Breaking traditions: weddings with a difference!

Breaking traditions: weddings with a difference!

Here at the Hythe Imperial Hotel, we love a traditional wedding – a formal ceremony, welcome drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening reception party with a disco or band – as this is a tried and very well tested formula. However, we also embrace couples who decide to do things a little bit differently.

If you are planning a wedding, here are just some ideas on how you can break with tradition:


For many years it was considered ‘the done thing’ to get married in a church. But there are so many options available to couples now that, really, anything goes – why not consider saying your vows on the beach or by a lake, in a farmyard barn, on a fairground ride or in any number of quirky city venues? At the Hythe Imperial Hotel alone there are several different options, from the gazebo in the pretty gardens to the ballroom overlooking the beach!

Perhaps you could do something a bit different when it comes to the wedding party? Whilst it may be traditional for the bride’s father to walk her down the aisle, some brides decide that it’s more appropriate for their mother to assume this role, or perhaps for both dad and stepdad to do so together. If your parents are elderly – or sadly no longer with us – then you might choose your favourite sibling, closest friend, or other important person in your life. The same applies to the role of the best man; we are seeing a lot more ‘best women’ these days, as grooms decide that they would prefer their sister or best female friend to perform that special role.

There are several other opportunities to mix things up; while you are signing the register, you could invite someone to sing, read a poem or do something altogether different – we once witnessed a whole congregation play with an enormous game of pass the parcel, complete with accessories such as wigs, glasses and full fancy dress outfits falling out each time a layer was removed! It was an interesting sight by the end of the game, providing some brilliant photos and acting as a great ice breaker for the drinks reception that followed!

The wedding breakfast can often follow a very traditional format, but we now see a lot of couples opting to do away with the formal top table and instead to sit on a round table at the centre of the room, where they can be at the heart of the action – and centre of attention!
Speeches are also changing; some couples decide not to have any at all, others make the speeches before the meal so that everyone – including those giving them – can relax and enjoy themselves. Some couples choose to pre-record the entire thing and show it on a large screen! This works particularly well if you are getting married abroad, but have a lot of well-wishers who are unable to join you for your special day.

We have also seen an increasing trend in the fathers of brides opting out of the traditional father-of-the-bride speech (particularly if it isn’t the bride’s first wedding) and they often delegate the job to one of their siblings or one of their children’s siblings.

Now onto the party…with lockdown causing so many delays for couples – and so much more time to tweak and plan their weddings – we are now seeing some very creative performances indeed, from couples involving their children in their first dance to full-scale flash mobs where most of the guests start doing a pre-arranged dance routine!

So, that just gives you some ideas on how you can do something different. You can have fun with absolutely any aspect of your wedding, from the invitations to the menu to the dress code to the gift list. And, whatever you decide, remember that it is your wedding – if you want to do something a bit different on your special day, then that is totally up to you! Happy planning!

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