This Wedding Tradition Is On Its Way Out (And We’re Quite Relieved)

That will spare us a lot of injuries...

By Dobrina Zhekova

From the editors of InStyle US

Fact: Getting hitched is not cheap.

According to The Knot‘s recently released Real Weddings Study, couples in the US spent an average of £23,983 on their wedding celebrations in 2017, with almost half of that (£10,871) going toward venues.

While these prices indicate a very slight decrease from 2016’s (which broke wedding cost records), the long-term trend shows that weddings are becoming more expensive, while the guest count is shrinking. What does that mean?

American Wedding

‘Weddings in 2017 showed us that couples are focused on guests, as we see them pulling out all the stops to create a truly memorable experience for their wedding attendees,’ Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor-in-chief of The Knot, told InStyle.

Spending on guest entertainment has almost tripled since 2009, from 11% to 40% of total event planning costs. Think photo booths, sparklers, and selfie stations – products and services that contribute to fun guest experiences.

But no matter the price, weddings are all about traditions – and those are changing too. Survey results shows that couples are turning away from cookie-cutter, formal celebrations, instead opting for more personalised fetes, incorporating their own cultural and religious traditions. Maxwell Cooper pointed to ‘flamenco guitarists, Irish step dancers and bagpipers, Moroccan belly dancers, Hawaiian lei exchanges, and Cuban cigar rolling stations,’ as examples. Brides and grooms likely feel these activities better reflect who they are than, say, your classic wedding bouquet toss.

Wedding Daze

Speaking of which, the bouquet toss is one tradition you’ll be seeing less of. ‘Under half of brides do a bouquet toss, and only 37% of grooms do a garter toss,’ says Maxwell Cooper, who hypothesizes that the activity is better suited to younger brides and grooms with plenty of single friends. ‘Seeing as the average age of a bride is 29 and the groom is almost 31, it’s no surprise that traditions like these are on the way out.’

One tradition proved to have staying power, though, and that’s a couple’s first dance. ‘It’s still a beautiful pastime that couples continue to get excited about,’ she says.

And a tip: Most people assume that summer is the most popular time of year to get hitched, Maxwell Cooper says, but that may not be the case. Last year, summer and autumn were tied, with September taking the lead as the most popular wedding month, followed closely by June and October.

If you’d like to get married and not spend a fortune, avoid those months, as wedding venues and vendors tend to increase fees during peak wedding season.