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  • Veronica Rodriguez

Traditions at Wedding Receptions

Updated: Jan 6

The wedding reception is an opportunity to celebrate your married status with your friends and family and truly experience it. While the reception is all about letting go and having fun after the wedding ceremony, there are some wedding traditions that generally take place during the festivities. From special dances to cutting cakes, many of these traditions have been around for centuries and some are even meant to bring luck to the married couple. However, while many of these wedding reception traditions are still popular today, they are completely optional.



First dance


Taken from the tradition at balls when the guests of honor shared the first dance before everyone else was allowed on the dance floor, a first dance at a wedding is somewhat similar. Aside from the fact that it is always such a sweet momento to watch the couple soaking in their time together.


We love when the song the couple dances to has meaning behind it, like if it’s by an artista that you two saw in concert for the first time together ori f it’s a song from your favorite movie. Or maybe you surpise each other with the song choice. You can also add in a private last dance to end the night for a special momento with just the two of you.



Cake cutting


Like most things on wedding day, the tradition of cake cutting goes back to good luck. Even couples who are not so keen on cake or are doing an alternative dessert option almost always have at least a small cake to cut on wedding day so they can take part in the tradition.


Use engraved or family-owned cake cutters to cut your cake. Design a custum cake to match your wedding style and even customize the cake flavors to go along with your season.



Parents dance


Another important moment of the reception is the dance with the parents. There may be a father-daughter dance, where the bride's father dances with his daughter, and a mother-son dance, where the groom's mother dances with her son. The mother of the bride and the father of the groom (newly acquired) can also dance together. The couple may also choose to dance with other family members, such as grandparents, stepparents, and others.



Toast and speeches


During dinner, the couple's loved ones celebrate the couple with toasts and speeches. Traditionally, the best man gives the first speech, followed by the maid of honor. Members of the bride's family, including the bride's father, will toast the couple. However, it is up to couples and their families to decide who gives the talks. The couple can also choose to give their own speech, thanking their guests for their love and support.


Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss


The bouquet and garter toss may be considered dated traditions by some, but it's still a common wedding tradition. During the bouquet toss, the bride tosses her bouquet to a group of single guests. Whoever catches the bouquet is said to be the next to marry. For the garter toss, the groom slyly removes the garter from under the bride's wedding dress and then tosses it to a group of waiting single men. Whoever catches the garter is supposed to give it to his future spouse. Sometimes, the person who caught the garter places it on the leg of the person who caught the bouquet, or the two dance together.



Cultural traditions


Many couples include traditions from their families' home countries in their reception. These reception traditions can include wearing traditional wedding dresses, performing special dances, or eating certain foods. Here are some wedding reception traditions from around the world:

  • In some cultures, the money dance is a popular tradition at the wedding reception. Guests can "pay" for dances with the bride and groom or bathe the bride and groom in cash.

  • At Jewish weddings, the bride and groom and their guests dance the hora, a popular circle dance in which the couple sits on chairs.

  • At Venezuelan weddings, the bride and groom usually leave the reception before it is over.

  • At South Asian weddings, the bride's family steals the groom's shoes and asks for money to bring them back safely.

  • The Jordan Five Almond Sachets are an unmissable gift at Italian and Greek weddings, a symbol of good luck for the bride and groom.

  • Instead of signing a guest book at Dutch weddings, guests write their wishes on strips of paper and attach them to a “wish tree”.

  • The cake knife dance, known as Raghseh Chagoo, is a Persian wedding tradition that begins the cake cutting. When the bride and groom are ready to cut the cake, they have to earn the knife. The dancer may act coy and take the money, only to give the knife to another woman to continue the knife dance.



There is no better way to celebrate these traditions than with the best music. There are traditional songs that accompany these moments or you can even choose songs that have a sentimental meaning.



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By Veronica Rodriguez

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