Wedding Recap: Reception Traditions

Happy Wedding Wednesday!  If you’re new around here, I started a series on the blog recapping the most exciting day of my life: Our Wedding Day.

This makes me happy, and for that I say Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Today is all about nontraditional wedding reception traditions.  I can hardly contain myself with excitement… can you? Let’s get to it!

*All photos used in this and all wedding related posts are from Elegant Imagery.

Reception Traditions

First we got married, then we took photos, and finally it was time to celebrate.

While we were announced as MR. & MRS. for the second time of the day, I think everyone expected to see something fun as our entrance.

Bride and Groom entrance

We didn’t have anything planned (…for this point of the night anyways) to surprise our guests, so Scott and I split ways and each made a circle of high fives around the dance floor.

We met in the middle, chest bumped and danced for the first time as husband and wife.

Our First Dance

The feeling I experienced in this moment was nothing short of magical.  There I was, dancing with someone I now call my husband.

Weird, but amazing.

bride and groom first dance

We danced to “Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher.  We originally planned to play this song sometime during the reception, not for our first dance.

We both love the song, and when we played it three weeks before the wedding (the week Scott left his job) it called us.

I’m pretty sure this photo captures the exact timing of “it don’t have a job.”

bride and groom first dance

Akward?  No. 

We’re goofballs.  You know this.

It was the perfect song to relay the “we’re going to be just fine” message to everyone.  We really were.

Bride at Groom black and white reception photo

As we were beginning to take our seats at the sweetheart table, I saw Scott walk back towards a keyboard.  He brought a friend over play to a song that means A LOT to both of us.

“More Than Anyone” by Gavin DeGraw had a great impact of the beginning of our relationship together.  If you don’t know why, read this story and then another about telling it to Gavin DeGraw.

They’re good ones, promise.

Scott Sings to Me

For months, I had been wondering why Scott refused to let “More Than Anyone” be our first dance song.  It was clearly our song.  As soon as the keyboard started, I soon figured it out.

Groom sings to bride at wedding reception

Scott sang the song to me, just like he did over the phone to me while we dated.  I went from laughing to crying to laughing all over again.

I was so happy and felt so blessed.


I hate to say it, but we really did have rock star toasts from both my bridesmaid, Lauren and Scott’s Best Man, Joseph.

Wedding Reception toast by bridesmaid

Lauren and I have been like Romy and Michelle since middle school.  She knows me just as well as Scott does, maybe even a little better.  She was perfect for the job and produced a sweet, funny, and what I later learned on the fly toast.  I loved it.

Joseph has been Scott’s best friend since college.  Even though they are states apart, they still talk like no time has passed from their last visit.  He has been through it all with Scott, and I got to hear about some of what that was during his speech.

Like Lauren, he was thoughtful, funny and killed it.

best man toast at wedding reception

Bravo, you guys.

Powerful Prayer

Directly after the toasts, we asked Scott’s brother-in-law to bless the meal.  Kevin was a preacher in Philadelphia who now serves in Dubai with Scott’s sister, Brooke, and his three adorable nieces.

powerful wedding prayer

His words were powerful and he did more than just pray over our food.  Kevin reached out and asked for protection over us and our marriage.  We were in an unsure path into the future, and I felt safe in those few minutes standing next to my new husband.

Bride and groom praying

Thank you, Kevin.

Parent Dances

I like to say I got my goofy “go with the flow” side of my personality from my father.  He’s always been laid back and easy to talk to.  Now that I’m an adult, I appreciate those qualities more than ever.

father daughter dance at wedding

We danced to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

About two minutes into the song, something weird happened: “Stanky Leg” came on, and somehow we both knew the same choreography.

Funny father daughter dance at wedding reception

Crazy right?

Surprise father daughter dance


Soon after, it was Scott’s turn to dance with his mother.  She knew there were some big shoes to fill on the dance floor, so struck her best pose.

Mother Son dance at wedding reception

She’s adorable.

Scott surprised her with a song that almost made her cry.  “When You Come Home” by Mark Schultz is their song.

Mother son dance at wedding

Watching them dance together was absolutely precious.

Mother son dance

I love our parents.

Throwing the Garter/Bridal Bouquet

When it came to the garter/bouquet toss, we thought about skipping it… for a quick second.

It’s pretty much expected of Scott to do an inappropriate dance to get my garter off, lasting about a minute or two too long.

Groom fetching garter

To the musical sounds of “Like a Virgin” by Madonna, that he did.

Although embarrassing, I have a feeling this spectacle provided some level of entertainment for our guests.

Next came the garter toss.  Any single men out there?

garter toss

Single ladies? I got you – or so you think.

surprise bouquet toss - multiple bouquets

We decided with our florist to make a rigged throw bouquet.

If you’ve never seen this before, its a bouquet made up of several tiny bouquets with sayings (or fortunes) attached.  The one with the biggest bouquet gets to participate in the uncomfortable act of putting a garter on a stranger.

garter and bouquet catch

Luckily, we were all friends here!

Cutting the Wedding Cake

I adored our wedding cake.

Pink and Green wedding cake

Apparently Scott adored the big cake knife.  Put something like that in front of him and things could get scary…

cutting the cake can be scary

… or even funny.

Cake cutter breaks at wedding

Our beautiful (borrowed) crystal knife broke!  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  I mean, really.  Anyone?

Onto the fun part:

Can you guess if Scott plays naughty or nice?

Cutting the cake

I know, this is a tricky one.

Groom smears cake on bride


Can you guess if I got him back?

cake on the face kiss

Of course!


Cake in the face at wedding reception

That’s love, ladies and gentlemen.  True love.


To be continued next Wedding Wednesday…

In the mean time, see what recaps are coming up on the Wedding Page!

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