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How to mix traditional and modern wedding etiquette

At Bruisyard Hall weddings come in all shapes, styles and sizes. For every traditional wedding, there’s another that’s fiercely modern, and many that fall in between. General Manager Alan Sabol offers some advice on what approach might suit you…

Whether your idea of a wedding includes something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue depends on your tastes, the influence of stakeholders and your budget. And even if you’ve decided to break from tradition, as many do these days, it’s still a good idea to understand what those traditions are. That way you can follow them, put your own twist on things, or simply ignore and do your own thing.


Traditional – ‘Till death do us part’ and other jolly gems were pretty much the staple.

Now – The sentiments are the same, of course, but now anything goes. Many people write their own vows, borrowing bits from tradition, quotes from their favourite poems or songs, and generally make it as funny or meaningful as suits their unique relationship.

Dress code

Traditional – Black tie or formal, in the old sense… which means a dark suit for men, though generally not in black. And gowns and dresses for the ladies. Of course, only the bride is permitted to wear a white dress.

Now – As a society, we’re less formal these days. Though when it comes to weddings, we still tend to stay on the ‘smart’ side of ‘smart casual.’  That means not arriving in jeans, though nobody is going to stop you taking your suit jacket off as the evening continues. Summer dresses and skirts are still the usual thing for women. And most sensible women still side-step a white, off-white or cream coloured dress for fear of provoking the ire of the bride.

First dance

Traditional – A slow, romantic song for the bride and groom, followed by a second song where the bride dances with her father, and the groom dances with the bride’s mother. At which point other guests usually make their way onto the dance floor.

Now – We’ve all seen the YouTube videos. It’s safe to say that your first dance can be anything you want, from choreographed break-dancing routine to a dynamic ballroom dance that may involve professional lessons to master beforehand.

Wedding gifts

Traditional – Gift lists have been around for a few decades, but it’s always been a bit of a taboo to outright ask your guests for gifts. Once upon a time, the idea was that unmarried couples would move into their first home after marriage, and therefore often received homemaking gifts from wedding guests.

Now – Many people already live together before they marry these days, which means they’ve already bought a decent toaster and cutlery set. Asking for donations towards the honeymoon, directing people to an online wedding gift wish list, or simply stating that cash is preferred is all perfectly acceptable these days.

However you decide to enjoy your marriage, we’ve got a venue that suits both modern and traditional tastes. Email or call 01728 639 000 and tell us what you want from your dream wedding.