//Breaking with tradition

Breaking with tradition

Anything goes

Breaking with tradition: How the modern wedding has torn up the rule book

Most folk of a certain age, or fans of musical theatre, are likely to be familiar with the 1934 Cole Porter song ‘Anything Goes’.

In recent years those two words have become ever more applicable to weddings. As the traditional nuclear family has morphed into something much more fluid there’s been a blurring of traditional gender roles at weddings

We’re all familiar with the traditional wedding party lineup of the bride and bridegroom, a best man and groomsmen, bridesmaids and flower girls. Along with one set of parents per member of the couple, a number of friends and a smattering of sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts these were the core ingredients of the ages-old wedding set-up.

Yet, as this 2008 article from The Guardian,’Why grooms want a best girl’, points out, one growing trend is to have a best woman instead of a best man. It seems this move started when chaps realised there was nothing to stop them having multiple ‘Best Men’ at their wedding. From there, men with close female friends started to ask themselves ‘Why a best man? Why not a woman?’

The then director of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners commented that, once the realisation dawned on couples that anything goes at a modern wedding they began to play around with the male/female roles at weddings in effort to break with convention and to be different.

So if you want Groomswomen instead of Groomsmen and a Best Woman instead of a Best Man there’s nothing to stop you. This way you create a wedding that reflects you and what is important to you, not what tradition says you  aught to do.

Giving up the giving away: or at least changing the game

The whole ‘giving the bride away’ thing dates from the days when women didn’t exist in their own right. They were their father’s property until they married and became their husband’s. Nice.

These days many brides opt to do something different – for a number of reasons:

  • Feminism – many women don’t feel, and rightly so, that they are someone’s property to be handed over. But instead of dumping this section of the ceremony you can be creative with it and turn it into something more meaningful and one that reflects your choices.
  • There is no father – divorce, death and disappearance from a life – all sound reasons for doing it different. In such circumstances a bride often chooses her mum to walk done the aisle with her.
  • The bride wants to incorporate both her parents into this part of the ceremony. Because being given away presents a super opportunity to give thanks to your parents. It nods to the tradition without following it blindly.

This article from The Spruce, ‘Traditions and Alternatives to Giving Away the Bride’ offers some suggested wordings to fit any of the above scenarios.

Give the older generation a leading role in proceedings

In a society where worship of youth seems to be all-consuming a heart-warming trend of late is that of asking grandma to be a bridesmaid.

Grandma plays bridesmaids at her granddaughters wedding

Image cutesy of Sweetwater Portraits sweetwaterportraits.com

What a wonderful, family-friendly move this is. Back in May 2015, when Caroline Quinn tied the knot, her bridesmaids included here grandma.


What a way to celerate a special relationship. Who doesn’t want her best friend standing beside her on her wedding day? Not to mention all of my friends love my nana as well

, so we all had a great time planning and spending time together.’


I can’t think of a better way to honour and celebrate the special role a grandmother plays in a child’s life than that.


In response to a client’s request the Fab Gift Boutique now offers personalized gift sets for the ‘ask gift’. At the moment, we make them for the traditional roles of bridesmaid, best man and groomsman. But perhaps we should offer them for non-traditional roles too?

What do you think? Are you planning to break with tradition and have a Best Woman or have your mum give you away?

Let us know – we’d love to hear from you.

You’ll find us on the usual social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or drop us a line on: info@thefabgiftboutique.com

By | 2017-11-07T09:10:22+01:00 August 28th, 2017|News|2 Comments

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  1. […] To find more on wedding traditions – read our blog on choosing which traditions you follow and which you change to create your won traditions. You can hop over to the website and have a read of Breaking with wedding traditions […]

  2. […] our recent blog, Breaking with Tradition, we took a look at the ways in which many couples are throwing away the matrimonial rule book and […]

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