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  • Writer's pictureGawJess

What to Skip on Your Wedding Day

Some rituals are non negotiable for many brides and grooms, but as time progresses, so do traditions. I’ve attended countless weddings as a guest, and for the most part, they all seem to follow the same timeline: father walks bride down the aisle, vows are read, photos, cocktail hour, reception, father-daughter-mother-groom dance, speeches, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss. You pretty much know how this is going to run, and not much is left to surprise your guests.

Wedding days are also super long. If you think it’s a long day for you as a guest, imagine the couple to be wed. As a wedding makeup artist, I have found myself in hotel rooms at 5 or 6am for bridal parties for a 12pm “first look” and the wedding won’t start until 2pm. And she still has to look presentable, enthusiastic, and awake for the next 5 or more hours. Typically the bride and bridesmaids have a much longer day than the groom and his party, because, well, they have jack to do but get a cut (which I hear normally happens the day before). They have the luxury of sleeping in much longer, playing video games, heck - I even heard of an entire groomsman party golfing before the wedding. So imagine the poor girls, 6am to 7pm! That’s more than a 12 hour day! (Sometimes longer.) Think about that.

To add, skipping some traditions won’t just save you time, it will save you MONEY!

If you want a more modern, less tiring wedding you actually want to enjoy, skip some of these traditions - and maybe even make your own! I know, you might be that girl that wants a photo of EVERYTHING but think to yourself, will it really matter on your 10th anniversary?

Paper Invitations

I’ve been invited to many recent weddings through a digital invitation. I think this is a brilliant idea, which helps the couple plan the guestlist online. And I'll never have to worry if I left the invitation home while driving to the wedding because the address is now in my email.

A Large Bridal Party

This might be one of those non-negotiables for plenty of brides. Fulana may still want 12 bridesmaids who include her elementary school buddies and all of her cousins. But think about the less stress you’d have to worry about when it comes to planning all those dress fittings, hair & makeup looks, and risking personality clashes. I see it all the time. In my opinion, 3 is the perfect number. Maybe 2. Have 2 girls who you’re struggling to make your MOH? If one of them is already married, that’s an easy solution: make one your Maid of Honor, and the other your Matron of Honor. If you have a third person, she’s a bridesmaid. On the wedding morning, while doing my brides’ makeup, when I ask “What would you have done differently,” they ALL respond, “I would have had a smaller wedding or eloped.”


If a must at the ceremony, keep it short and sweet - still meaningful, though this may be easier said than done. Want to save time and keep it private? Write your vows ahead of time and exchange them before the wedding. Send the Maid of Honor and Best Man to deliver them for you. It will make a great reactional moment for your wedding video. I would recommend reading BEFORE the makeup gets done.

Cake Cutting Ceremony

Does everyone really need to watch you shove cake in each other’s face? And please, don’t ruin my hair and makeup. Still want this fun experience in photos? Think about doing this on your “Trash The Dress” photo shoot day. I mean, you’re already going to look like a hot mess.

Too Many Speeches

I actually love Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches that are funny and thoughtful, or a Father of the Bride / Mother of the Groom speech that’s a good tear jerker. But, please, for the love of God, stop there. I’ve been to weddings where almost every bridesmaid, groomsman, aunt, uncle, Madrina, Padrino gave a speech. Midway, half of your guests have left to the bathroom or are at the bar getting drunk. Still want to hear what they have to say? Have a video speech option where they can speak into the camera during the reception and your videographer can create a montage of speeches for your wedding video.

Bouquet and Garter Toss

I’ve noticed more and more weddings skipping this. The couple wants to keep the garter for momentum. Or maybe people had enough of a Tio creeping up a random guest’s dress in the middle of the party while everyone laughs and stares.

1 Comment

Jan 18, 2021

This cracked me up while reading this. Definitely very good pointers though! Thanks for sharing!

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