8 Ways Brides Are Breaking Tradition (and Why it's Awesome)

Your 'rents pay for the wedding. It's a white dress all the way. These are the traditions, so you have to follow them, right? No way! It's your day so take control. Here are some ways brides are bunking tradition and paving their own way. Sorry (not sorry)!

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Corbin Gurkin

The Tradition: A flowing white gown. 

Is a short dress more your style? Rock it! Designers from the legendary Oscar de la Renta to Duchess of Cambridge favorite Jenny Packham are pulling up hemlines. Or maybe white just isn't your color—brides are walking down the aisle in everything from pale pink to patterns!


Why it's awesome: It's a great way to show off your personal style (and your shoes)!

Celebs Who Wore Pink Dresses

The Tradition: Parents foot the bill. 

It used to be assumed that the bride's parents would shell out big bucks for their baby girl's big day. Not anymore. More than ever before, brides and grooms are taking their first big financial step in marriage and paying their own way. 


Why it's awesome: The couple gets to make all the decisions.

Who Pays for What?

The Tradition: A kitchen-dominated registry. 

You don't have to burden yourself with 12 sets of designer china if that's not your thing. Set yourself free and mix up your registry. Couples, especially those living in small spaces or who already have everything they need, are stepping outside the box. 


Why it's awesome: You can register for everything from garage gear (think: toolbox) to honeymoons to charity donations. Have fun!

Unexpected Registry Ideas

The Tradition: Delicate décor.

Brides are thinking beyond pale pinks, blushes, and creams and embracing bright yellows, hot pinks, cool greens, and vibrant oranges. How to do it: Choose festive flowers, brighten the linens, or go big and bright with a colorful gown (think Gwen Stefani's pink ombré style dress). 


Why it's awesome: Showing off your signature color brings more of your personality to the event.

The Tradition: A classic diamond. 

From Olivia Wilde's emerald halo to Carrie Underwood's canary yellow diamond to Scarlett Johansson's art-deco style, celeb brides are showing off the latest trends. If you've already got a classic diamond on your hand, play up a love of color or design with a custom wedding band.  


Why it's awesome: You're one-of-a-kind and your ring should be, too.

Celebrity Engagement Rings

The Tradition: Seeing the groom for the first time while you're walking down the aisle.

That first look is everything, but it doesn't have to happen at the ceremony. Many brides and grooms are taking pictures pre-ceremony to ease the post-ceremony timeline. And some are even getting ready together to make the party last longer. 


Why it's awesome: It helps ease some of the pressure of the first look, and it's a fun way for the bridal party and families to spend more time together.

See the Best First Looks

The Tradition: A formal rehearsal dinner.

The post-rehearsal party can be so much more than a stuffy, speech-filled dinner. Instead couples are throwing pool parties and beach bashes, living it up at local hotspots, or taking their guests for some mini golf or laser tag. The goal: fun! 


Why it's awesome: A fun night out will ease pre-wedding jitters and entertain your bridal party.

The Tradition: The father of the bride gives away his daughter. 

Brides want to honor their mom too, so many are taking the walk with both parents. Others are showing off their independence by taking their first steps to marriage solo. Another option: Dive head first into marriage by walking down with your future husband. 


Why it's awesome: There are no rules here. You know who and what matters to you.

About the Author

Tia Albright

Tia's love affair with weddings started with 16 sweet little words, "Dad, I met a man in Rome, and he's wonderful and brilliant, and we're getting married." That was all it took. Now she's married and writing about cakes, dresses, and décor to her heart's content, and she still watches Father of the Bride at least once a year (OK, maybe more like three or four times).


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