Every couple is unique. We encourage couples to take a unique approach to wedding formalities. When searching for a wedding DJ, many couples are looking for a unique entertainment experience for their big day. Recently we have seen a trend within the wedding industry where couples are opting to eliminate many of the wedding formalities. Couples want to focus more on partying and dancing.
Perhaps this trend can be attributed to the Austin, Texas market that we are in. Austinites want a unique approach to their wedding. Most likely it has to do with the fact that millennials and generation Z are now getting married and they have different world experiences than Generation X or Baby Boomers. According to researchers; millennials have an attention span of 12 seconds with Generation Z at 8 seconds. The generations coming up want flexibility. They aren’t interested in conforming and lose interest quickly if you do not find creative ways to engage them.
Wedding formalities such as the bouquet toss, garter removal, cake cutting, the money dance, and sometimes toasts are being eliminated at wedding receptions. Ask the average bride and she will tell you that she doesn’t understand the purpose of the garter removal and finds it creepy. Let’s be honest, who likes the idea of their Father and their guests watching them with their husband underneath their dresses.
With the garter removal and toss we have given couples alternatives. I’ve seen couples wrap the garter around a football and the groom tosses it. We have also seen instances where the garter is simply tossed. The average male at a wedding rarely wants to catch the garter simply because they are enjoying being a bachelor. Whatever
If you don’t want to turn the garter into a Magic Mike moment then we recommend staying away from certain songs. Sexy songs like Ginuwine’s “Pony” or Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” are prime examples. Instead you can opt for songs like ZZ Top “Sharp Dressed Man”, Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone.” For newer songs try Panic! At The Disco “Death of a Bachelor.”
Women on the other hand often enjoy the bouquet toss but only if there are more than a handful of women ready to catch the bouquet along with them. There are alternatives to not make the ladies feel like they are the last ones to get married. We invite all ladies to the dance floor regardless or marital status. Nothing better than packing the dance floor and eliminating the overly cliche “Single Ladies.” Don’t be surprised to see a woman who has been married for over 25 years come down with the bouquet.
I actually predict in 5 years that the garter removal will be a thing of the past; at least here in Texas. These ultra-cool hill country couples are eliminating this old tradition at a rapid pace.
You may be asking yourself; how did the tradition of the garter removal and bouquet toss come about? Hundreds of years ago, there were many superstitions and beliefs surrounding the wedding day. One superstition was that owning a piece of the wedding dress would bring good luck. This would lead to wedding guests essentially attacking the bride to rip off a piece of her gown. This led to brides wearing a specific article of clothing to be given out as the lucky piece: the garter. Another belief was that the garter was a symbol of the newlyweds consummating their marriage, so family and friends would take the garter as proof of consummation. Both of these ancient beliefs result in the garter being removed from the bride and given to someone who attended the wedding.
As a couple if you simply are not interested in taking time away from the dance floor, then eliminate the tosses all together.
When it comes the wedding cake many couples like the photo opportunity but may not want to draw all the attention of the room to them as they are cutting their wedding cake. If you do not like being the center of attention or want to maintain a packed dance floor then do your cake cutting privately without a ton of fanfare. We do recommend having the wedding DJ or master of ceremonies privately talk to your parents and grand parents to ensure they see this moment. The older generations still love this tradition.
We have seen tons of interesting approaches to toasts. Everything from incorporating multi-media with video projection or sound effects from the DJ. It is not at all unusual for a couple to opt to have toasts done during the wedding rehearsal. If you do want to have speeches at your wedding we recommend trying to incorporate them as a part of dinner. Usually your wedding party has had the opportunity to eat their meal first. When the last table has been served why not go right into toasts? By the time your guests have finished their meal, all of the speeches should be done.
We love our parents but the thought of dancing with our Father’s through 5 minutes of “Butterfly Kisses.” Dancing with our Mothers through 4 minutes of Rascal Flatts “My Wish” isn’t any better. Some alternatives are to dramatically shorten these songs to one verse and the chorus. You can also select a song that you can do together and do a joint parent dance.
Other alternatives are doing a mix of several fun upbeat songs to keep your guests engaged. If you select a really fun dance routine it can be a blast inviting your guests to come and finish out the song with you. Regardless of your approach to parent dances, timing is crucial. Make sure your wedding coordinator and DJ understand that you want a great organic flow during your wedding.
Another wedding formality that can eat into a few minutes of your time during a wedding reception are introductions. There are some elaborate and really entertaining introductions that we have done for couples and their bridal/wedding party. We have noticed recently that couples are opting simply to have just them introduced.
If you have an outgoing wedding party and really want to use them as party starters then you may want to consider doing a grand entrance with all of them. What if some of your wedding party is super outgoing while the others are a little more reserved? You can consider introducing them as a group. One group being the bridesmaids and the other being the groomsmen.
In certain cultures the money or dollar dance is very important. The younger generations love money but are often shying away from doing this because they feel that their wedding guests have already given them gifts and their time. We certainly are not hear to judge but we will try and make sure it keeps as many guests involved for as long as possible.
One thing we have noticed with millennial and generation z couples; you better be flexible and nimble enough to think fast on your feet. We have had couples want to do impromptu things like a few karaoke songs. Even singing a sorority or fraternity song or simply want to change the order of the evening.
One of our motto’s is we do events your way. We know no two weddings are alike because no two couples are alike. Today we are seeing more interracial, cross cultural and same sex weddings unlike ever before. We pride ourselves on being able to do more than read your dance floor. We want to understand who your friends and family are and help you create new traditions.
Why have your wedding be like the last 10 weddings that your guests have been to. The thing we love about the younger generations is they are more fearless and more willing to do things that speak to who they are.
We’ve spoken a lot about ways to make your wedding reception a truly unique and customized experience but the ceremony is where the magic begins. There are countless ways to make your wedding ceremony a truly unique experience.
Everything from your ceremony location to the choice of altar, wedding music and floral arrangements can start your celebration of love out right. Give some consideration to having a family member or friend officiate your wedding. I recently officiated a wedding and found that most of the guests thought it was a truly memorable experience. Include traditions from your different cultures; I’ve even seen couples who are not Jewish really love the breaking of the glass and yelling “Mozel Tov. Some people may find incorporating things from a culture that you are not a part of as insulting. I say doing this is the ultimate form of flattery and admiration of that culture.
Doing personal vows or having a family member/close friend do a reading are ways to make your ceremony stand out. Know someone musically talented or someone who has incredible vocal skills? Ask them to be a part of your ceremony. Love your dogs? Have them be your ring bearer. One of the best moments I have ever seen at a wedding was when Grandma was the flower girl. She almost stole the show from the bride!
Never fear incorporating your personality into every aspect of your wedding. I can’t tell you how may Star Trek or Harry Potter weddings I’ve been a part of. When it comes to your big day; be true to who you are as a couple. If you are more reserved we can find ways to keep your guests entertained without putting you in the spotlight. We will never call you out on the microphone ask you to dance if you do not like the spotlight. There are tons of interactive things we can do that aren’t cheesy and cliche.
When you have a Premier Entertainment DJ, we are going to make sure we create a customized experience that leaves your guests begging for more. We want them walking away knowing more about who you are as a couple. Select wedding songs to make your event stand out. From the DJ’s perspective, make sure their attire, setup and MC style all match who you are because on your big day; they are representing you.
If you opt to do all of the wedding traditions, we can still ensure you that we will make that portion of it unique to you without sacrificing your entertainment. We do not want to disrupt the flow of the biggest party you may ever throw! Contact us so we can help you take a unique approach to your wedding.
DJ Brandon Shabazz
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