Which Traditions to Keep from Your Grandparents’ Wedding

The exciting thing about planning a wedding these days is that you can deviate as much as you like from tradition and everyone loves the creativity! But which things should stay, and which should go? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. A few generations ago, when your grandmother was getting married, there was very little deviation from tradition. And there are still some things worth keeping. At Walter Knoll Weddings, we understand the confusion that can come with knowing which wedding practices to keep and which to avoid. Here are just a few tips on the matter (and of course, feel free to consult your mom and grandmother as well!).

Lace wedding dress and matching garter

Do Wear a White Dress / Don’t Do a Garter Toss

A white dress is still an iconic element to any wedding, though in today’s world it’s okay if that white dress is more of a champagne or candlelight hue. In general, there’s only going to be one person at a wedding in a white dress, so the attention-grabbing aspect of this choice is worthwhile. Often, choosing your mom’s or grandmother’s wedding dress is a tribute to their beautiful style and keeps a lovely tradition alive, as well. However, do not feel compelled to maintain the garter tossing piece of the wedding reception. These days are over. Women don’t even wear garters, nor is the practice a gender-equitable one. So, feel free to toss that tradition like they used to toss garters!

Wedding bouquet toss with bride and groom

Do Toss the Bouquet /Don’t Throw Rice 

There’s still something exciting and fun about a bride tossing a bouquet- and effectively passing the torch to the next single lady- that everyone loves at weddings. Even though few girls still believe it means they’ll be the next bride, it’s still a chance to gather all the girls at the wedding for a great photo op. However, please don’t ask guests to throw rice anymore when you and your partner leave the reception. We’ve long known how harmful rice can be for birds and other nearby wildlife. So, have guests blow bubbles or wave sparklers instead. These alternatives are already becoming popular enough to be seen as a new tradition themselves.

Wedding rehearsal dinner table setting

Do Have a Rehearsal Dinner /Don’t Let Dad Pay

A rehearsal dinner is a great way to bring all the key people in your wedding together before the big event. Bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and siblings may not have met each other before the wedding week. So, give them time to meet and get to know each other in a more casual setting before the big day. However, these days most brides have established themselves with an income and an independent lifestyle. Unless you’re still living under your father’s care and provision, it’s time for today’s modern woman (and man) to pay for their wedding themselves. This isn’t a bad thing, though- paying the bill means getting to make every decision yourself!

Bride and groom cutting small floral wedding cake

Do Cut the Cake Together /Don’t Have a 3-Tiered White Cake

The cutting of the cake is like a mini-event at every wedding reception. You’ll definitely want the photos of you and your partner in action, laughing, and enjoying each other naturally, unposed. Plus, guests love getting delicious cake as dessert at a wedding! But don’t feel obligated to provide a several-story-tall sugar monstrosity with plastic people on top in order to have a great cake-cutting photo. You can get creative with your type of dessert, from a donut cake to cupcake stands or even a complete DIY dessert bar. Just be sure you and your partner get the first bite, and everyone knows it!


It can be tricky to decide which traditions to keep and which to toss when planning a more modern wedding. Your family, or your partner’s family, may have specific wedding traditions they hope to see continue with your wedding. Talk to them about what needs to remain, then talk to the professionals at Walter Knoll Weddings about what you’d like to see- and not see- at your wedding. We’re here to help you create your dream wedding and we’ll walk you through it step by step.