I decided to make a Flip Flop Basket for our reception, because I was at a wedding last year and ...
You’ve just finished your pictures and guests are waiting for the party to begin. Your entrance should be no less than grand. Determine whether you want to just introduce yourselves or if you want to include the entire wedding party. If introducing all attendants, make it more personal by including an anecdote about each bridesmaid and groomsmen. They will feel very special and this will let your guests know more about each person.
But, back to you, consider how you want to be introduced. Are you a feminisit? If so, first names only will do. This will take attention away from the fact that you are not taking his last name. If you’re more traditional, “Mr. and Mrs.” is the way to go.
WHEN: The Grand Entrance kicks the party off. Have your band leader or DJ invite guests to the dinner area to give you a warm welcome.
Toasts are a great way to honor you and your new life. The best man, maid of honor and often father of the bride take part in this tradition. After everyone else has spoken, you and your groom should consider making a thank you speech to your guests. After all without them there would be no party.
WHEN: The Toasts traditionally take place between dinner and the dessert course, however if you have a cinematographer, you should work this into his schedule. For instance, if the cinematographer is scheduled to leave during dinner, move the toasts to the beginning of the meal.
Symbolizing the first task you and your new husband will perform, the cake cutting is one of the favorite moments for your relatives. The anticipation of whether to smash or not to smash is something your aunt Betty will consider the perfect photo op. Grooms, if you are reading this, never smash—brides pay way too much for their makeup application to have it ruined by marzipan and butter cream.
WHEN: After dinner and toasts. Cake cutting should flow right into opening the dance floor. The guests will already be out of their seats and ready to party.
Even if you are just having a morning brunch without live entertainment, you will still want to dance with your new husband. It is the one and only time your husband will feel obligated to dance so take advantage of it. Depending on the time of the day and style of reception, you may also consider the following dances:
Father/Daughter Dance: Just as it implies, this is where you spend a few minutes one on one with your daddy. Fathers love this stuff so if you are considering omitting this, definitely check in with your dad to ensure he is okay with skipping a dance with his little girl.
Mother/Son Dance: This dance is set aside for the groom and his mother, although more and more couples are combining this dance with the father/daughter dance, as to get the dance floor open a little quicker. Consider a nice big band song from Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong for this special moment.
Wedding Party Dance: A little passé, the wedding party dance is where each bridesmaid dances with each groomsmen. If it is important for you to have pictures of each of your bridal attendants dancing, consider allowing them to dance with their significant other rather than with a person they barely know. Also, in an effort to keep guests entertained, consider inviting all couples to the dance floor half way through this song.
WHEN: After the cake cutting is time to participate in these traditions, however again, this is something you will want your photographer to cover so make sure to incorporate it into the timeline where he will be around. Also, if you want to break it up a bit, schedule each formal dance between each dinner course.
BOUQUET & GARTER TOSS
A tradition made to celebrate marriage which symbolically passes the torch to the next woman and man to tie the knot, the bouquet and garter toss can be a great way to interact with your guests. Before determining whether this tradition is right for you, review your guest list carefully to determine the amount of single people in attendance. If you only have one or two single female friends they may feel uncomfortable participating. Don’t worry though, even if you don’t have many single guests, you can still toss the bouquet. Simply have your DJ invite all ladies to the dance floor. The catcher wins a dance with your groom.
WHEN: You will get better participation in this tradition after your guests have had a couple glasses of wine. For this reason, the bouquet & garter toss should be held later in the event after the dance floor has been open for 45 minutes or so.
If none of the above traditions catch your eye, consider some of the following:
1. Anniversary Dance: Invite all married couples to the dance floor. Have your DJ eliminate the couples slowly based on how long they have been married. Starting with, “sit down if you have been married 24 hours or less” and going up to 10, 15 and 20 years until only the couple who has been married the longest is still on the dance floor. This is a great way to celebrate not only a wedding, but marriage as a whole.
2. Honeymoon Dance: A good way to make a few extra bucks on your wedding night. Each guest pays one dollar or more to dance with you or your fiancée for about 10 seconds.
3. Cultural Games & Traditions: If you are familiar with your ethnicity consider incorporating something fun from this background into the celebration. For instance, if Danish, you might have a waltz that ends in the socks being cut off of the groom. Or, if Jewish, the horrah is a tradition you won’t want to miss.