noun: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.

I recently had a bride to be break down in tears because of the stress of her father insisting on walking her down the aisle! Her father wasn’t a huge part of her life growing up and she was brought up by her hard-working, single mum and wants her to have the honour of walking her down the aisle! My heart went out to my bride and I hope I supported her in realising that traditions don’t necessarily mean you have to stick to them! In the end, she’s compromised: dad will drive with her to the venue and mum will take her from the car to the altar. Perfect!

What other traditions could you dispense with during your ceremony? All or none because the beauty of choice is that it’s your’s and your’s alone! Perhaps you have been living together and already have a couple of kids and you’d like to walk down the aisle as a family? Or perhaps you don’t want or can’t have rings (could be work or even skin related)? Maybe you feel you’ve already made your vows and promises by the simple fact that you’ve been together for years. When I was little, the tradition was to have a rich fruit cake as the wedding cake; nowadays people are choosing to serve cheese instead of cake or nothing at all.

There’s a tradition that makes any independent women want to gnash her teeth, that of asking just her father for his blessings. Some brides to be will want to include dad in her own way and there’s nothing wrong with this. The beauty of a celebrant led ceremony is that you can have as many of the traditions that you want, or none! You can even create your own traditions! At an 18th birthday party recently, the parents embraced the lovely tradition of asking family and friends to send through greetings before the party! These they incorporated into a beautiful album for their child to look back on. They added this touch to the photo book they started to make when he was born and which is lovingly looked by year after year.

How about the tradition of not wearing black to a funeral and instead honouring your loved one with colour. In Spain some years ago, if a young person’s parent died, they had to wear black for months. This has left a tremendous mark on a woman I know as she was 14 years when her mother died, a time when she was naturally coming into adolescence and all that accompanies that journey.

Some people decide not even to have a traditional funeral – a service in a church, chapel or community centre – and choose to go to their loved one’s favourite place to remember them. Music choices have also changed over the decades and mourners listen to all sorts of genres best remembered as the music the deceased loved and preferred rather than what’s expected at a funeral!

All that it takes is for us to realise that we have a choice in everything we do! If it feels good for you and doesn’t offend, then start a new tradition! Of course, we live in times where people are easily offended so truly believe that what you are doing is, at its essence, good for all!