Every wedding reception is a fairytale of its own. But of course, weddings shouldn’t be about following the plan strictly. It’s about making something remarkable and memorable for your big day while including traditions that will mean something for you.
You can’t celebrate a wedding reception incorrectly, and that’s what makes it so unique! Many couples skip over traditions and typical reception activities like cake cutting or wedding bouquet tossing, others start their own, and some follow traditions to a tee.
If you are curious what the most common wedding traditions are or which are the most popular among couples, here’s a list of wedding reception traditions. Maybe you like the idea of starting your own tradition or feel like there’d be a gap in your reception without doing something in its place. Either way, here are some fun traditions and alternatives to inspire you.
Cutting the cake
Cutting the cake is a classic tradition. You gather in front of your family and friends and cut the fancy wedding cake as a newlywed couple.
However, some people might not like cake or aren’t big on making a public display. Instead of slicing and feeding each other cake, couples can break open a pinata filled with candy or use a different type of dessert like chocolate covered strawberries for a cute picture.
If you don’t like to be super public, you can still share this moment with your significant other in a more private setting, perhaps in a separate room from the rest of the guests, before serving the rest of the cake. Feel free to share this sweet moment quietly at your table (but don’t forget to have your photographer around to snap it).
Cake toppers were born back when Queen Victoria crowned her own wedding cake in 1840 with a mini sculpture of herself and a mini sculpture of Prince Albert. Soon enough, the trend made its way into the United States and gained popularity.
This was meant to symbolize stability in a marriage. Today, these cake toppers aren’t just traditional bride and groom sculptures, but they often highlight unique traits, pets, or hobbies. This tradition is losing its speed though, as many couples opt for more aesthetic and decorative cakes.
The bouquet toss happens at the end of the ceremony, where the bride throws her bouquet over her shoulder to a crowd of single women at the wedding.
Whoever catches it is said to get married next. Many think this tradition can be a bit outdated, although it’s pretty funny. If you want to go for something else, try a more inclusive route. Separate your bouquet and hand out individual flowers to your loved ones. It will surely make everyone feel special.
If you don’t want to part with your bouquet, you don’t have to. In fact, plenty of couples save their bouquet through a drying process or have the flowers added to some kind of home decoration like a glass tray.
Also, if you want to celebrate the married couples, have a special anniversary dance to celebrate all the married couples by having them stay on the dance floor for the different anniversary years. The longest couple on the dance floor would be the longest married.
The first dance occurs early on in the wedding reception, where the newlywed couple shares their first dance together. If you aren’t comfortable with a first dance, you don’t have to do it! You could do something completely different as a newlywed couple “first.”
For example, you could take your first newlywed selfie together, pop a bottle of champagne, or sing a song if that’s more your style. The options are endless, just do what feels best for you!
Something old, new, borrowed, and blue
We’ve all heard this saying over the years when someone is getting married, but what does it honestly mean? “Something old” means wearing something from the bride’s past that she has kept for a long time. “Something new” is intended to symbolize the couple’s happy future together.
For something “borrowed,” the bride is meant to borrow something from a couple happily married in the hopes that their good fortune and luck will rub off on her. Lastly, “something blue” is meant to show love and fidelity.
Obviously, this is a long-standing tradition, and you can dress however you want! But it would be meaningful and sentimental to incorporate some of these elements in your wedding day.
Wearing a veil
Another dressing tradition, wearing a veil on your wedding day, traces way back to Rome. Brides wore the veils to fear off evil spirits that were jealous of their happiness.
The veil would disguise herself from the evil spirits, and they wouldn’t be able to harm her. These days, it’s worn more as a wedding fashion piece, but its history could still hold some meaning!
Tossing the garter
Like the veil, the garter also has quite a weird back story. A long time ago, the garter was extremely popular. It is said that the family would wait outside the bedroom door for proof that the marriage was consummated.
The proof was the garter. These days, the garter symbolizes good luck and often gets mixed up in rowdy wedding games. Either way, the garter might be a tradition, but it certainly isn’t necessary.
Wedding reception traditions
Getting married is already stressful enough. Having to remember all the different traditions on your wedding day is even worse! Keep the wedding reception traditions that will mean something to you and make them more personalized.
That’s why this article gives you a list of the most common wedding traditions so you can pick and choose what is best for you and your wedding.
Remember, your wedding is all up to you regardless of tradition, do what makes you happy!