Whether you’re after a totally contemporary celebration or something a little more classic, there are a handful of traditions out there that seem, well, a little unnecessary (just saying). Planning a fun-filled reception? Consider these five traditions and whether you’ll want to keep or update them…
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We still think ‘cutting the cake’ is a fabulous part of the reception, but it can become a little complicated if you’re embracing the current trend of serving alternative sweets (like doughnuts, churros or cupcakes) or a cake of cheese wheels. A fun twist on this event is to bust into a wedding cake piñata filled with lollies or perhaps even some sweet hand-written messages. Plenty of party stores can source these for you, but you can also find instructions online to make your own DIY masterpiece.
Looking for your dream wedding cake? Find plenty of amazing vendors here…
This tradition goes back hundreds of years, but it can be a bit of a nuisance. If you don’t fancy removing the top tier, organising to take it home and having it take up precious space in your freezer for 12 months (or if you have a single-tier cake), you can still take part in the custom by thinking outside the box. Is there a premium spirit you both love? Have a new bottle on display at the reception and pour a drink from it each year. Or keep things a little more intimate and wear something from the big day on an anniversary date night each year – think jewellery or shoes for you; a tie, shoes or cufflinks for him. We even know of one fabulous bride who brings out her wedding dress every anniversary – even when she was pregnant and couldn’t do it up!
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Let’s get this absolutely straight: wedding favours are a quick way to make a wedding expensive and are totally optional. Save funds – but still treat your guests – by having a flower station at the end of the night. While everyone’s up and dancing, have your venue staff collect and deconstruct all your floral arrangements, place them on a table together with paper and string, and then invite your guests to make their own takeaway posies. Or show off your baking skills (or those of a loved one) and make sweet treats using time-honoured family recipes. Your famous chocolate-chip cookies, Nonna’s cannoli, Dad’s fudge or Mum’s shortbread – they’re all cost-effective gifts that come from the heart.
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It’s a popular idea, but seating everyone at a head table isn’t the only option out there. Up the romance with a sweetheart table and set up a small (and beautifully decorated) table for just you and your husband, and seat your bridal party among your other guests. Or, leave two spare seats at every table and visit a new one before, during and after each course. It’ll mean you’re on the go throughout the reception but you’ll get to share a special moment with your friends and family.
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After all the festivities of the reception, making a grand exit as a couple is kind of expected, but it doesn’t have to be totally cheesy. Getting your guests to make a tunnel for you to walk under can be a bit clumsy (unless you fancy slouching down and potentially ruining your hairdo), and more couples are swapping this for a dazzling sparkler walkway exit. But if you’re a little more private or you’re simply not ready to call it a night, ditch the whole grand exit altogether and just say your farewells to your remaining guests.
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Piñata cake image courtesy of Luke and Mallory