Technology has certainly played a large role in the changing of traditions and etiquette, in particular. 10 years ago, wedding websites were still relatively new, hashtags were still pound signs, and weddings were really much more private affairs. The upside to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest is the idea resource they provide. I think having access to everyone else's ideas and opinions also helps embolden those who want to give up some of the more traditional trappings.
In addition to becoming more social and public, other aspects of weddings are experiencing a shift. It's no longer confusing (to most) or out of place if you have someone of the opposite gender on your side of the wedding party. It's becoming more common for couples to forgo the bouquet and garter tosses, and the offering of favors as guests depart. For reasons of style, comfort, and expense, many brides are allowing their bridesmaids to select their own dresses. They may have a color palette they ask their attendants to stick to, but bridesmaids have a little more leeway.
I would guess that the vast majority of the time, no one is missing any of these when they're not present.
Some couples truly love these traditions and think they're an essential part of the wedding process. Some cling to traditions because they think they have to, some may pick and choose the pieces they like, and others do away with all of it in favor of their own ideas or use the time for more dancing and enjoying the time with their friends and family. The most important thing about a wedding is that you're marrying the person you love. So if there are some pieces that you aren't interested in or don't feel represent you as a couple or individuals, take them out! You'll be much more comfortable and happy at a wedding that reflects you properly.
How do you feel about the traditional wedding elements - do you plan to keep them, tweak them, or drop them? Any you can't live without?
Photo: Elizabeth Anne Designs/The Nichols