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3 Wedding Receptions Traditions to Keep, Toss or Revise

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Wedding receptions are known for their traditions, but in this day and age, do all traditions need to be kept? The answer is a resounding “No.” (Here’s looking at you, bouquet toss.) Following are three traditions that the wedding planning experts at Long Island’s Crest Hollow Country Club deem should either be kicked to the curb or kicked up a notch for modern couples.

Ditch the cake smoosh.

Smooshing the cake into each other’s faces after cutting it is definitely a decision that needs to be talked about beforehand between you and your partner. But considering the time and money you’ve spent to look your best—and there’s still plenty of partying left after the cake cutting—it’s best not to accent your professionally done makeup and hair with buttercream frosting. Instead, opt for a dramatic smooch after your first bites or an interlocked sip of champagne for that cute photo op, sans frosting on your faces. It’ll still be just as sweet.

Toss those awkward traditions from a different era.

This includes the infamous (and dreaded) bouquet and garter traditions. Some girls and guys may feel awkward about their current relationship status (or lack thereof), so rather than singling them out, have your DJ invite the married couples to dance; their time on the dance floor will depend on the length of their marriage. The last couple left, save the newly married couple, should get a hearty round of applause. Another alternative to the bouquet toss stampede is to set up a station where guests can create their own mini bouquets or boutonnieres to enjoy for the evening. Removing the garter is another personal preference for couples, but there’s no need to watch the bouquet winner sit awkwardly as the garter winner delicately tries to avoid embarrassment or scandal. Instead, invite everyone to toss back another toast—guests always appreciate another round.

Rethink the rice toss.

Don’t ditch this sendoff ceremony entirely, but consider updating the rice to something more modern (and environmentally friendly!). Colorful wild flowers, petals, bubbles, lavender or confetti made out of recycled paper are all good choices, especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding. If it’s dark out, sparklers held by guests lining the route to your ride will make for a fantastic photo.

One tradition we do recommend keeping: The corny dances. Sure, the Chicken Dance, Macarena and the Locomotion are silly, but they’re an excellent way to get everyone on the dance floor—especially those who don’t enjoy tearing it up with their own moves. Since these dances are well known and easy to follow, this tradition allows even the wallflowers to have fun and relax.

Looking for more ways to ensure your special day has a modern take on reception traditions? Contact the wedding professionals at the Crest Hollow Country Club, located in Woodbury, NY.

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