Danielle (Tarburton) Ortman, 29, of Essex said she eliminated several traditions — including the bouquet toss, the garter toss, the apron dance — after her Kent Island wedding venue backed out less than two months before the big day.
"Luckily, with the generous offer from a family friend, I was able to have a beautiful wedding on his gorgeous waterfront property less than a mile from my original venue," she said of her September 2012 wedding to Jason Ortman, 34.
"I was so thankful to be even having my wedding," she said, "I wasn't worried about bad luck of not doing 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.' "
•Walking down the aisle with both parents, not just the father.
•Walking down the aisle together.
•Asking bridesmaids to coordinate, not match.
•Adding children and pets to the ceremony.
•Asking a family member or friend to officiate.
•Writing your own vows.
•Asking friends to write their own readings.
Beyond the ceremony
Stephanie Hallett, editor of the Weddings page for Huffington Post, notes other developments that are tinkering with tradition:
Going electronic: Some couples are opting for electronic invitations instead of paper ones. Nothing wrong with that, Hallett says. They can be beautiful, and they often link to websites with information about the couple and the wedding day, including directions and hotel information. But older relatives might want an old-fashioned paper invitation that they can hold and save. Hallett advises sending paper invitations to relatives and others who might want them, and inviting the rest of the guests electronically.
Creative registries: Couples are registering for items like travel or help with a home purchase, instead of the old standbys of bowls and blenders. Hallett says she thinks such nontraditional registries are OK, so long as the registry lets gift-givers contribute something specific, even if it's paint for the living room. Simply asking for cash is still out of fashion.
Speedy gratitude: There is no getting around the tradition of sending a handwritten thank-you note. The adage that couples have a year to write their thank-you notes is not true, Hallett says. Three or four months is plenty of time. "Even younger, Web-savvy guests still appreciate the courtesy of a hand-written note," she says.