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Reception Ideas

So, what reception "traditions" are you NOT doing?

I am seriously thinking about not doing the whole bouquet and garter toss. My fiance is pretty shy, and I don't think he would be down with lifting up my dress and taking off my garter in front of at least 100 people. The bouquet toss is just not my style either. I want to have less interruptions and more time to dance and spend time with my guests.

So, what about you? What "traditions" are you skipping at your reception?
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Re: So, what reception "traditions" are you NOT doing?

  • We did just about every tradition haha! I think you are smart by skipping some, because it felt like we had something to do every 30 minutes.  We would barely get into a conversation with someone, and then we would have to cut the cake, dance, toss the bouquet etc. It made the night a little busy for us.
  • I'm not huge on wedding traditions.  Sometimes I like them, but DH and I just didn't like them enough to schedule them in or spend money on them.

    - Bouquet toss -florist gave free bouquet, I gave it in private as a joke to a cousin who our family wishes would be the next one married.  Also the only couple at our wedding publicly known to have discussed marriage but not yet engaged.
    - Garter toss
    - First dance - we tried to skip this.  I have no idea who was behind it, but it was declared by our guests at the last dance that DH and I would be doing our first dance.
    - Toasts other than Best Man and an impromptu speech by DH when Best Man handed him the mic
    - Parent dances
    - Wedding party dance
    - Head table/sweetheart table/family table
    - Bridal party/parents announced in - didn't see the point, only had B&G announced in because we were told we needed to do it to let guests know the party was starting.
    - Money dance - traditional in my mom's culture/family

    Basically, we kept the B&G being announced in and the cake cutting.  And I was surprised that almost all of our guests came into the room where the cake cutting was (mansion with several rooms) since I have only ever seen 1/4 of the guests move to watch the cake cutting at most.
  • Well, we started wtih an unusually high number of brides (2) and an unusually low number of grooms (0).  We also skipped a lot of things that at least some could consider traditional:

    - Engagement rings.
    - Engagement photos.
    - Welcome bags/OOT bags.
    - Bridal party, other than maid of honour and "dude of honour."
    - Special attire for MOH and DOH (great acronym!). The MOH wore a bridesmaid's dress she got for a different wedding. The DOH wore a business suit he already owned.
    - Limo.
    - STDs. (We did e-mail ones.)
    - Placecards and table numbers (luncheon was small seat-yourself affair in the private dining room of a restaurant, and reception was cocktail style seating).
    - Anything monogrammed. (The cake cutter and cake knife were silver plated, but not monogrammed. I bought them from someone on Craig's List, and resold them after the wedding.)
    - I DO letters.
    - Chargers.
    - Any clothing that said "bride."
    - RSVP envelopes (We had online-only RSVPs, using an RSVP Web site designed by my wife.)
    - Aisle runner.
    - Flowers for the ceremony location, other than bouquets for us and MOH, and bout for DOH. We had pew bows and gold chair sashes, but the only other decoration was our ketubah and the chuppah.
    - Ceremony musicians. We compiled our own CD for the ceremony music.
    - Ring pillow/unity candle/ceremony accessories, other than the chuppah.
    - Rehearsal dinner. Most of the attendees stayed in one big house, and we just ordered in pizza the night before.
    - Flowers for the reception.
    - Reception dresses. We bustled up our wedding gowns and wore those to both the luncheon after the ceremony and the at-home reception.
    - Candy buffet.
    - Disposable cameras. Most of our friends have cameras, and we just asked that they bring them.
    - Bouquet and garter tosses.
    - Wedding coordinator, DOC, etc.
    - Honeymoon.
  • We're not doing the bouquet/garter toss either.
    Also, instead BMs buying their dresses and shoes and I would have to get them gifts, I am buying their dresses and shoes as gifts instead. We picked them out together and they are all re-wearable informal dresses. They love them. I don't see why both sides have to spend money when this is more effective.
  • We had heavy hors d'oeuvres instead of dinner.  We had cheesecakes instead of wedding cake.  We skipped the garter and bouquet toss.
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  • We're skipping the garter toss, the bouquet toss, the toasts, and it's going to be the first "cake and punch" reception I've ever been to and the first reception of mine without any dancing.
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  • [QUOTE]We're not doing the bouquet/garter toss either. Also, instead BMs buying their dresses and shoes and I would have to get them gifts, I am buying their dresses and shoes as gifts instead. We picked them out together and they are all re-wearable informal dresses. They love them. I don't see why both sides have to spend money when this is more effective.
    Posted by trisha_nybn[/QUOTE]
    The gifts are a thank you for being in the wedding, not for buying their apparel.  Wedding related items are not gifts, so you do still need to buy them a gift.  You could make it more cost effective by letting them wear their own shoes in X color if the shoes you had in mind are matching and not ones they choose themselves individually.
  • We are choosing not to do many of them. We are not doing the garter toss, bouquet toss, or the cake cutting (but we are having cupcakes). I am going to be honest, I don't care if I don't see that at someone else's wedding, why would they want to see it at mine?
  • The only traditions that we kept were cutting the cake and toasting one another. 

    We didn't do a first dance, father-daughter or mother-son dance, bouquet or garter toss. DH is a very shy person too and I knew he wouldn't want to do a garter toss, so I decided I wouldn't do the bouquet toss either (most all female family/friends in attendance were already married anyway). 
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  • We are skipping the garter toss and bouquet toss.  Also not doing the bridal party dance.  We decided we wanted to get everything over with early to allow the guests (and us) to enjoy the evening.  We are doing our first dance as soon as we are introduced and walk in the room.  (By the way, this is a beautiful choreographed waltz that we've been working on for months!)  Then we will cut the cake, which will be served for dessert.  (No cake smooshing allowed!)  After dinner, there will be a father/daughter dance and a mother/son dance.  That's it for tradition. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_good-books?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:eb7a772c-45d0-4cf1-be06-81c2bdcf7886Post:46fd930a-9267-4afa-9bfb-2b1b2f654379">Re: any good books?</a>:
    [QUOTE]future mrs- have you no concern for the state of my soul? I would burn forever if I read those... :-P
    Posted by Starmusica[/QUOTE]

    Ha!  I'm already going to burn...well with the Harry Potter bit anyways.
  • We are not doing the garter toss or bouquet toss.  We will be cutting the cake and first dance.  Undecided about the bridal party dance, and father/daughter mother/son dance. 
  • We are not having a garter or bouquet toss.  I don't even have a garter. 
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  • I'm not doing a garter toss, though I will throw my bouquet if it's requested. I've always been a bit wierded out by garter tosses.

    My husband and I are also only providing beer and wine at the reception, but still having a cash bar available (comes with the venue), which I know is not traditional, but still appropriate for my semi-casual summer wedding.

    I'm also avoiding the traditional dollar dance, wedding party dance, and any type of line dance at all costs. I've never seen one that didn't look akward. lol

  • garter replacement for sure.

    Also, anniversary dance and grand exit. 
  • We are having a dessert buffet instead of just cake after dinner.  We will be cutting a small cake, but we will also have cheesecake bites, mini fruit pies, puff pastries, nutroll, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a few other things.  I'm really excited about it!

    We also decided to skip the traditional gifts for our guests.  Instead, we made a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  In return, St. Jude sent us bookmarks to put on every guest's plate that explains that a donation has been made in their honor.

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  • We're skipping the first dance, garter toss and the boquet toss. Other than that we've done other "untraditional" things like having the groom in my bridal pictures (I said to heck with the "bad luck" that comes from him seeing my dress before!)
  • We are skipping both of those too!  I think the garter toss is really tacky.  No offense to those who are doing it.  I know some people think it is funny..just not my style.  I have no told my fiancee this though.  I think it won't even realize we didn't do it. 

    I am aslo skipping the bouquet toss.  Most of my friends are married and the ones that are not have chosen that lifestyle. 

    I am trying to make the first dance a little fun and short.  I might also skip the father/daughter dance.  I just hate having people sit there and watch us dance.  It is always boring .
  • Definitely not doing the garter seek & find & toss. No thanks.

  • I have seen weddings with and without these traditions.  I have been to weddings where:  the bride tossed the bouqet and the groom took off the garter and did not toss it; the bride did not toss the bouquet but the groom tossed teh garter; my favorite: the groom took off the garter, and then the bride and groom gave the bouqet and the garther to the next couple who was getting married; they skipped the tradition altogether.  Some people, like my mother lol, think that garter is a bad tradition and does not want me doing it. Some people love it.  So it is all in how you feel about it and your comfort level. good luck :)

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  • FI doesn't want to do the garter toss... doesn't see the point in it, but I"m wearing one anyways cause his mom might talk him into it. We're doing the bouquet toss and first dance, but not the father/daughter, mother/son or parents dance. We're also not giving out favours since we're paying for everything ourselves and they're just an extra cost. I bought my BM and MOH their dresses and a pair of earrings (my MOH is my 12 y/o sister, so I bought her shoes and gave her the earrings for Christmast) The only other tradition is the cake cutting and being introduced
  • oh, and we're skipping the rehearsal dinner too
  • We aren't skipping much... We'll do the tosses and cake cutting.. we are doing all the dances. I have been to weddings where the "traditional" activities were skipped and it made the evening move along very slowly. I feel that the traditional items give your guests something to see and entertain them. it gives them a break from dancing and the fun things that happen during the traditional moments are what make a wedding memorable and fun!
  • I am not doing to garter/bouquet toss tradition.  I am not comfortable with it and think it is tacky.  We will have a beer and wine bar along with plenty of dancing the night away though.  
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  • s_jamis_jami member
    First Comment
    I am skipping most of the traditions.  If I skip the dollar dance or the garter auction how do you get any honeymoon money? 

    These are traditions in my family.  Is there a better way because the dollar dance and the auction take too much time.  Would like to toss boquet and garder instead.
  • We are skipping the garter, it's outdated and tacky. In leiu of a traditional bouquet toss, we are going to ask all couples to come onto the dance floor, and the couple that has been together the longest will receive the bouquet. I read this idea somewhere and thought it was brilliant.

    Most of the other traditions we are doing (first dances, cake cutting). FI's dad sings Sinatra and we are going to have him sing a set while we do the money dance as he really wanted to sing at the wedding.
  • We're having an Eastern Orthodox (Christian) wedding, so there are a lot of reception traditions we're skipping because we want to keep it formal. Plus, in some cases, the religious traditions are more important to us than the secular ones. But my family is not very religious, so they have made some negative comments about some of our choices! We also made some choices based on cost, as I'm continually amazed by how much the wedding industry tries to kill your budget by insisting you "need" something. The most important thing is to do what you feel is right, because in the end, it's YOU getting married, and you don't want to be embarrassed by your own wedding!

    We're going against the grain with a few things, including: 
    -We're getting married on a Sunday (not a Saturday, like a lot of people do). This meant we saved some money and got the vendors we wanted! 
    -We're having a small ceremony (~20 people) and a larger reception (~100 people). This required sending different invitations to different people, but we liked the idea of having the ceremony with our nearest and dearest, and partying later with a larger circle of friends.
    -We and our sponsors are going to church that morning to take communion, so my fiance and I will be seeing each other the day of the wedding. 
    -We're not doing a garter toss or any of the photos with the bride and bridesmaids showing their legs. 
    -Our bachelor(ette) party is a combined stag/hen party, and is pretty tame... just us going out while wearing silly "bride" and "groom" hats, having some drinks, and seeing some good music. 
    -We didn't have a cake from a pastry chef/cake baker. Instead,  we're having a good grocery store bakery bake us three strawberry shortcakes, and (since we're both academics), I made cake stands out of antique books and handkerchiefs. 
    -I'm taking my fiance's last name. In my field, this is really rare! 
    -We have a married couple sponsoring us, and since they're my fiance's friends, we also picked a maid of honour and best man on my side (my brother and my best friend). So I have a male and a female attendant, and my fiance has a male and a female attendant. 
    -Our processional is out of the ordinary. My fiance is walking down the aisle first, escorted by his mom and dad. Then the best man and maid of honour walk in together, then our sponsors, then me (escorted by both my mom and dad). 

    Anyways, I sort of went into things we weren't doing at the ceremony too (even though you were only looking for reception traditions)...but I hope this helps you out with planning a wedding that's right for you. :) 

  • I have found this thread to be very interesting.  To begin with I had to wiki "money dance" to find out what it is.  I have never heard of anything like it.  It's just not something that happens in this area!  It's amazing how culturally different many areas of the US can be.  In this area of the South it would be considered the absolute heighth of ill-manners because it would be construed as begging.  I am not AT ALL accusing anyone of begging.  Please don't be offended.  I was just amazed to find out that there is a tradition that is so common elsewhere that would be completely taboo here.  So no, no money dance for us!  It is a nice concept though!

    We might be starting a new tradition for our family (haha, I'm already giggling about this one!) I have one cousin who is especially horrible.  She can't attend any family function (or friend function, for that matter!) without throwing a giant tantrum, screaming and yelling, punching people, and breaking stuff.  My dream wedding would not include her but we all know that she would show up anyway and short of having bouncers or calling the police we're just going to have to deal with her.  My MOH had decided to start a secret pool where family members and close friends can place bets on what time they think Cousin's tantrum will occur!  Dear MOH is so amazing.  She came up with this so that I won't dread Cousin's tantrum and let it ruin our big day.  Now I'm actually looking forward to it! 

    Y'all don't judge me!  Maybe this just occurs in the South but around here everyone has one crazy family member.  We just deal with them as best we can!
  • smf429smf429 member
    First Comment
    edited July 2010
    The only "tradition" that we are doing is the 1st dance and the cake cutting.  There will be no aisle runner, no ring bearer and no flower girl.  There will be no bouquet toss, no garter search and toss just those two things and we will not smash cake in each other faces THAT’S SO TACKY.  Our wedding is on a Friday and we are having a cocktail reception with a band so it will be a party and no time to stop the music and dancing.
  • Everyone does have crazy family members, and even if it's possibelt o exclude them you can end up looking like the bad guy for it.  I think any way that you can make it work for you is great. 
    I have a very close friend who had a VERY small wedding, just five people, because she couldn't stand the idea of having her father there.  Some people were disappointed, but it made her feel safe and happy and comfortable on her big day, and  had a larger engagement party to make up for it.

    Fid what works for you and do it, I say.
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