Tag: Reception

Tossing the garter has been a wedding tradition since at least the 16th century.  Originally a means of proving that the wedding had been consummated, it has changed in modern times to be a bit of light-hearted naughtiness near the end of the wedding reception.

The groom removes the garter from the bride’s thigh and tosses it to the waiting groomsmen.  It is not unusual for the groomsmen to encourage the groom to remove the garter with his teeth.  If you don’t mind some cat-calls and rowdy behavior, the garter throw can be fun and entertaining.

But if this does not appeal to you for any reason, there is nothing to stop you from saying no to the toss.

If you decide not to do a garter toss, make sure the groom is agreeable to your decision and lets his groomsmen know ahead of time that there will be no garter toss.  This will save you the embarrassment of having the men egging the groom on and making you uncomfortable.

Can you wear a garter and not do a toss? Absolutely.  A blue garter is often worn by the bride to fulfill the old saying, “ Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”.   Many brides feel that a lacy garter completes her wedding look, even though it wont be seen by anyone but the groom.

Does it have to be blue?  No.  In fact, a quick search for wedding garters on line turned up everything from traditional white and blue lace garters to Tweetie Bird and Guns & Roses garters.

Wear them or don’t wear them.  Toss them or don’t toss them.  It really is up to you.

Here are a couple informative links:



You can easily go on line and find numerous lists of what the bride and grooms parents are traditionally responsible for and what costs the happy couple are expected to take on for themselves.

It is also clear that as more couples are waiting to wed until they are well established financially, the old guidelines do not need to be so closely observed.

If you are reading this, you are probably already spending time trying to make some sense of what to expect from your parents, and what they might be expecting from you.

Unless you are just finishing school or have just landed your first job, the idea of Mom and Pop covering all expenses is probably a bit unrealistic.  More and more established couples want the latitude to make important decisions about their weddings which comes with taking on more of the cost of the wedding themselves.

So how do you figure out what is affordable and who will help with what? The first thing you need to do is come up with a basic guideline of what you really want in the way of a wedding: How extravagant? How many guests?  How big a reception?  What type of location?

Get those ducks in order and then its time to talk to both sets of parents, present your vision, let them know what you think (realistically) it will cost and then ask if they would be able to help you out.  Don’t ask for a specific amount of money and don’t ask for an immediate commitment.

You may find that you will not be able to have the wedding you have been dreaming of based on the financial help your parents can provide.  Be gracious for whatever help they can give you.  With a little downsizing and a few adjustments, you can still have a day you will always remember, and no one will feel the poorer for it.

If you haven’t already made plans to attend the 2012 Bridal Expo at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, there is still time to get it onto your calendar.

This year the Expo is on Sunday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fashion show will take place in the spectacular glass ceilinged Sun Room overlooking the Monterey Bay.

This is a great opportunity to check out Santa Cruz area caterers, florists, and everything that you might need for your wedding.

So mark the date, grab a few friends and mom too, and head on down for a fun and informative day by the beach.

Visit http://cocoanutgrovesantacruz.com/public-events/bridalexpo/

The money dance, or dollar dance, is a dance set aside for the bride and groom to dance with as many of their guests who wish to and to give the couple an additional gift of dollar bills, either pinned to the bride and groom’s clothing or placed in a special purse or bag used for that purpose.

Traditionally, the money dance has been a means of giving the couple extra cash to get started on their new life together, to be spent for the honeymoon, or as a means of wishing the couple good luck.  The interpretation depends in large part on which cultural background the bride and groom’s families come from.

If this tradition has been a common occurrence at weddings you have attended for family and friends, then you can safely assume it is an accepted tradition and you can plan one for your reception without feeling awkward.

However, if this is not the case, be aware that if you do a money dance at a reception where your guests are not familiar with this concept, you may be putting your guests in the uncomfortable position of suddenly being expected to donate cash to the bride and groom in addition to the wedding and shower gifts already given.

If this happens you will be putting some of your guest in a bit of a pickle.  If your godfather arrived at the reception with nothing smaller than a $50 bill in his wallet, then he is in a spot.  Does he quietly extricate himself from the room for an extended visit to the men’s room, or does he make an unexpectedly generous donation that he hadn’t been planning on?

An alternative, if you are simply hoping for more face time with your guests, is the “thank you” dance, during which guests who wish to can line up to dance with either the bride or the groom for a brief time, during which you can express to them how much you appreciate them coming to your wedding.

So before you dive into new territory, be sure to get some advise from friends and family about the appropriateness of the dollar dance.  Extra cash is always nice, but not at the price of alienating or embarrassing your guests.

My husband and I were recently invited to two weddings, which included two receptions each, one following the other.

The first receptions were the traditional cocktails, dinner, toasts and meeting the bride and groom.  The second receptions were held at nightclubs after the first receptions had finished up, and were more of a dance party for all of the couple’s friends.

So why do a two-part reception?

Some couples are opting for small weddings, with just the wedding party, family, and closest friends invited.  This small wedding is followed by a traditional reception at a local restaurant or reception hall for the guests at the actual ceremony.  This can make the sit-down reception more affordable and a more intimate experience.

Later in the evening, after the wedding reception is over, the bridal couple arrives at a dance club to which they have invited all the friends that they wish to include in their celebration.  Guests from the wedding and first reception are also invited to attend if they wish.

So what is the advantage here? Relatives who rarely see you can enjoy a quieter, more relaxed dinner reception, with time to greet the newlyweds and not have to deal with blaring music making it difficult for them to hold a conversation.

With the second event a few hours after the first, the wedding party has a chance to catch their breathe, change into more relaxed clothes and then spend the rest of the evening dancing, schmoozing and releasing all the tension that comes with any wedding day.

Whether you rent out a private party room and include a full bar and food, or just pay your friends’ cover charges is up to you.

If you opt for this type of double reception be prepared to explain it more than once, and be clear that Grandma doesn’t have to attend the dance party, but she’s more than welcome to come and boogey down. She might just surprise you.