Your wedding is a day that needs to be all about your love for each other. But weddings are steeped in history and meaning and come with a mound of traditions. Typically, around 80% of people getting married for the first time choose a traditional wedding, and the majority of LGBTQ+ weddings follow societal norms when it comes to getting married.

But following the norm isn’t for everyone. And whether you choose to bypass all traditional or tweak them for your wedding, there is a unique approach to suit every couple, throuple, or the union of a polyamorous relationship to show their commitment to each other.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular wedding traditions and how you can tweak them to make them fit in with your big day.


Best Men and Bridesmaids

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a best man or bridesmaids at your wedding. If this is the route you want to take, but if you want to change things up, why not try mixing up your wedding roles? Throw out the traditional roles of wedding parties and make it up as you go along. You want those you love the most standing up there beside you, and they don’t need to conform to age-old traditions if you don’t want them to.


Invent your own roles to suit the person filling them and say your vows surrounded by the people who best fit your life, not a label at a one-day event.


Walking Down The Aisle

Traditionally, in heterosexual weddings, the groom waits for the bride as she is walked down the aisle by her father or a male figure giving her away. You definitely don’t have to do it this way. You can both walk down the aisle together alone or with your respective parents or loved ones. You can even have your pets or children walking you down the aisle together or separately.


For a fun twist, why not have two aisles that you can both walk down towards each other and meet at the altar or chuppah? Depending on your wedding and personality, it can be as fun or as simple as you wish. Give it a try and see how you feel and what works best for you before the ceremony.


Wedding Attire

Do both brides wear dresses, or do both grooms need to wear suits? Absolutely not! And reinventing your wedding attire based on your choices can not only add a unique aspect to your day but give you something you feel proud to wear.


Not that you cannot wear traditional wedding dresses and suits if you wish, but these don’t need to be restricted to the conventional gender roles. Both men and women can wear suits or dresses or even opt for the increasingly popular wedding jumpsuits. Look at your options, then switch it up if you wish.



We all know that the bride is supposed to take the groom’s name, and around four in five women still take their new husbands’ names in heterosexual marriages to this day, but this tradition is slowly being reinvented to suit the couple. Whatever you choose, whether you have a legal marriage or just an informal ceremony, you can change your name by deed poll to one or both your surnames or even change it to a completely different name altogether, much like Phoebe in Friends, AKA Princess Consuela Banana Hammock.



OK, so we’ve discussed how you can change up other traditional wedding day elements, but who holds the flowers? Quite simply, anyone and everyone or no one at all. Are you feeling nervous and want something to occupy your hands so you’re not fidgeting walking down the aisle or standing at the altar? Use a bunch of flowers.


Don’t want anything in your hand that you’re likely to drop? Then leave the flowers to your flower person as the current trend goes, or get your guests to hold bouquets instead.



Most people probably agree that traditional wedding vows should be resigned to the history books. Instead, let your love flow through writing your own vows that represent who you are as a couple (or more) and what you stand for.


You can read your vows aloud to each other, or you can write vows for your officiant to read to you both to replace this standard part of the ceremony. It is again entirely up to you. They can be as elaborate or simple as you like and include anything you want to say to solidify your relationship.



Again, you do not need to resort to norms when giving speeches. It’s not just the groom, best man, or bride’s father who can have their say. You can give the honor of a speech to anyone who wants to share their thoughts. While we don’t recommend giving everyone the mic, save that for the wedding videos; you don’t have to limit your speeches to the three parties mentioned.


Seating Plan

A wedding seating plan in the past has typically gone man, woman, man, woman. This probably won’t work for your wedding so why not create a table based on the guests’ personalities and who you think will get along well together.


If you’re worried about who to invite to the “top table, ” why not mix this up, too? You can include both sets of parents if you wish, have it for you both only, or include your entire wedding party as many seating plans do. You don’t even need to have a top table if you don’t wish to have one.


Weddings definitely don’t need to be restricted to traditional norms. Just because something has always been done this way, it doesn’t mean you need to do it this way. You can make your special day just as unique as you are and get the most enjoyment possible from it.


Photo by Cameron Hinkle Photography from Ian and Michael’s real wedding feature.