As soon as the bride and groom sit down at the reception, it starts. Every wedding guest seems to succumb to a fever, the only antidote to which is banging on their glasses with a spoon or a fork. The racket starts with one guest, then quickly spreads throughout the venue until the bride and groom kiss. There are loud “WOO!”s and thunderous applause, and then silence for a few minutes…until the whole thing starts up again.
If there was ever a tradition to discourage at your wedding, the glass clinking ritual is the one. We’ve seen couples try to thwart it by having plastic cups instead of goblets, or not putting out silverware until the meal arrives, but someone will always find a way to make noise until they get that kiss. The only way to thwart it is to provide a clear alternative and tell your guests at the beginning of the reception, “we’re not doing the glass-clinking thing. If you want us to kiss, you need to…”
Sing a Love Song
Have a microphone tied to the P.A. system and tell guests they must sing a snippet of a love song instead of banging on cutlery. The number of guests willing to embarrass themselves at the mic means you’ll have more time in between interruptions to enjoy your day, and the few star performers among your social circle can go crazy with it.
Give Advice to the Couple
Here’s a cute alternative to the constant interruption and noise of glass-clinking: have happily-married guests share a bit of advice for the bride and groom. That way, each kiss at your reception can be a memory of hearing some advice or a well-wishing from a dear friend or family member.
Share a Memory of the Bride or Groom
Much like the advice-giving, this alternative replaces an annoying intrusion with a welcome sharing among friends and family. Those happy memories can lead to great conversations around the table, friendly competition as people try and top each other’s memories, and the revelation of embarrassing secrets that will entertain everyone for years to come.
Bring the Couple a Drink
Look, if your guests are going to constantly interrupt your dinner and conversation with demands that you kiss while they watch and applaud, why not make them earn that kiss with a useful service? To earn a kiss, your guests have to go to the (hopefully cash) bar, pony up a few bucks for a drink, and bring it to your table. If you get too many drinks, just distribute them among the wedding party.
A Kiss for a Kiss
This is it: the nuclear option. In order to get the bride and groom to kiss, guests will have to bring their partners up to the table and kiss first while YOU watch and go “WOO.” The hardy folk that aren’t deterred by the embarrassment will provide a fun reflection of your love. And if anyone’s too embarrassed to kiss on demand in front of a room full of people, well…then you’ve made your point.
If these tips for alternatives to glass clinking don’t quite fit the bill, I’m sure you can imagine some other way that guests can “buy” a public kiss between the bride and groom. But whether you use these ideas or one of your own, there’s no denying the elegant joy of a clink-free reception.