• {Planning Tips} 5 Traditions You Can (or Should) Skip

    Traditions can be great, but not all wedding traditions are necessary, or even meaningful, in today’s weddings.  The thing that is important in a tradition is that it means something to you. So don’t do the traditional wedding vows if they hold no personal meaning for you – write your own!  Or if your father isn’t in your life for whatever reason, don’t feel like you have to have someone give you away.  You do the things that feel right and make you happy on your wedding day.

    Here are some old traditions that no one miss, and a couple that I think are outdated and awkward.

    5 Traditions You Can (or Should) Skip from Oh Lovely Day | having a bride's side and a groom's side

    1.  Having a Bride’s Side and a Groom’s Side
    While the idea of having your friends and family on your “side” doesn’t bother me (at least you’ll know where to look for your peeps) I also love the idea of letting people sit wherever they want for your ceremony.  And it eliminates the need for ushers, which I also think are totally unnecessary (also unnecessary: guestbook attendants.)

    2.  Doing a Receiving Line
    Don’t ever make your guests stand in a line at your wedding if you can avoid it, and NEVER do it unless it is for food or a drink.  The receiving line is pointless and a waste of time.  After you and your husband eat your dinner, just walk around to all of the tables and quickly greet and thank your guests. This allows your guests to be comfortable and you and your spouse to have more time to dance the night away!

    5 Traditions You Can (or Should) Skip from Oh Lovely Day | giving favors
    3.  Giving Favors
    Can you remember any of the wedding favors you’ve received at a wedding?  I bet most of you will say no.  While favors can be a fun way to include your personalities or identities into your wedding details, they aren’t necessary and probably won’t be missed.  Don’t feel comfortable skipping them altogether?  Do something extra that your guests can enjoy – like a candy or dessert bar – and put out cute paper bags to take some home too.  Or do a charity donation in lieu of favors.  I love the way it was done in the photo above.

    4.  Bouquet Toss
    First of all, you probably paid at least $150 (or more!) for that bouquet and it is gorgeous.  Would you just toss money around like that?  Of course not.  Secondly, and more importantly, it can be humiliating.  Not for you, the bride, but for the single ladies that are shoved onto the dance floor and probably forced to smile while they are told they could be “the next lucky one to get married” if they catch that bouquet.  As a girl who was a bridesmaid 8 times before I got engaged and have been to more weddings than I remember, I speak from experience.  No, not everyone feels that way.  Yes, some people love the bouquet toss.  But some people just do it because “it is what people do” and if that is the case, I think you can do without it.

    5 Traditions You Can (or Should) Skip from Oh Lovely Day | The Garter Toss

    5.  Garter Toss
    I am a firm believer that you should wear a pretty garter on your wedding day, and you should leave it on for your husband to find on your wedding night.  Do not, I beg you, do a garter toss during your reception.  The first word I think of when someone says “garter toss” is yuck.  Or maybe it’s gross.  Definitely awkward.  I mean, come on – who wants to sit there while all of your guests watch your husband creep up your gown to remove your garter (the really lovely ones do it with their teeth!) YUCK.  This is definitely a tradition to, well, toss.  Wear a pretty garter, have photos of it taken, pass it down as an heirloom or something blue.  But please do not toss it.So what do you think of these traditions you can skip?  Do you agree or disagree?  Are there others you would add to the list?  I’d love to hear!

    {photo credits} Stacy Kokes via The Sweetest Occasion / Rebecca Hansen Weddings via Ruffled / photo by Jennifer Roper and garter by The Garter Girl from my wedding

    leave a comment.


    1. Posted Jul 31 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      I completely agree with all 5 on your list. I also think that every couple should do what makes them most comfortable. There is no reason you have to incorporate a tradition if it’s not right for you!

    2. Posted Jul 31 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      I agree with all of these… especially the garter toss.

    3. Posted Jul 31 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      I love this because we ditched all of these! Except for maybe the receiving line, which was not intentional but people started lining up to hug us the second we had champagne in hand after the ceremony.

      I see a lot of hope for the demise of the bouquet/garter toss, too – maybe it’s because my clients tend to be a little less traditional, but none of them have wanted to do either.

    4. Ali
      Posted Jul 31 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      I completely agree with you on these. Great list! Especially the favor idea, that’s smart, AND sweet. I’d love to do that someday myself. I remember at a wedding once, my 12 year old, very skinny, shy sister caught the bouquet and then was forced to sit there while an older, (shall we say…? gross? perverted?) old man wanted to put the garter on her. Thank goodness my father stepped in. She was handed it instead haha. But, even at 15, I thought, wow, that’s super tacky, I will NEVER do that at my wedding! 15 years later, still feel the same way. 🙂

    5. Andrea
      Posted Jul 31 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      We’re definitely on the same page! These are all the things that make me uncomfortable at weddings (especially the garter toss). Unfortunately, we couldn’t avoid ushers and guestbook attendants because we had some special instructions for our guests. If it wasn’t for that, we would have done away with that tradition, too! I would like to add a regional tradition that I think is so tacky…the dollar dance. I just cringe every time I go to a wedding where they do this. Not at my wedding!

      • Posted Jul 31 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Andrea, I agree on the dollar dance. I’ve never seen it done, but it does sound very tacky! Thanks for adding that one to the list!

      • Kaysee
        Posted Aug 2 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        I Googled dollar dance, as I’d never heard of it before, and the first site I came across said timing was important and it should be done right after the bouquet and garter tosses, so I came away feeling like all 3 should be avoided haha

      • Anonymous
        Posted Dec 5 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Completely disagree with you on the dollar dance. I think it is something great. My husband and I really appreciated all the extra cash we received at it and it is always one of my favorite parts of attending weddings. I know we buy gifts but it is nice to give a little cash too for whatever the couple wants to spend it one. Plus it gives you a minute with the couple to yourself. Female and don’t really know the groom or male and don’t really know the bride? No biggie, we dance with whoever we know!

      • Anonymous
        Posted Dec 10 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        dollar dances are cheesy, as are chicken dance, YMCA, and many other annoying wedding “traditions” in my area. I’m doing none of those or the 5 mentioned! Also, cake cutting before dinner? No way! And definitely not feeding each other cake. We also have a man as a bridesmaid (he’s my best male friend) and the girls aren’t carrying bouquets either. What a waste! Every wedding I’ve been in I’ve had one and don’t see the point. And in our of favors we are having the option of pro photos taken of each couple and we’ll deliver the, on us, with our thank yous.

      • Allison
        Posted Aug 8 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        I’m kind of torn on the dollar dance. I do think it’s a little tacky or “hick-ish” but I also went to one wedding where the dollars didn’t go to the bride and groom, they went to a charity. It’s also a nice opportunity to get some one-on-one time with the bride and/or groom at the reception that you typically don’t get otherwise.

    6. Posted Jul 31 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Am so with you on these, especially the last two!! Whoever actually came up with the throwing the bouquet idea really did not think much of her single pals….

      • Posted Aug 16 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        I won’t go that far. While I believe the tradition can go by the wayside, I imagine the person (most likely woman) who thought it up wanted to share the bliss of her wedding day. I imagine some woman about to be married who wanted to give her bouquet to friends, but didn’t know how to choose between her two closest friends. “I know,” she says. “I’ll turn around and toss it into the air for luck to determine who should receive this gift.”

        Fast forward hundreds of years and you have mammoth sized bridal parties, hundreds of guests, and expensive bouquets that cost enough to feed a country! JMTC.

      • Posted Aug 30 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        The bouquet toss tradition actually comes from times when it was considered lucky to have a piece of the brides clothes – guests used to grab and rip the brides dress and she eventually began throwing her bouquet to distract them from ripping her dress while she got away. The garter toss is also from an ancient tradition of luck.

        For my wedding I’m going to do all the traditions but will explain the origin of each one on my wedding stationery – this way the guests understand why certain things are happening and it’s not just some random tradition that no-one knows why we are doing it. Hopefully all my single friends will feel more comfortable knowings its a lucky thing rather than an awkward everyone’s looking moment 🙂

      • Anonymous
        Posted Sep 23 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I’m glad that you’re going to take the time to explain to your guests why you’ll be doing each one of your traditions. However, as far as I know, the garter toss has absolutely nothing to do with a tradition of luck. As the story goes, the husband would essentially beat out the groomsmen to get the garter as a sign of being the only one who would sleep with the bride. Point is, you might want to make sure that you do some heavy research into these “traditions” if you’re going to put so much work into explaining the origins to your guests.

    7. Ana R.
      Posted Aug 1 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      My husband and I are not traditional and so we knew that we wouldn’t have a garter & bouquet toss, there were other traditions that we did without, all that mattered was that our wedding was a reflection of the both of us.

    8. Posted Aug 4 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      In this society, it is crucial to embrace your traditions. The garter and bouquet toss truly hold a special place.

    9. Posted Aug 4 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      I love the idea of donations instead of wedding favors. Even if it was $5 a person, (which adds up with 100+ guests), I think the guests would appreciate it.

    10. Posted Aug 5 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      As a nice alternative to the receiving line (which is on the top five things bridesmaids and groomsmen hate about being in a wedding!)we encourage our couples to recess down the aisle with their attendants behind, the attendants go outside and as soon as they are all out of the chapel, the bride and groom go back to the front and they release the guests themselves, starting with the bride’s parents and anyone else in their pew, then the groom’s parents and anyone in their pew. They hug, shake hands, etc. with each guest and then the guest leaves and goes outside for the bubbles or whatever. The bride and groom continue with the second row on the left side and the right side, then the third row, left and right, and so on. If the parents understand how it works and they do it, everyone else in the audience will see them and realize what they are supposed to do. It goes very quickly. We’ve had 200+ guests greeted in less than 20 minutes!
      My feeling is that the bride and groom need an opportunity to greet every guest personally. I also feel that if a guest comes to the reception only and not the service (which, after all, is the reason for the party)then it’s up to the guest to get to the bride and groom. Releasing the guests assures them that they have greeted every single person at the ceremony. It’s fast and painless, and doesn’t involve the attendants, which is always uncomfortable for them.
      Conversely, going around to the tables at the reception is probably the slowest and most haphazard way to go. First, the guests are not always at their tables when you go to them–they have gone out for a cigarette or to the rest room, or they are over talking to Aunt Hazel across the room, so you miss people. The second problem is that the guest is sitting down, they’ve had a meal and a couple drinks, and they could talk for hours to you! Consequently it takes forever! The dancing nearly always gets delayed, people start leaving because they get tired of waiting for the dancing, and most important, the bride and groom rarely make it to all the tables. I have been to several weddings as a guest where the only contact face to face that I had with the bride and groom was either a receiving line or when they released us following the ceremony.
      We have had well over a thousand weddings at Aberdeen Manor, and having the bride and groom release the guests is by far the fastest and most efficient way to be sure to thank each and every guest personally for coming to share their day.
      On the other four points I agree with you wholeheartedly, particularly the garter and bouquet tosses. Many florists include a toss bouquet for the bride to use for the bouquet toss as a little freebie extra when they are doing the wedding. I think a nice use of the free bouquet is to have an Anniversary Dance, where all the married couples dance, and the MC eliminates them starting with “if you’ve been married less than a day, leave the dancefloor!” everyone always laughs when the bride and groom are the first to leave! Then they continue, less than 5 years, less than 10 years, 20, 30, 40, 50, until there is one couple left dancing. This is the couple that has been married the longest and the bride can present the “toss bouquet” to the woman as a little prize for being married the longest. Many times it is one of the couple’s grandparents that win. It’s always fun to ask if they have any advice for the couple. The answers are really cute!
      Just my two cents. Love your blog!!

      • Jack
        Posted Jun 14 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        In regards to your comment about the B&G walking around to tables and taking forever — I agree. Which is why I tell B&G’s that when dinner is being served, I always designate about how long dinner will be (depending on number of guests and if it’s buffet or plated). In order to stick to that time and not stretch it out, I tell the B&G to hit the tables of the older folks and/or people they know are going to leave early FIRST, and don’t worry about getting to the tables of those you know are going to be there late, if not until the end, until later. That’s because if people are done eating in an hour (for example), we can move along with the post-dinner activities (special dances, etc) and get to dancing and people won’t get antsy/bored.

        They’ll still have plenty of time to visit/thank the others later (if they’re not on the dance floor with the B&G). Meanwhile, she’s already “visited” with the people she knows are going to leave early, so when she sees them leaving early, she can still say bye, but NOT feel bad because they didn’t have time to visit them during dinner.

        (hope all of that made sense).

        It works out really well and keeps the reception moving and the guests NOT bored. Yes, I’m a wedding DJ Entertainer.

    11. Posted Aug 6 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Denna… Awesome advice.

      I, too, believe that in this day and age, a little traditional something needs to be held on to; others definitely need to go!

      On another note, people are still talking about my favors. I gave each couple a pine tree seedling. They came in little tubes with a poem and our names and wedding date wrapped aroung the pouch of dirt. They were super inexpensive, and one can put the poem in a photo album with the pictures from the wedding. At least a dozen or so people told me they planted their tree. It was very cool!

      Cheryl 🙂

    12. Posted Aug 6 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I love the dessert & candy bar in place of favors (that’s what I’ll be doing), but NOT donating to a charity for your guests. I’ve heard horror stories where the donations were to a charity that some guests strongly opposed.

    13. Posted Aug 8 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I have to say as a wedding photographer that though the Garter and Bouquet toss might not be fun for everyone, for the bride and groom who do want to do it (and i have been to many weddings where the bride is way too embarrassed to have her new husband roaming around her dress for everyone to see) that this tradition makes for AWESOME pictures. Not only is it something funny on a day that can feel formal and uptight but it’s a way to get a lot of your friends on the dance floor for one big picture.
      On the other side of the fence, i can honestly say that I probably will not be doing this at my wedding. I am the youngest girl in my family and my boyfriend is older than me, a lot of his friends are already married. So by the time our wedding comes around there won’t be many single girlfriends left.
      So i guess i can agree that for some people this tradition would be one to leave out, for some couples who are younger and bolder, it can be very fun, so it’s not one i would say should be banned from ALL weddings.

    14. Posted Aug 8 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      i will be getting married a month from now, and instead of a favor i am doing a photo booth & candy bar.. and no garter toss.. however instead of the bouquet toss my husband (to be) and i will ask all the married couples to join us on the dance floor.. and at the end of our dance we will either narrow it down to whos been married the longest and give them the bouquet or have a spare (detachable) bouquet and give each couple on the floor with us a flower for sharing our special day..

    15. Posted Aug 10 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      I never usually post on blogs, but I’m coming up on my two year anniversary. It is hard to break certain traditions, but you can also tweak these. I do know what the dollar dance is and almost occurs at every wedding I have been to. Instead of hoarding the money for ourselves, we announced to the guests the money would be donated to our local animal shelter. We figured a lot of the guests spent a lot of money on gifts, or even just coming to the wedding; however, it is fun to dance with a lot of your guests that you would not normally have danced with.

    16. Anonymous
      Posted Aug 12 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      My daughter was recently married and we wholeheartedly agreed with their choices to do away with several of these. The bride and groom did stand on path from cocktail hour to reception to greet and thank their guests. The guest ‘book’ was a bit unconventional and probably needed someone on hand to explain it. However, the wedding coordinator/venue owner decided that designated sides for seating “was more orderly” and even though we delivered lovely welcome bags to everyone at this destination wedding and the couple believed wedding favors weren’t needed, the coordinator was shocked that no favors were planned and chose to circulate a tray of favors as “a gift of the venue”.

    17. Anonymous
      Posted Aug 16 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I’ve been to numerous weddings this summer, and I agree — when these traditions were skipped, no one really missed it. However, I don’t think it’s wrong for people to want to include these if they care about them! I know you say “yuck” to a garter toss, but one wedding I went to made it a funny, memorable affair by playing Indiana Jones music and the groom wore a flashlight on his head. No one was saying “gross” because everyone was too busy laughing.

      • Janetta
        Posted Oct 25 at 9:00 am | Permalink


    18. Posted Aug 19 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      For wedding favors at my wedding, we had little baskets filled with jelly beans and a little jar of bubbles – which everyone blew as we left the reception (like the old tradition of throwing rice).

    19. Posted Aug 20 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I would love to get rid of the garter toss but feel that the guests would feel awkward if there was a bouquet toss and not a garter toss. I definitely want to toss my bouquet (or just give it to the flower girl if I don’t do the toss) since it’d cost more money to freeze dry and frame that thing.

      As for the picking sides for sitting, I never got that idea. I never really follow that custom in most weddings I attend since a lot of friends and family I know do not follow that rule.

      I like all the points you brought up, a good few things to think about.

      • Anonymous
        Posted Sep 1 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        I really don’t think so! I have, granted, only been to about 7 weddings in my life, but 4 while had a bouquet toss I have never EVER seen a garter toss outside of movies! I think its really not that common anymore, and no one would miss it!!

    20. Anonymous
      Posted Aug 30 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      My friends had waiters walk down the line with appetizers as people were waiting to go through the recieving line. It was a lovely way to keep an old tradition while still keeping the guests happy and entertained.
      Also, some florists will throw in a smaller “Toss Bouquet” for a minimal price. My florist is doing ours for free for liking her company page on facebook.
      Remeber, your wedding is a time for you to start your own traditions. Keep the ones that are important to you, ditch the ones you don’t like, and incorporate in new ones! Think of your guest list when you are deciding. If most people are 40 and above, the bouquet toss could be embarrasing. Maybe an anniversary dance would be more appropriate. I agree though, I don’t think garter tosses are appropriate. They make me uncomfortable, and I would rather my hubby take of my garter later on that night, in private.

    21. Anonymous
      Posted Sep 8 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      I also agree that a traditional garter toss would be uncomfortable, but we’re not doing away with the tradition entirely. At our reception, I’m sliding the garter down to my knee so it’s not awkward. I’ve seen this done at a few weddings, and it worked very well.

    22. Anonymous
      Posted Sep 10 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I recently got married and we made the traditional vows our own and had guests sit wherever they wanted because the wedding was in my hometown so my husbands family was not able to attend. We did not do favors but we made our wedding programs into fans. Receiving lines are forced and awkward for everyone involved. We loved mingling with our guests at the reception. And as far as the garter and bouquet toss. I love those traditions, however the garter toss was unconventional. We blindfolded the groom and put the best man in the chair instead of myself. My dress draped over his leg and the groom was told to remove the garter with his teeth. Everyone got a huge laugh and it’s a good thing my groom has an amazing sense of humor! The best man was also my brother so it made it that much funnier! I still laugh about it!

    23. Anonymous
      Posted Sep 12 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Instead of tossing or giving my bouquet away at my wedding in November, I’ve planned with my maid of honor to toss the bouquet she will carry at the wedding so I can keep mine in one piece.

    24. Anonymous
      Posted Sep 21 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never heard of putting the garter on whomever caught the bouquet..

      In weddings I’ve been to, whomever catches the bouquet has to dance with whomever catches the garter. It’s never a slow song, always something fast paced like a zapateado. This part is always fun and in the case of my brother catching the garter, hilarious as he isn’t a dancer.
      If I ever get married, I’m having them both.

    25. Anonymous
      Posted Sep 24 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Anyone bothered by the fact that families is spelled wrong?

      • Anonymous
        Posted Oct 5 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        Glad I wasn’t the only one who caught this!

    26. Anonymous
      Posted Oct 1 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      I also think “dollar dances” should be nixed.

    27. Anonymous
      Posted Oct 2 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I was at a wedding once where the couple handed the bouquet and garter to the next couple getting married. Who happened to be the bride’s sister and fiance. I am only 23 and no where near marriage but the thought of my father and grandparents watching my new husband stick his head up my dress is not appealing.

    28. Posted Oct 14 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree! I did NOT want to do a bouquet or garter toss but, my mother being as traditional as she is, was very disappointed we weren’t. Since we did so much against her wishes (because come on it was our day) we decided we could let something as unimportant as this slide.
      But ugh, definitely my least favourite part of the night (which I had until now forgotten about)

    29. Anonymous
      Posted Oct 23 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I was at a wedding where all of the married couples were called onto the dance floor, and the DJ announced that any couple that had been married for 2 hours should leave the floor, then 1 year, then 5, then 10, and eventually the couple who had been married the longest was given the bouquet. Very cool and classy new tradition 🙂

    30. Janetta
      Posted Oct 25 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I like the bouquet/garter/dollar dance traditions. A lot. I think they’re FUN. People need to not take everything so seriously. I plan on doing all three, along with a stuffed animal toss for the kiddos. HOLLA.

    31. Anonymous
      Posted Nov 28 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      We did an abbreviated receiving line with just the parents of the bride and groom along with the bride and groom. This gave everyone a chance to meet both sets of parents and hug the married couple without the awkwardness of the attendants in line or the length of time it takes to get through a receiving line with all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen included. I especially liked this because my in-laws could introduce their friends and relatives that I didn’t know to me, and my parents could do the same for my husband (and a few friends of theirs I didn’t really know that well either!)

    32. Anonymous
      Posted Nov 30 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      In place of tossing the bouquet I have seen brides give the flowers to the wife of the married couple who has been married the longest at the wedding. Nice gesture and way to honor family and friends who are relationship role models.

    33. Anonymous
      Posted Dec 3 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the bouquet toss. At every wedding I’ve ever been to, anyone who participated had so much fun doing it; getting ready to “fight” for it, crossing their fingers, praying they’d be the next one to get married, etc. No one was forced to go on the dance floor if they didn’t want to, even if they were single. But I do think it’s really important to consider your guests as well. It IS *your* day, but I don’t think anyone can enjoy their day to the fullest knowing they made the majority of their guests uncomfortable.

    34. Anonymous
      Posted Dec 4 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Get rid of the cake cutting. Nobody wants to stand around and watch you cut a cake (+/- smashing it into each other’s faces.) Ugh. We didn’t do that at our wedding and I don’t regret it a bit.

    35. Anonymous
      Posted Dec 6 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      At my best friend’s wedding she had a boquet of single red roses that she tossed. So when she tossed them they went in every direction and that way several ladies ended up with flowers. Even some of the men jumped in to grab a rose for their sweetie. It was a suprise and fun and no one felt left out. Then afterward she did the same with suckers for the younger crowd in attendance. It was a great twist on tradition.

      As for the dollar dance I was maid of honor and responsbile for collecting money. Some people paid me in handfulls of change and one woman gave me her earrings because she had no cash. Needless to say it made for some interesting wedding details to add to the story. 🙂

    36. Anonymous
      Posted Dec 27 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I hate the garter toss tradition! I think it is so awkward. Also, at my boyfriend’s sisters wedding over a year ago I stepped out during the bouquet toss. I think it is such an awkward tradition as well. I know several women who have stayed single their entire lives by choice and would never try to catch a bouquet. I love the idea of donating a small amount per guest to different charities. Several charities hold a special place for me, so that is definitely something to consider.

    37. Anonymous
      Posted Jan 5 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I want to start out by saying that I do agree with most of what you’re saying and some traditions are just plain boring. However, I do have some pretty traditional family members and I can here my grandmother now chattering in the background about why we didn’t do this or that. I realize its my own wedding and I plan to do whatever makes it special to me, but how do I ease these family members into more untraditional waters?

    38. Posted Jan 8 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I agree with most of these except of the bouquet and garter toss. I can see how some people could find it tacky but I find it one of the funnest parts about going to wedding. Also every wedding I have been to they have a bouquet and garter that is specifically for the toss so that way they could keep their bouquet and garter. They also make some of the best memories from the wedding. I was just in my sister’s wedding and she did both. For the garter toss they played the James Bond theme song and when he threw it the one who caught the was our 12 year old brother. The photographer captured the moment and I have to say it is one of the best pictures from the wedding.

      Also about the “dollar dance” I have never heard it called that before. In my family there is a tradition called the Bridal Polka which sounds very similar. They play a polka song and the guest form a line and the maid of honor is at the beginning of the line with a bag to collect money if the guests want to give the bride and groom a little extra cash. Then the guests take a spin with bride and then go to the best man who is handing out shots (obviously if the guest is underage they skip that step) and then they proceed to form a large circle around the bride where they continue to dance until all the guest have gone through. Once the last guest joins the circle they tighten the circle around the bride and continue to dance. Then the groom with the help of his groomsmen try to capture the bride from the guests so the groom can carry her off. It is usually done at the end of the wedding so that way every guest gets a chance to say goodbye to the bride. I could see how people could find it tacky but it is so much fun and allows everyone to get a personal goodbye from the bride. Also at my sisters wedding the videographer loved the dance because she got to have video of every guest dancing with the bride which she had never been able to do. So there benefits to doing those traditions.

    39. Stephanie
      Posted Apr 9 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree with all of these except favors. I am with you on the buoquet and garter toss (Eww!). But I think the quests should get something for coming. Rather, I think favors should have a little more thought put into them. One wedding I went to had the guests go and have their pictures taken if they wanted at the DJ station. The pictures were handed out before guests left and a lovely frame was the favor to that picture in. I though this was a great favor as it gave you something to remember the night by.

    40. Misty
      Posted Jun 8 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I don’t agree with skipping giving out favors. Your guests spend a lot of money on the gift they buy for you and traveling to your wedding. They also spend time out of their day to celebrate with you. The favors are a way of saying thank you for celebrating with us. You may not remember any favors you’ve received at weddings but I guarantee you that the bride and groom for those weddings remember what they gave out and spent time putting them together and making sure they had enough. Everything else I can agree with but not having favors shows a lack of consideration for your guests to me. I’m not saying it has to be anything fancy. For my wedding we gave out origami tulips filled with candy and coasters with bible verses engraved on them (made by my father).

    41. Samantha
      Posted Jun 11 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      I actually found this site while looking for an alternative to a bouquet/garter toss so I’ll through in my 2 cents:

      1. We are definitely not having a bride and groom side because the groom side would have 100 people and bride would have 10 hahaha. We are definitely not having ushers! Couples should walk in together and not have the woman on some random guy’s arm with the man walking creepily behind them. I just do not get it.

      2. We didn’t consider this one but we will probably not have a receiving line and visit the tables at the recpetion so we have more of a chance to chat with our friends and family.

      3. I was absolutely, positively doing this. I loved the idea of a donation because seriously, who uses the odd stuff we get as favors?! I loved this idea… until I realized what the point of a favor was. It’s a thank you to your guest for coming to your wedding and celebrating with you. Because of this, we did not want to give away their gift and wanted to get them a little something special. We requested dontations in lieu of wedding presents instead.

      4. & 5. I was also absolutely, postively NOT doing the bouquet and garter toss! I know I never went up to participate because it’s embarassing and awkward!! I definitely did not want to put my guests in this position!! I still wanted to do something so I looked for alternatives. We will probably do a money bouquet so that all the women can particpate. and we will probably do a lottery ticket garter. We are going to buy a cheap garter and maybe put it on a football or basketball to throw out so that it’s already set up prior to the wedding. It’s definitely not coming off my leg by my groom. Other ideas were prizes maybe a bath and body gift set for the bouquet winner and bottle of crown royal for garter winner. All the winners have to do is get a pic together with their prizes.

    42. chelsea
      Posted Aug 17 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      this post is SO judgy. i think people should be able to do what they want on their wedding day and not have it dictated by a crowd who may have only been guests at a wedding where one of the above went wrong in their eyes. couples design their weddings primarily so that THEY will have the best day of their lives. obviously they keep their guests in mind but if couples are too busy thinking of how their guests will perceive them if they do or skip a certain tradition, then what’s the point of it being their day?

      we’re going to have the best time ever, including the garter and bouquet toss, and having a receiving line on our wedding day next week. 😛

      • Posted Aug 17 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry you find it so judgy that you had to take the time to tell me that, especially with your wedding next week. I’m not being judgy, just honest. It is meant to let couples know that they don’t have to do things just because they are tradition. A lot of brides DON’T want to do a receiving line or a garter toss and are pressured to because it is tradition, and I’m letting them know they don’t have to. You want to do them? More power to you. It is your wedding. Enjoy it how you want to.

    43. Ramakrishna
      Posted Mar 1 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree with your opinion about wedding traditions. I must add that already many have done away with reception lines . Who wants to wait 20 to 30 minutes in line after a summer wedding instead of having a nice drink and socializing with friends and relatives.
      Wedding is about all guests ,not just the bride and the groom , to have a great time so, they remember your wedding for along time.
      Eat, dance and merry is what a wedding is all about.

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    46. Soon-to-be Mrs. K
      Posted Jun 10 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know what people have done years ago, but many brides use a cheaper, mock bouquet and garter. Many garters come with an extra one (which is usually smaller and less intricate) for the garter toss and the bride will buy or make a cheap bouquet since the bridal bouquet is really expensive. I think the tosses can be fun and honestly, I think some guest look forward to it. No one is ever forced onto the dance floor to participate if they are truly uncomfortable with it.

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    48. Sonia
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      I love the list of things to skip! Totally agree. The charity for favors is GENIUS! Aand I was looking for an excuse to keep my utterly expensive and pretty bridal bouquet, now I will!

      Thank you!!

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    60. Megan
      Posted May 25 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree with everything but the receiving line. My opinion – spend the 20 minutes doing the line so you can ensure that you personally get to thank every person who spent time and money traveling to celebrate YOU and your betrothed. Doing the table visiting instead results in not getting enough time to eat, not getting enough time to dance, and not ensuring that you thank everyone who comes, which is important. After dinner you will be distracted, people will be competing for your attention, you will want to dance, and people may leave before you get to them.

      Just my opinion, but skipping the receiving line is lazy and selfish. Spend the 20 minutes or so to give all your guests the attention they deserve, then the rest of the night is yours to enjoy – no need to be hanging in the back of the room with your chatty great uncle talking about your third cousin removed when you could be dancing instead!

      • Posted Jun 6 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        That’s a good point. But as a guest at many many weddings, the receiving line was one of my least favorite parts too. You just stand in line for what feels like ages to see the couple. Instead, go get a cocktail and mingle and let the couple come around to you. But that’s just my preference. Each couple should do what feels right for them.

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