Wedding Style: Traditional vs Modern

Traditional Weddings vs Modern Weddings For Today’s Changing Culture

Some old traditions never die, including a traditional church wedding.  Although, today’s generation have some of their own ideas of how to make their day special by being anything but traditional. No two wedding ceremonies are alike. Even if some couples follow the traditional vows or procedure, every pair has a unique mix of things as it comes to their officiant, remarks, ring exchanges, recessional and more.  Let’s look at some of the similarities/differences of a traditional vs modern wedding style.

Define “Traditional”

It’s an iconic image: the white dress, the church bells, the priest, the traditional vows repeated by an earnest, fresh-faced couple.  Although, what is the true definition of a traditional wedding?  Some cultures might have different perspectives on the exact meaning of this.  By definition, “A traditional wedding focuses on the marrying couple’s heritage, and fuses culture and a party atmosphere to ring in a new marriage. It’s all about incorporating traditions from both cultures, and often little consideration is given to the overall cost of the wedding”.  This style of wedding is mainly held in a venue such as a church, hotel ballroom, or even a community hall.

Religion in Tradition

Not all traditional weddings are based along religion.  Although, it is very likely for this theme to have some religious background tied to their heritage. Traditional Weddings follow a religious or cultural tradition.  They generally take place in a church or the place of worship suited to your beliefs, and led by a religious head. This ceremony includes readings from the Bible or religious text, and traditional marriage vows.

Traditional Wedding Vows

At the center of any marriage ceremony are the wedding vows. They are the words spoken by the couple and minister and expresses both an intent and a promise.  Granted that not all wedding vows are the same, traditional wedding vows are rooted from the same original script of, “I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you”.  Whether or not you’re going to stick with tradition, the meaning behind these classic religious vows are romantic and a great starting point for writing your own or altering them to suit you.


Of course, there are some traditions to be held at your “traditional” wedding.  For starters, the bride has a number of wardrobe choices in order to keep up with tradition. A white dress, veil, something borrowed, old, new and blue – these are all the pieces essential to a traditional western wedding gown.  Although, the bride isn’t the only patron that needs to hold the standard traditions on your wedding day.  The groom does have a little more leeway when it comes to his wedding day attire.  The groom has a couple choices as far as tuxedo or a three-piece suit.  He doesn’t necessarily have to be dressed in black (although it is most traditional to do so).  Any neutral color is acceptable.


The average cost of a traditional wedding tends to be much higher.  There are many aspects to consider when it comes to overall cost…

Your wedding dress and suits

Bridesmaid and groomsmen outfits.

The reception: A big range of prices here depending on the location, fanciness of desired food options, and whether or not to do an open bar.

The venue: Again, there are a huge range of prices here, especially if you live in a large city. You also may have to book two years in advance to secure your desired location!

Decorations at the reception and venue



Limo rental (if necessary)

Wedding Favors


Non-Traditional/Modern Weddings

Instead of having a traditional format on how and where the wedding should be, a non-traditional or alternative wedding is something out of the norm. The theme is created by the bride and groom (usually with help from the wedding planner) and can be anything they want it to be.  This is more common in today’s day and age where couple’s are striving to show who “they are” as a couple.  There are still bits and pieces of the traditional wedding events and procedures, just now with a personalized spin on the idea.


Couples are now getting more creative than ever before while planning their weddings. With creativity comes a new desire to marry in non-traditional wedding venues that encourage couples to incorporate hobbies, passions, and a desire to plan a completely unique and unforgettable experience for guests.  The options are endless on today’s wedding destinations and couples aren’t afraid to take the cheaper route! Non-traditional wedding venues include places such as AirBnB rentals, stadiums, beach locations, college campuses, national monuments, breweries, or something more farmhouse chic!  If traveling is something you and your spouse are passionate about, another trend that’s becoming popular is a destination wedding.

The Dress Doesn’t Have To Be White

If you don’t feel like yourself in a traditional white gown, go for something unexpected. Don’t let old traditions hold you from being YOU on your wedding day. Non-traditional weddings are becoming more and more frequent in today’s changing culture.  Just because brides that came before you have worn white doesn’t mean that you have to wear white, too. Trust us, even if you’re wearing a modern multicolor gown, no one will be confused who the bride is.

Save a Little Money

When you go the non-traditional route there aren’t any “must-haves” at your wedding.  So if you can’t afford it, skip it!  If you are unable to skip a crucial part of your wedding arrangements then there are so many ways around breaking the bank.  Here are a few ways to have your dream modern wedding and save a few dollars!

Rent the dress

Try a non-traditional venue

Paperless Invitations

DIY décor

Limit the options at the bar

Ceremony and reception at one location

Consider doing your own flowers (Yes, it’s possible)

Make it Fun

Today is meant to be one of the most important days of your life!  Don’t let the stress of the day ruin the memories for you.  Remember to stop and look around and be present on your day.  There are so many ways to not only make your wedding day fun for you, but also keep your guests involved and entertained!

Personal vows and speeches

The Venue.  Try something non-tradtional!

Food Trucks (give the guests some options)

Live band or DJ

Entertainment such as photo booths, caricature artists, games, paper lanterns, etc

Open bar



The White Oak Cottage is the perfect venue for your fun affordable wedding!  To schedule a tour contact us at (813)650-0054.