8 Wedding "Rules" You Can Break

We know a lot of y'all are recently engaged and you're starting to plan your weddings, so I've got a lot of planning-related posts coming up! Some will be new posts, and some will be things I've already blogged, like this one. Here are a few wedding "rules" that you can totally break, no matter what you've been told! Have a great weekend, y'all. Xoxo


I'm kind of a rule breaker. I'm also not very traditional, I don't like being told what to do, and I like to be creative and adventurous. So when I was planning my own wedding, I spent a lot of time googling which wedding traditions I could and could not break. And then I had an ah-ha moment, and I realized... It's my wedding, I can do what I want to! Even if that includes walking myself down the aisle, having a weird tree-watering unity ceremony, choosing non-traditional vows and putting glittery dinosaurs on my reception tables. ;)

I'm a firm believer that when you are getting married, you get to plan your wedding exactly the way you want it. You don't have to do what your mom, your fiance's mom, your grandmother, your maid of honor or anyone else wants you to do! (I'm not saying that you should be disrespectful to anyone who is helping you plan your wedding. All I'm saying is that your opinion and your fiance's opinions are what matter most! And sometimes you've gotta help your loved ones understand that.)

Even if you're not on the rebellious side, here are eight wedding rules you can consider breaking! 

Shingleur Photography , from  Tang + DJ 's red, white & blue wedding at The Barn.

Shingleur Photography, from Tang + DJ's red, white & blue wedding at The Barn.

1. Old rule: You must have a unity candle.
New rule: Do your own, more creative unity ceremony!

Unity candles are kind of out. Sure, if a unity candle is your thing, go for it! But this is a detail of your wedding that you're allowed to get totally creative with. Opt for a handfasting ceremony! Unity sand! A unity paint ceremony! A unity tree! A love letter and wine box ceremony! Or, you know, you don't even have to have a unity ceremony. Get creative! 

Life as a Photo , from  Ashley + Michael 's beautiful pink springtime wedding. 

Life as a Photo, from Ashley + Michael's beautiful pink springtime wedding. 

2. Old rule: You must invite everyone you know, everyone your parents know, everyone your fiance's parents know, as well as a plus one for everyone.
New rule: Invite who you want.

Yep. It's true. You can invited whoever YOU want to be at YOUR wedding. Phew! Glad we got that out of the way.
(But keep in mind, if your parents or your fiance's parents are paying for the wedding, you might consider inviting a few of the folks they'd like you to invite. And it is nice to allow your single friends to bring a date. But it's your wedding, so you decide!)

Stephanie Parsley Photography , from  Samantha + Danny 's boho-chic wedding.

3. Old rule: The bride's parents pay for the wedding.
New rule: You can pay for your own wedding.

If you're able to pay for your own wedding and your parents aren't made of money, you can (and should) pay for your own! Or at least part of it. If the groom's parents want to pay for some (or all) of your wedding expenses, let them! If you want to split it between all of you, that's great, too. Or if your sweet grandmother offers to pitch in and you're comfortable with it, let her! 

Liz Chrisman Photography , from  Katie + Joe 's 1950s pin-up inspired wedding. 

Liz Chrisman Photography, from Katie + Joe's 1950s pin-up inspired wedding. 

4. Old rule: Your dress must be white, fluffy and long.
New rule: Your dress can be pink, short, mermaid-style, hugely poofy or whatever the heck your heart desires.

Helloooo! Have you seen some of the crazy-awesome dresses that have been popular lately? There have been pink dresses, blue dresses, long dresses, short dresses, tulle dresses, lace dresses, ballgown dresses, mermaid dresses, vintage dresses, and everything in between. Your wedding dress doesn't have to be traditional! Choose something that you'll love just as much 50 years from now as you do today.

J. Millwood Photography , from  Kaleena + Spencer 's gorgeous green & blue wedding.

J. Millwood Photography, from Kaleena + Spencer's gorgeous green & blue wedding.

5. Old rule: You must have the same number of groomsmen as bridesmaids, and they all have to match.
New rule: You can ask anyone to be in your wedding party.

Men of honor. Best women. Bridesmen. Groomsmaids. You can have choose any of those, as well as a four-legged flower girl or ring bearer or flower grandmothers (this is happening at The Barn this year, and I couldn't love the idea more!). You don't have to have the same number of attendants on each side either. Your bridal party can walk down the aisle individually or in groups of three. You don't even have to have a bridal party! 
And as we all know, mismatched bridesmaids dresses are all the rage right now, so that's obviously a rule you can break.

6. Old rule: Your wedding cake has to be three-tiered, white and traditional.
New rule: Your wedding cake can be CRAZY.

A few weeks ago, I showed you some of my favorite over-the-top wedding cakes. Wedding cakes have been so fabulous lately! Here's what's super cool right now: very detailed cakes, geometric designs, bright colors, unique textures, naked cakes, messy and imperfect frosting, and wedding cake alternatives (which I wrote about a while back... I'm still obsessed with that waffle cake). When it comes to the cake, do your own thing.

BnBauman Photography , from  Hayley + Zach 's precious pink wedding.

BnBauman Photography, from Hayley + Zach's precious pink wedding.

7. Old rule: Your accessories have to be expensive and fancy.
New rule: Wear what makes you comfortable.

Confession: my wedding shoes were on sale for $9! They were gold, glittery flats, they were comfy, and they were exactly what I wanted. You don't have to splurge on a pair of Louboutins just because they're going to be in a couple detail shots. Most people aren't going to see them, so wear something that is both comfortable, but still cute enough to be in a photo or two. Toms, flats or comfortable heels are always a good option... and y'all already know we LOVE fancy dresses with boots! ;) 
You don't have to splurge on your jewelry either! You've probably dropped a lot of cash on your dress, so buy something pretty, but inexpensive, or borrow some pretty earrings or a bracelet from someone you love. 

Cottonwood Studios Worldwide , from  Ally + Tyler 's sweet blue & pink wedding.

Cottonwood Studios Worldwide, from Ally + Tyler's sweet blue & pink wedding.

8. Old rule: You and your fiance have to say traditional vows.
New rule: Write your own! 
This is obviously not a new trend, but I can't stress enough how important it is to have vows that actually mean something to you. If the traditional vows are meaningful to you, go for it! If they don't say exactly what you want to say, feel free to write your own (as a couple, or separately) or choose non-traditional vows that have already been written. Google "wedding vow examples," and you'll surely find something you both love.

Were you a more traditional bride, or did you break some rules? (Or if you're not yet married, do you think you'll be more traditional or a rule-breaker?)