Forsaking traditional Receptions

Nov 29, 2016

Why should anyone consider holding less traditional receptions?

Remember that, nowadays, you are free, if you wish, to book a celebrant who can create and conduct a bespoke wedding ceremony for you. It may still be traditional, or partially so, but you have the choice. And it’s your big day.

In the same way, you don’t have to follow tradition for the reception, if you prefer not to.

To repeat, it’s your big day. Even if someone else is financing the reception, you should be part of the organising. Your wedding should be your once-in-a-lifetime event (well, not if you’re Zsa Zsa Gabor or Elisabeth Taylor, I realise!).

You should have the guests you want, but, in order to keep them happy, you may have to re-organise the event a bit.



Bearing in mind, the age-range of your guests, some changes could work to your advantage.

There are certain things that normally go together, but don’t have to stay that way. You expect toasts and speeches to come with dinner, probably near the end. But do they have to?

The cake-cutting doesn’t need to come at the end of the night (when people are tired or may have already gone home).

Just a thought (or two)

What about this? As soon as your guests have come in from the ceremony, have the first dance then. People are full of love and joy, and may be particularly receptive to this.

You could follow this by tossing the bouquet (if not already done).

Why not have the toasts after each of these activities?

When you sit down, the bride’s father can deliver his speech. Welcoming everyone at the beginning is logical. Moreover, he may well be nervous. This way, he can get the speech out of the way early on, and actually enjoy his meal!

Having the groom’s and Best Man’s speeches after the main course, but before dessert, is wise. People are no longer ravenous (so may concentrate!), but probably not rolling drunk either. The cake-cutting can take place after the speeches. That way, all the necessities will have been covered while people are still in the mood for them.

If you are working with a photographer/videographer or, indeed, a wedding planner, discuss all this in advance. They will be fine with it, as long as you don’t spring it all on them at the last moment! (One consideration is that if the photographer doesn’t have to stay till the end, because the main activities have already taken place, he may cost you a little less.)

Once all these activities have been dealt with, you too  can relax, as there won’t be a schedule to adhere to. You can just concentrate on dancing with your spouse and having a wonderful time!

Doesn’t that make sense?