This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

5 New and Unusual Wedding Traditions

BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Weddings have always been steeped in tradition, with rules and logistics that have been culturally ingrained decade after decade.

Time will tell how the increasing legality of same-sex marriages will influence the institution. But brides and grooms have already been adding wrinkles to the longstanding matrimonial blueprint, ranging from the quaint to the unusual.

The changing face of ceremonies is worth paying attention to for anyone in a business related to weddings. Each year, there are approximately 2.5 million weddings in the U.S., and more than $70 billion is spent on them.

"I think that the idea of a cookie-cutter wedding is a passe concept," says Lori Stephenson, co-founder of Lola Event Productions, a Chicago event and wedding design firm. "Everything is about your preferences, customizing it and making it feel like your day. Every single bride I work with now is saying, 'I want it to feel like us.' There no, 'I have to throw the bouquet or do the garter or the cake cutting.' There is no 'have-to' anymore; it is all about whether you want to do something."

That has meant, for example, that once-forbidden black is starting to show up with bridesmaids dresses. The dowry-inspired tradition of the father of the bride footing the bill is becoming more of a shared responsibility among families. The fact that many, if not most, of couples live together at some point before the big day is also a catalyst for change.

"I've even had a few couples who, instead of [the bride] walking down the aisle on their dad's arm and being given away to the groom, walk down the aisle together," Stephenson says. "They are coming together to the altar as equals and there is none of this old-fashioned idea of leaving your family."

Increasingly, couples are also trying to relieve the pressure of weddings by having smaller, low-key legal ceremonies ahead of time.

"We have a lot of people who are choosing friends and families to officiate their ceremonies," Stephenson says. "While it is very easy to get ordained online, sometimes people feel more comfortable doing it in advance, either with a religious person of their faith or at the courthouse. They want to know that all the legalities are managed and they can do absolutely whatever they want during the ceremony and it becomes a reflection of their personal love story, rather than something that is dictated as something that they have to do ... Everything else is just show and theater for everybody else."

The following are five new twists on wedding traditions, ranging from those creeping steadily into the mainstream to the unusual:

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs