The traditions and common practices surrounding weddings are endless. From why a bride wears white to the history behind bridal attendants, we’ve covered most here on the (web)pages of “Let Them Eat Cake.” But if 2020 – and most of 2021 – has taught us anything, it’s that what we are used to doing can sometimes pivot from the norm.
That said, pandemic or not, there are a few ceremony and reception moments that we think are perfect for a little improvisation or swerve.
Couples having their ceremony and receptions in the same location often opt for a cocktail hour while a space is being turned into the reception area, or while the bridal party is taking photos. However, and if anyone knows this best it’s New Orleanians, a cocktail can go along with just about any occasion. Instead of a post-ceremony cocktail hour, consider offering refreshments before the ceremony and have your guests raise a glass in celebration at your first kiss. Outside weddings can be beautiful, but if you’re in the heat of New Orleans, a cool refreshing drink that you can clink in celebration just might be the thing to get you through a sunny ceremony.
The first look has been given many variations throughout the years, but recently we saw a new type of first look – with the groomsmen. (Kelly here: I won’t lie, I saw this on the popular app TikTok and thought it was an adorable idea.) Many brides have a first look with their bridesmaids, their dad or both parents and even their future spouse. But the bride showing off her wedding look to the groomsmen is something that only recently popped onto our radar. In the video example that inspired us to write this post, the groomsmen each took a turn to say what they thought the bride’s dress would look like then, just like any dress reveal, the groomsmen stood together facing away from the bride and got to experience the moment of seeing their best friend’s new wife before anyone else. I hope they all – especially the friend that began to cry upon seeing the bride – went back to the groom and told him how beautiful she looked.
First dances are a big part of a wedding reception. The couple is the first to take to the dance floor, followed typically by a father-daughter dance and a mother-son dance. Kelly here: If you’re like me — and I know there are a lot of us — and one of your parents is not in the picture, this moment can be dreadful. If and when I ever tie the knot, I want to have a first dance with all of our wedding guests. Inviting all of your guests into the first dance brings the group together in celebration of your new union and shows attendees that they are part of the reason everyone is there in the day. Bonus: No empty space where someone is noticeably missing.
These are just a few ways to shake up tradition during a wedding or reception. Did you break from tradition and change something in your Big Day? Let us know in the comments!