Wedding receptions have been shedding their cookie cutter formats for the past several years, and brides and grooms have more freedom than ever to make their day exactly what they want. The banquet hall venue, garter and bouquet tosses and conga line are still around, but are slowly being replaced with new traditions.
Here is a roundup of mainstay reception traditions, some brand new, some on their way out, and some you'll be seeing for years to come.
The Cornerstones: Some things never change. Here are a couple traditions that are here to stay.
· Special dances - The couple's first dance as bride and groom, as well as mother-son and father-daughter dances, are beloved traditions that give the bride and groom and their family members moments devoted to each other and celebrating the day. There will always be variations of this tradition, but it'll be a reception favorite for decades to come.
· Toasts - It's a common Western world tradition to wish the bride and groom well, and while variations come and go, the tradition is here to stay. It's typical for the best man, maid of honor and parents to give a speech at the reception, but more recently, people have been adding slideshow presentations and recorded messages.
The Trends: From Pinterest to YouTube to your Facebook feed, these are the hottest wedding trends right now.
· Themes - Back in the day - even a decade ago - the theme of most weddings was "wedding." Now you can find everything from Day of the Dead and Winter Wonderland to Harry Potter and Disney. Nothing is off-limits, and it's all about the couple showing off their true personalities for their guests.
· Photo Booths - Photo booths have exploded over the past few years, and most couples who booked one will tell you they were a huge hit at their wedding. They're fun for all ages and come at a variety of price points, so they're widely available and getting more use than ever. Only time will tell if this trend will stick around, or if its nearing the end of its heyday.
· Choreographed Dances - When it comes to viral YouTube videos, not even the walk down the aisle is sacred. Bridal parties everywhere are putting together dances to break out at the grand entrance, mid-reception, or even at the ceremony. It's undoubtedly fun and memorable, and will likely stick around at least a few more years in the wedding world.
On the Outs: Some of the former mandatory traditions that are starting to fade.
· Parents Paying - It used to be a common knowledge that the bride's parents would foot the bill for the entire wedding. The rules are much more lax now, as many couples are getting married older and are taking on more of the costs themselves or sharing the cost with both sets of parents.
· Waiting to See Each Other - Instead of waiting until the ceremony to see each other, many brides and grooms are electing to have a special moment together before the ceremony, often captured by the photographer as a "first look." Bonus: This allows many of the pictures to be taken before the ceremony, so the bridal party can have a little time to enjoy the cocktail hour, too.
· Garter Toss - This tradition dates back to the 14th century, and it was believed that receiving a piece of clothing from the bride would make the recipient lucky in love. Today it's more of a fun tradition, but it's falling out of favor with couples who feel it isn't appropriate for their wedding. Not to worry - there are plenty traditions to replace it with, like the ever-popular anniversary dance.
What reception traditions are you planning for your big day? We'd love to help you with the planning of your entire reception to ensure it's exactly what you wish. Just contact us to chat!