In “Creating Fun Memories Beyond Music! Part 1,” Brides & Grooms were offered the first of five tips for creating an unforgettably fun, Kansas City, MO & KS, wedding reception that doesn’t rely solely on party music as the only means of entertainment. Tip #1: “Incorporating Personal Touches,” illustrated the benefits of spotlighting the couple’s unique qualities as well as their personality and style.
Through “Creating Fun Memories Beyond Music! Part 2,” which includes Tip #2, “Dinner Time Activities” and Tip #3, “Special Wedding Dance Moments,” Brides and Grooms explored the importance of making an emotional connection with their guests.
In Creating Fun Memories Beyond Music! Part 3, Kansas City nearlyweds are invited to consider the 2 remaining tips of this 3 part article. In Tips #4 and #5 (of five), couples will discover unforgettably fun and creative wedding reception alternatives to the traditional bouquet and garter toss and learn how to motivate every guest to be the first to the dance floor.
Tip #4: Bouquet & Garter Toss Alternatives
Create Unforgettably Fun, Kansas City Wedding Receptions.
Over the past couple of years, Kansas City, MO & KS, Brides and Grooms have asked for alternatives to the traditional wedding reception bouquet and garter toss. For some, these traditions have become passé or have somehow made their way onto the dreaded, “cheesy” list. The garter removal, particularly, has been one of those age-old traditions that some Brides find tacky or improper. For them, it doesn’t reflect their individual personality and style.
Since there really are no rules as to what formalities a couple must include in their wedding reception or how they should be performed, newlyweds may want to consider other options for these traditions.
Here’s A Fun Wedding Reception Bouquet Toss Alternative: As you think about whether a traditional bouquet and garter toss is right for you, first imagine how many single people will be standing behind you as you make the toss. If most of your friends are already married and you know your toss photos will only include children along side the reluctant, one or 2 single guys or gals that don’t know you well enough to be enthusiastic participants, you may want look at alternate ideas.
One fun possibility is to create a memorable wedding reception moment with an extremely personal touch by presenting the Bride’s bouquet to the guests that have been married the longest. In many cases, the longest married couple will be grandparents or other, older relatives.
If possible, find out when and where they were married in advance of the wedding reception and share that information with your Master of Ceremonies or Kansas City wedding DJ. At a predetermined time, perhaps at the conclusion of dinner or after the cake cutting or toasts, have the Master of Ceremonies or DJ say something to the effect of ” This evening is a celebration of marriage…both new and lasting. John and Jane would like to honor a very special couple this evening that began their lifelong journey together in (place) on (date). ”
Invite the couple(s) to stand at their table or invite them to the dance floor so friends and family can see who they are. Once the applause has subsided, the newlyweds can take the microphone and stand beside their special guests (Remember the photos!!). Offer appreciation that they’ve joined you on your special day. Let them know how much you look forward to enjoying the same long-lasting, wedded happiness they’ve enjoyed before presenting them with the bouquet.
This special and emotional wedding reception moment will be fondly remembered by the surprised recipients and your guests will talk about it for years to come.
Note: If the Bride and Groom would like to honor more than one couple, ask the florist to tie the bouquet together so that it “breaks apart” into the desired number of smaller floral arrangements. Simply remove the ribbon that holds it together prior to the bouquet presentation.
It’s not so much the garter toss at a wedding reception that has some couples looking for fun alternatives. It’s the garter removal that makes them uneasy. They’ve either seen garter removals that have been less than appropriate, or they’ve heard less than professional DJs or Master of Ceremonies make lewd or offensive remarks during the removal.
Try This Fun Wedding Reception Garter Toss Alternative: If, as the Bride & Groom, you are concerned about how the garter removal will take place at your wedding reception and what the wedding DJ may say, discuss it with them in advance. Ask the Master of Ceremonies or wedding DJ to tell you EXACTLY what they will say leading up to and during the removal. If you’ve no objection with their wording, make them commit to stay to that script so you don’t experience any unwelcome surprises.
If you’re still apprehensive about the garter removal and toss, consider presenting the garter to the wedding reception guests next to be married. In many cases, that couple will be friends of the newlyweds. Such a presentation would be made in the same manner as the bouquet presentation and by following a similar script as that suggested for the longest married couple. Because this option is somewhat lighthearted in nature, it is suggested that it occur prior to the bouquet presentation, allowing that more poignant moment to linger.
Bonus Bouquet And Garter Toss Alternatives For A Fun Wedding Reception: As stated earlier, there are no rules when it comes to how formalities are performed at a Kansas City wedding reception. Another possibility for the bouquet and garter toss is to have them happen during the party and while the dance floor is filled with family and friends. This option, of course, allows everyone, married or single, to participate in the moment. Your photos will show a large number of happy, smiling faces (and willing participants) having fun as you toss the bouquet and garter. Ask your Master of Ceremonies or wedding DJ to explain the best and most memorable way to work this alternative idea into the wedding reception timeline.
As a wedding guest yourself, you know that no one wants to be the first to jump on to the dance floor at a wedding reception when the open dancing or party starts. Let’s face it. When a dance floor is empty, it’s a vast wasteland that can place fear in even the most outgoing guest. In large part that fear is enhanced if the first song selection is one that is too upbeat for the moment. Sometimes it’s better to ease family and friends into the party mode with slower paced music that guests of all ages can enjoy and will encourage participation.
Here’s A Great Wedding Reception Dance Floor Motivator: A great way to get every guest onto the dance floor at the completion of the wedding reception formalities is to include an Anniversary (aka: Longevity) Dance. Using slow, romantic music as a motivator, begin the dance with the couple that has been married the shortest period of time, the Bride & Groom. Invite guests to the dance floor according to the number of years they’ve been married. As an example: “If you’ve been married 5 years or less, please join John and Jane on the dance floor” and so on until the couples that have been married the longest are also on the dance floor. If handled properly, no one will be able to resist the invitation and everyone will be up, dancing and having the time of their lives. The stigma of being the first to dance will be forgotten.
The purpose, of course, is to keep everyone dancing at the conclusion of the Anniversary Dance. Don’t be overly anxious to pick up the pace too quickly with song selections that will only prompt the older guests to leave the dance floor. A steady increase in tempo with music that is recognizable to all age groups will help ensure a packed dance floor throughout the party portion of the wedding reception.
Try This Great Wedding Reception Dance Floor Motivator: If a slow and steady pace is not your style and you’d like to have a more upbeat party from the very beginning of open dancing, you might select a wedding First Dance with an upbeat tempo. For the best results, however, save your First Dance together until all of the other formalities have been completed. (Note: A wedding First Dance does not mean it has to be the first dance of the formalities. It means it is the First Dance by the Bride & Groom as husband and wife. When it occurs is the choice of the newlyweds.)
Once the Bride & Groom have come to the end of their upbeat First Dance, have the wedding party and close family members ready to come to the dance floor with a follow-up song that is of equal tempo. As long as the music selection is one that is familiar to everyone and because there are already people on the dance floor, the remaining wedding reception guests will be more excited to jump into the fun.
Great Bonus Idea For A Wedding Reception Dance Floor Motivator: Instead of setting aside a special moment before the formalities for a bouquet presentation to the guests that have been married the longest, include it in the Anniversary Dance. When the wedding DJ gets to the number of years the longest married couple has been married, have them invited to the dance floor by their wedding date, wedding location and by name. Make sure that they are also acknowledged as the longest, happily married couple at the wedding reception. As they approach the dance floor, have the wedding DJ bring down the volume of the music, take the microphone and follow the previously suggested, presentation script before honoring them with the bouquet.
As always, a Bride & Groom should only include activities in their wedding reception that are a reflection of their personality and style. As a certified, Wedding Entertainment Director™, I’m familiar with over 250 fun and entertaining ideas. I’d be happy to share additional ideas that may be even more appealing to you during a personal consultation.
So there you have it…five helpful tips and advice for creating fun, Kansas City, MO & KS, wedding reception memories that don’t rely on music alone. If you have a favorite, have used one of these tips or have a fun wedding reception idea of your own, your comments are welcome.