We’ve all been at a wedding where guests begin clinking the glasses to get the newlyweds to kiss. I have to tell you that I am not a fan! Not only is it annoying, but glassware is simply not as thick as it used to be be, resulting in breakage and spillage. As well, it’s simply too easy, so as a result, the poor bride and groom are harrassed almost constantly throughout the evening and don’t get a chance to eat their dinner. From a planner’s perspective, it’s also trite and overdone. There are so many better ways nowadays that couples can alter this tradition and make it a little more interesting, BUT the key is that it has to be planned ahead of time and presented to the guests early on in the reception by your emcee during their welcome notes. Below are some of our faves…
The Art of a Kiss
The idea behind this one is that if the guests want the newlyweds to kiss, they have to come up with someone and demonstrate a kiss. The advantage is that it limits who comes up. As well, you get some amazing and fun photos if your photographer is on the ball.
Have your emcee explain that as guests, you have a responsibility to help educate the couple. If you come up to demonstrate a kiss, and solely for the purpose of education, the bride and groom then have to imitate the kiss. He/She is best to have another couple on hand to provide an example and kick the evening off. It could be where the groom has to dip the bride. Maybe she has to jump into his arms. I’ve even witnessed one couple involve the DJ and asked the couple to recreate the “Titanic” kiss complete with Celene Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On” in the background. Regardless, this one is usually a crowd favorite, doesn’t take a lot to plan ahead of time, and limits how often the newlyweds will have to take a break from dinner.
Support Your Favorite Charity
Choose a cause that is important to the two of you! It could be The Cancer Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society, Feed The Children, The Humane Society in your area, or something else entirely. First, you will need a small container that you place in front of you on your head table. Have your emcee explain during their welcome introductions that in order for the two of you to kiss, a donation has to be made to your favorite charity. Perhaps he/she even goes as far to demonstrate what a $5 donation will get in terms of the type of kiss versus a $20 donation or even $50. This one is pretty easy to organize, but allows you to at least do some good at the same time. All that will be left for you to do is thank everyone who participated during your thank you’s at the end of the evening, and then make the donation in the days following the wedding.
This is another one that can go together pretty easy! Basically, you buy Hershey’s Kissess in gold and silver wrapping ahead of time and put a number of both in a container (that you can’t see through). The attached card with the verse is is put on each table. Guests come up and reach into the box or the bag. If they pull out a gold one, the newlyweds have to kiss, BUT if they choose a silver one, the guest has to go and kiss someone.
This next one requires a bit more pre-planning, but can be a ton of fun! It is for the couple that likes a little bit of competition in their lives. The idea being that they will kiss, but first, the guest has to accept and partake in a challenge. Personally, I think this only seems fair that your guests should have to work a bit for that kiss. Only the successful completion of the challenge by the guests will determine if the couple will kiss and how good the kiss is.
Please note that this is not one to do at the last minute. You have to prepare your DJ in advance. Be sure to give him/her a list of all the challenges so they can get things ready and have everyting set to go before the reception begins.
Basically, you need to come up with a list of challenges or tasks that the guests will have to complete. Write the tasks out on individual pieces of paper that will go in a small box for guests to reach into and choose from. The best part of this game is that you can limit the number of tasks/kisses to only 10 – 12 or so to avoid being innundated throughout the evening! [Alternative: I’ve also seen it done where the challenges are written up on small pieces of paper and taken to a place like Safeway or Party City where the pieces of paper are folded up and placed in helium balloons in the colors of the wedding. When guests come up, they have to pop the balloon to get to the challenge for some added fun!]
Sample ideas of what these challenge tasks might look like:
- Choose to do this on your own or with a friend or two. Talk to the DJ and choose a song from either the Backstreet Boys or Brittany Speers to lip-sync and dance to. [SPECIAL NOTE: Other fun artists you could encourage guests to lipsync to are Madonna and Elvis Presley.]
- As newlyweds, our bride and groom need some assistance. With a partner, demonstrate a kiss that our newlyweds will imitate.
- It’s time to show us your catwalk moves! Work the runway (incorporating all four corners of the dance floor) as you strut your stuff and show us your greatest runway moves. [SPECIAL NOTE: DJ would play something like Madonna’s “Vogue” or “I’m Too Sexy For Your Love” while the guests completes the challenge.]
- Long live the King of Pop! Break out your moonwalk and other Michael Jackson moves as you lipsync and dance to your favorite MJ tune. [SPECIAL NOTE: DJ would play something like “Billie Jean” of “Beat It”.]
- Show us your artistic and creative side. Recite a poem or sing a song about love. (Yes, you can request a particular song from the DJ to sing along to.) [SPECIAL NOTE: This one the guest may need a little bit of extra time to think about and then come back to.]
- It’s time for you and your entire table to get up and do the Macarena! [SPECIAL NOTE: Have the DJ start playing the Macarena at regular tempo, but after 15 or so seconds have him start increasing the tempo to warp speed.]
- Share your favorite story about the bride and groom.You have to successfully hula hoop for 10 seconds or longer to get teh bride and groom to kiss! [SPECIAL NOTE: You need to make sure you have a hula hoop handy.]
- Marriage is tricky business! Share with the newlyweds your best piece of advice for a long and happy marriage.
- Get your entire table to come up and you need to perform the Hokey Pokey (including actions) – right arm, left hip, and whole self for a total of three rounds!
This list will get you started. If you have time, sit down and brainstorm more ideas that will resonate with you and your guests, but don’t get too carried away. Remember, part of the point is to limit how many tasks there are so that you can actually enjoy your dinner.
Cathy MacRae is a Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise wedding planner in the business of designing customized weddings that make your heart skip a beat! She is the lead wedding planner and design coordinator for Creative Weddings Planning & Design©, working with couples to plan customized bespoke weddings that make your heart skip a beat! Located in Calgary, Canada, she plans wedding for couples primarily in and around the Calgary, Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise area. Her clients want a wedding that is all about romance, elegance and personalized style with meaningful and heartfelt moments that take your breath away and created an incredible guest experience. She has been in involved in the wedding industry for over nine years now. The foundation of her business has been built on developing relationships with numerous quality vendors that her allow her to best match them with her clients so the end result is a unique wedding celebration that tells a story and sets the stage for the couple’s “happily ever after.” As a destination wedding specialist, she also works with couples who desire to wed in various picturesque dream locations throughout the world. She had done weddings in various exotic locales such as Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, and throughout the Caribbean. She is available to plan weddings internationally.
She has earned her Professional Wedding Planner© status with the Association of Bridal Consultants, and is also a member of the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. In addition, she is a Certified Sandals Specialist and Wedding Specialist with Sandals© and Beaches© Resorts, specializing in romantic travel. She was a founding board member of the Wishing Well Wedding and Event Foundation, Canada’s first non-profit wish granting founding providing weddings for couples directly facing terminal illness. Cathy also owns Consulting For Creatives, where she works as a business coach with both new and experienced entrepreneurs in the wedding and event industry with a desire to get ahead. She has been a presenter at wedding industry conferences in Canada, the United States, and in Mexico speaking on the topics of social media and marketing to today’s digital native client.
For more information about planning your own wedding or for advice from Cathy, please contact her at 1-888-790-6986 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.