Amazing Alternatives to a Traditional Wedding Reception


There are three things every bride and groom simply must do at their wedding reception – according to tradition, of course! But what if cutting the cake, performing a first dance or tossing the garter and bouquet just isn’t your thing? You can still create a great party atmosphere with these fun alternatives.

Cutting the Cake

What it Means
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that convention has moved on from breaking the wedding cake over the bride’s head to merely…cutting it. Considered the first task of a couple’s married life, the cake cutting is actually a sweet tradition (pun intended!) where feeding each other a piece is a way to show your dedication to providing for one another.

The Alternatives
For a perfect nod to this custom, choose any activity that involves you, your partner and some food or drink. If you’re a sweet tooth like us, you can celebrate with a sugar hit of stacked donuts, macarons, cookies, profiteroles, pies or even a chocolate fountain! If you want to do away with desserts altogether, why not consider mixing a signature cocktail to serve to your guests, or get the party started with a champagne tower poured by you and your beloved.

Fresh Idea
What about a cake-shaped piñata? It’s instant entertainment and a unique way to say thank you to your guests with some take-home sweets!

The Bouquet & Garter Toss

What it Means
As the tradition goes, unmarried guests wanting to share in the good fortune of the bride need to get their hands on either her bouquet or a piece of her clothing.

The Bouquet
If you don’t know any single ladies, or just don’t want to single anyone out, you can present your bouquet to the oldest married couple, the person who introduced you to your partner or the couple next to be married. If you do still want to do a toss, you could throw a small posy and reward the catcher with a pampering gift or release a breakaway bouquet so everyone receives a flower!

The Garter
Not keen on showing some leg for the garter removal? Your groom can throw his boutonniere instead which the catcher can exchange for a bottle of alcohol. A ‘Little Black Book’ containing lottery tickets or a gift card is also a fun (and cheeky!) option for the guys.

Fresh Idea
If you want to get all of your guests involved, consider a lucky door ‘gift bouquet’ of flowers, chocolates and movie passes. And, so no one is left out, you can also organise a lolly toss for the kids!

The First Dance

What it Means
Performed at formal balls for hundreds of years, the guests of honour complete a first dance to encourage others to join them on the dance floor. Now it’s an opportunity to share a special moment with your partner, taking the first of many steps as a married couple.

The Alternatives
There’s no need to choreograph a showstopping routine, but if you’re not a fan of the spotlight, a live band, DJ, comedian or karaoke station are great ways to kick off the post-dinner party instead. You can also reverse the order of events and hold an official ‘Last Dance’, where all of your family and friends are invited to the floor for one final song before your getaway. All anyone will be thinking about is enjoying the moment with you!

Fresh Idea
To make sure you don’t miss out on some one-on-one time, consider organising a private room for some drinks and canapés which you and your partner can enjoy before the reception.

For some, a wedding isn’t a wedding without these traditions, and for others, they are just a sample of the many great activities you can plan for your reception. So what’s the only thing you must do? Have the confidence to do your day differently!


Photography: Michelle Fleur Photography | Gown: Jordanna Regan Couture | Hair and Makeup: Bella Brides | Model: Mallory Van Noort

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