivided attention and focus on the couple. Social media sneak peeks can be avoided this way, and unwanted notification sounds are prevented. Sounds like a win-win. 

7. The "Buddymoon"

A buddymoon is a honeymoon the couple takes with their friends. Rather than a twosome trip, a buddymoon increases the celebration factor by allowing a more unique and social vacation. Best friends can join for a portion of the trip, or tag along for the entirety. It’s an option you may want to consider if traveling and making memories with your loved ones is up your alley. 

8. Donut Walls & More Take the Cake

Traditionally, wedding cakes represented fertility. If the couple could successfully kiss over the cake without knocking it over, they were granted good luck. Today, the cake mostly serves as a sweet treat for the guests. If a mutli-tiered cake isn’t your snack of choice, try a twist on the dessert. First, consider smaller, more portable versions. Cake pops or cupcakes make for easier grab and go snacking on the dance floor. 

Donut walls (peg boards with donuts displayed for the taking) are a great new trend to up the fun factor. Pies, macarons, miniature whoopie pies, cheese towers and even pancake cakes are trending. Pick your favorite treat and ask a baker to make it happen! Your guests’ taste buds will thank you. 

donut wall

9. New Spin on Unity Ceremonies

Traditionally, wedding cakes represented fertility. If the couple could successfully kiss over the cake without knocking it over, they were granted good luck. Today, the cake mostly serves as a sweet treat for the guests. If a mutli-tiered cake isn’t your snack of choice, try a twist on the dessert. First, consider smaller, more portable versions. Cake pops or cupcakes make for easier grab and go snacking on the dance floor. 

Donut walls (peg boards with donuts displayed for the taking) are a great new trend to up the fun factor. Pies, macarons, miniature whoopie pies, cheese towers and even pancake cakes are trending. Pick your favorite treat and ask a baker to make it happen! Your guests’ taste buds will thank you. 

10. Skip the Registry

Lastly, a trend we’re seeing more these days is alternative registries. You don’t have to spend hours at your local home store (or website) selecting dishes and cutlery. Couples are waiting longer to get married, and often come to the marriage with complete kitchens. Instead, consider creating a honeyfund, where guests can donate to your honeymoon by purchasing an excursion or spa treatment for the two of you.  Other creative gift ideas include asking each guest to plant a tree in your honor, donate to your favorite philanthropic organization or sponsor a child in need. Your wedding website is a great place to link to these resources and explain why you’ve opted to skip the traditional registry. 

No matter what level of tradition you follow, remember that your wedding is about you. Happy planning!