wedding couple taking selfie
Justin Kunimoto Photography

Weddings are filled with traditions, from what the couple wears to how they schedule the day’s events, but Millennial couples are switching things up by modernizing these wedding traditions, along with how weddings are planned. According to WeddingWire’s 2018 Newlywed Report, today’s engaged couples are putting their own spin on how they plan their wedding. They’re giving their bridesmaids more flexibility in what dresses they wear, adding surprising elements to the reception and are including local details into various wedding moments.

Here are nine ways that couples are putting their own spin on wedding traditions. 

Wedding Planning Happens Online

Pinterest was made for wedding planning, and in fact 69 percent of couples will use Pinterest to discover creative wedding ideas. But it’s not just social media channels that can help you plan your big day. 62 percent of couples will create a wedding website to share their wedding plans – important dates to know, where they’re registered, directions to the wedding venue – and 19 percent create a group chat with key people (parents, siblings, members of the wedding party) to share ideas and information.

More Brides Are Skipping White

While wearing a white dress is certainly a wedding tradition, 20 percent of brides today will opt to wear another color on their wedding day. The latest wedding dress collections, Fall 2018, showed a range of alternate or accent hues that brides can choose from including black detailing and blush (pale pink) colored gowns. And if you still want to wear white, you can make your shoes your pop of color in any shade you love or that complements your wedding’s color palette.

Wedding Parties Are Mixing it Up

Sometimes a bride’s best friend is a guy, and maybe the groom wants his sister as the best woman. Millennial couples are aware that gender-specific wedding party roles don’t always fit with the reality of their relationships, so they’re mixing things up. 40 percent of couples, an increase of 14 percent since 2015, are having more gender-fluid wedding parties, where the couple will choose the bridesmaids/bridesmen, groomsmen/groomswomen, maid or man of honor and best man or woman based on which relationships they want to honor.

Bridesmaids Can Wear Whatever the Heck They Want

And speaking of bridesmaids, fewer brides are asking their ‘maids to wear the same bridesmaid dress. In fact, only 41 percent of bridesmaids are wearing the same dress, down from 55 percent in 2015. But not every bride is brave enough to let their bridesmaids choose just any dress, they’re still giving them some guidelines as to the wedding’s formality and colors they can choose from.

bride with wedding party
New Seasons Photography

Ceremony Music Doesn’t Have to be Classical

A classic string quartet is, well, classic, but today couples are opting to enhance the tone of their wedding ceremony with unexpected musical choices. Almost two-thirds of couples (61 percent) will walk down the aisle to a non-classic song, while 40 Percent selected unique wedding music for their ceremony such as a bagpiper as a nod to their family’s heritage.  If you’re not sure what music to play for your ceremony, but you know you don’t want a classical piece, ask your band leader or DJ for some modern music options based on your family’s background and personal favorites.

Couples Are Surprising Their Guests

The biggest surprise in the 2018 Newlywed Report is in fact a surprise: A surprise for the guests in the form of an unexpected entertainment element.  17 percent of couples are hiring a fun act to entertain their guests in the form of a fortune teller, cover band of a favorite singer or group, or professional dancers, such as a belly dancer.

Local is Everything

Local wedding details can mean a number of different things: locally-grown flowers, locally-sourced food (think farm to table menus) and locally-made products for the wedding’s welcome bag or wedding favor. Today, 21 percent of couples are including local elements from their wedding’s location into their wedding details. Some creative ways to include these items are creating a local-themed welcome bag with a tote that highlights the location and filled with local snacks, beverages and other items that the couple enjoy.

Wedding Cakes Are Here to Stay

While cutting the wedding cake is not as popular a wedding tradition as it once was, 82 percent of couples will still share that sweet moment at the wedding reception. Some may do it on the dance floor in front of all of their guests, while other will do it in private but still capture it for their wedding album. In addition to serving a wedding cake, over a third of couples will also serve guests a variety of desserts via a dessert table. The menu can range from a selection of pies to a cookie buffet to an ice cream sundae bar. Whatever desserts a couple prefers, there’s no doubt that the wedding cake is no longer the only dessert of the night.

Honeymoons Aren’t Necessarily Occurring Immediately After the Wedding

One major wedding tradition is newlyweds leaving for their honeymoon directly after their wedding, but now 50 percent of couples will take a delayed honeymoon. There are a number of reasons why a couple will decide to wait weeks or months for their honeymoon – waiting for the right season to visit their honeymoon destination or taking off before and/or after the wedding date to spend time with family and friends who are flying in for the wedding. Whenever you want to book your honeymoon, consider using a travel agent to help you find the best deals and plan the ultimate itinerary based on what you want to do on your honeymoon, whether it’s an adventure, cultural or R & R.