We'll kiss, but only if you work for it.
October 12, 2009 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I can't believe I'm actually using a question for this, but wevs. My SO and & are getting married on Saturday. We completely and totally do *not* want glass-clinking at our reception. Seriously.

At the same time, we realize that there should be some kind of 'hey you should kiss' thing, in order to avoid total anarchy. We've been to weddings where they've had alternate ideas - for example, if you want the couple to kiss, you must come up and recite a poem using a specific word, or sing a verse of a song, etc. These went over really well. I'm somewhat of an 80's pop music savant, so we're really keen on using the question cards from 80's Trivial Pursuit (small, portable, no singing). Problem - we won't have a microphone, as we're doing iPod dj, so aren't sure how to actually implement this. The venue is small, and we'll have under 70 guests. We'll be at a sweetheart table, right in the middle of the action. Do we just stand up and yell "hey, if you want us to kiss you have to come up and answer a question!"? If someone comes up to answer a question (the box would be on our table), do we have to get the whole room's attention so it can be done 'out loud', or do we just let people notice if they happen to notice, and not worry if they don't?

Any ideas/advice greatly appreciated.

I can't believe the things that are stressing me out this week, vs. the things that are going smoothly. Is it over yet?
posted by spinturtle to Grab Bag (35 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Guests musn't scream "HEY YO HEY EVERYBODY I'M GOING TO CLINK MY GLASS/RING MY TINY BELL/SACRIFICE A BABY SHEEP SO THE NEW COUPLE WILL KISS HEY EVERYBODY LOOK HEY HEY," so I don't think you'll need to get the room's attention. It'll interrupt previous conversations & make things go slower & awkwardly.

I like making them work for the kiss, though. Your time is valuable! Ha.
posted by opossumnus at 9:52 AM on October 12, 2009

Well you can look at it also as you don't have to have the "hey you should kiss" thing either, unless it's your thing.

Clinking and poems, etc. can be distracting and embarassing and take away from conversations, the mood, etc.

You can make people come up to your table and say loudly the question, etc.

Congrats on the nuptuals.
posted by stormpooper at 9:53 AM on October 12, 2009

You could put a card (or 2) on each table that essentially says, "Please don't clink glasses to spark a kiss; the bride and groom have asked that you come to their table to answer a trivia question first." You could even attach a trivial pursuit card to each card to give them an idea of what they're in for.

Subtle, but the cards on each table and doesn't involve you feeling as awkward.
posted by julen at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2009 [8 favorites]

I was at a wedding last weekend that had the DJ announce that if there was glass clinking, the DJ would pull a couple's name out of a hat and require them to kiss before the newly married couple would lock lips. So if you want a trivia contest for smooching then you should announce something ahead of time. You say you don't have a microphone but is someone announcing your entrance? They could say something then.
posted by mmascolino at 9:55 AM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

Plastic cups.

Announce that every time you clink your glass all your guests have to kiss.

Alternatively, kiss as you come in and tell them that's the last time you're kissing in response to clinking.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:58 AM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

I like some of the suggestions here . If you have a live person who is involved in any of the dj activity then they can make the announcement, otherwise usually one of the parents of the couple could make sure people know your preferences.
posted by gudrun at 10:03 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Any chance you could record a message in advance to play on the iPod? If you were to go this route, you should probably record several messages about different things so that one doesn't stick out so much on its own.

Maybe have an audio montage to play before the music starts, a medley of the bride and groom saying romantic things to each other and kind words for the wedding attendees, a thank-you to everyone for coming, a brief roast of the wedding party, by the way please don't clink your glasses, be sure to try the h'ors d'oeuvres, and don't forget to sign the memory book!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2009

The venue is small, and we'll have under 70 guests. We'll be at a sweetheart table, right in the middle of the action.

Sounds like our wedding. It will probably be impractical for you to lean over the table and kiss, and uncomfortable to stand up and sit down each time (I had a very long, full gown). In retrospect I wish we'd nixed it from the get-go. Keep in mind that the more time you spend reading trivia questions and kissing, the less time you have to eat, and what with the stress, it will probably be the only decent meal you get all day. And then you'll be drinking afterwards.

Have one of your mothers make the announcement.

Oh, and congratulations!
posted by desjardins at 10:14 AM on October 12, 2009

Get the MC to announce that guests have to demonstrate the kiss before you'll do it. This can be a lot of fun - at a friend's wedding, one of the women did a running jump into her partner's arms followed by a kiss, so the bride and groom did the same to much amusement. How well it works will depend on the crowd -- it dissuades casual clinkers but encourages the mischievous.
posted by benzenedream at 10:24 AM on October 12, 2009

People do a lot of dumb things at weddings because they think they're supposed to. It's the couple's wedding. If they don't like something, they don't have to justify it. They're not there to be performing dolphins.
posted by micawber at 10:29 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

We made people sing us a song, if they wanted a kiss. My parents sang "My Uncle Roasted A Kangaroo" and a pair of good friends gave us an 80's medley -- other than that, nothing. Goal accomplished :)
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:35 AM on October 12, 2009

I've been to a few weddings where someone decided to "kill" this tradition, and every time it failed (usually miserably). It's just such a hardwired thing to many people that they just keep trying it no matter what you say, and if you think the sound of tinking glasses is unpleasant, just wait until someone decides not to stop doing it until you give in.

I get that this tradition is annoying, but this is deep into "not worth the energy to fight" territory. Seriously, by worrying about this to the point of posting, you've probably ALREADY caused yourself more unhappiness than you would have endured by simply paying along. Implementing any alternate plan will require even more effort, and cause even more stress. It isn't worth it.
posted by Pufferish at 10:39 AM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

I never heard of that, when did that start? Anyway, I probably wouldn't make a big downer announcement about it. I'd just beg off a few times if someone did try to play this game. "Oh, we'll be kissing plenty later, thanks." I'd imagine the requests would die off, hopefully.
posted by ctmf at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2009

er, playing along. oops.
posted by Pufferish at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2009

A couple I heard of was trying to raise money for equal-marriage rights, so they left a note at every table that in lieu of clinking glasses, guests would have to come up and drop a dollar in the donation bucket they had at the bride and groom's table if they wanted to see a kiss.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:44 AM on October 12, 2009 [11 favorites]

I too have never heard of this, and have been married (!). That being said, the trivial pursuit thing sounds cute except when people come up and get the question wrong because they are not 80's music savants, you are going to look like a big ole dickwad sending them back to their seat in shame. I would just ignore it and pretend you've never heard of the tradition. And kiss her anyways, I bet she's worth it.
posted by CharlesV42 at 10:46 AM on October 12, 2009

Record a message for the iPod saying that guests are not allowed to clink glasses for a kiss. If you want them to read a Trivial Pursuit card to have you kiss, have the recording say that those questions may be read for kisses when the music stops and an announcement begins (maybe something along the lines of, "Kissing questions will be taken in 5...4...3...2...ask!"), and at no other time?

Then put in the kissing countdown at random times during the music mix. It'd be a game as much for your guests as for you guys.
posted by xingcat at 10:50 AM on October 12, 2009

At my sister's wedding, the requirement was to stand up and sing lyrics from a song with the word "love" in it, and at the word "love" they'd kiss. Knowing my sister, she probably made this suggestion because she didn't want to kiss at the clinking of glasses, and figured nobody would stand up and actually do it (people in my extended family don't do that sort of thing.)

Well, turns out her husband's family was gung ho on the idea, and you could really tell who at the reception belonged to which side of the new family, because half the tables had people knocking each other aside for a chance to stand up and sing, and the other half were full of people laughing their asses off as they mocked the singers.

if you think the sound of tinking glasses is unpleasant, just wait until someone decides not to stop doing it until you give in.

Yep, there's nothing like a belligerent distant relative who things its "funny" to make you feel like crap at your own wedding. It's a real risk. If most of your collective extended family does not consist of douchebags, peer pressure should be enough to stop it, but then there's always someone.

Which gives me an idea: have your most outgoing bridesmaid or groomsman be prepared to MC the glass clinking. The first time glasses are clinked, have them stand up and state that the bride and groom wish to celebrate the love of all the marriages represented at the reception, and so everyone married or in a committed relationship should stand up and kiss (including you, of course.)

Now, here's the chaser: the second time, the MC announces that this time, everyone who has been in a committed relationship for longer than two years should do it. You're now exempt. Repeat for each subsequent glass-clinking (pretty quickly, the MC will just have to say "Longer than five years, this time!" "Now ten years!" "Now twenty!" and when you get to the point that only one couple is standing, everyone applauds and all is well.
posted by davejay at 10:57 AM on October 12, 2009 [19 favorites]

Aversion training. Either ignore the clinking glasses completely, or do something like squeeze an airhorn whenever someone starts up. You will quickly communicate the message you wish to impart.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:06 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

I went to a wedding in which they had cards on the table and the Maid of Honor made an announcement at the beginning of the reception. I thought that worked well. I have always thought the glass clinking was irritating at best.
posted by Silvertree at 11:07 AM on October 12, 2009

Awww... that's cute, davejay. I like it.

We didn't have too many clinkers at our wedding. The first time, we kissed and everyone applauded. The second time, I blew him a kiss and then went back to my conversation. The third time I just laughed and waved at the groom and went back to what I was doing. I don't think there was anything after that.

I feel like laughing it off is a pretty good way of dealing with it.
posted by amanda at 11:11 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

I haven't been to that many weddings, I guess, because I've never even heard of this tradition and it sounds positively obnoxious. So once person starts clinking their glass and then in 20 seconds everyone in the whole room creates a clinking cacophony until you guys kiss? Seriously? Sounds like a terrible nuptial version of when everyone screams "DRINK DRINK DRINK" at frat parties. You're not performing monkeys.

davejay's advice is the best, because it diverts the mass crowd appeal of manipulating you guys into kissing every time a drunk uncle starts clinking his glass. Otherwise just downplay the whole extravaganza by pecking him on the cheek after the first performative kiss and go back to doing what you're supposed to be doing--enjoying your damn wedding.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:41 AM on October 12, 2009

Asked previously. With an update from the groom.
posted by hhc5 at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2009

I sympathize with your pain, and I've been through it myself, for both my own and other people's weddings. Heck, I barely sat down after the introductions and the clinking started up ("Didn't you people just see us kiss at the altar?!").

I toyed with the idea of plastic cups and utensils, and everybody thought I was joking. I admit that such tableware would have looked out of place in the formal reception hall, and would probably have been quite tacky.

I thought of selecting one couple in the audience (didn't matter if they weren't the ones that clinked glasses) to show me how to do it, because I felt if I were to be put on public display, the guests ought to as well. Then I had to honestly consider whether I would want to imitate the drunk uncles and aunts or amorous young newlyweds in attendance.

After all was said and done, we just went with it. When the glass-clinking started, my spouse and I leaned over and gave each other a quick peck. We treated it like bactine on a wound; dreaded anticipation, quick application, all better afterward. I don't think we looked irritated whilst kissing, even if we may have felt it internally. I just remember my wife's smile, and the excitement and atmosphere of the event didn't leave much room for annoyance.

Honestly? It wasn't that bad. It satisfied the base urges of our guests and everybody left with pleasant memories. We also had the benefit of not giving anyone any unique memories of the bad kind (the "what were they thinking" kind), so bonus win. If I had to overthink that plate, it was a nice reflection of how my spouse and I would handle the conflicts of our own wishes versus those of my family/community, how we would pick our battles and learn which confrontations were worth our time and energy.

I do want to provide a suggestion to help ease your pain, though. How does artificial lips sound? Since you won't have a microphone and you'll be at a sweetheart table, my suggestion is to make cardboard or wooden lips on sticks. Gussy these props up to your delight, maybe with some lace or glitter or whatever strikes your fancy. Whenever the glass-clinking starts up, lift those prosthetic lips into the air so that everyone can see, then high-five each other from where you're sitting (I assume you'll have a table between you).

The cynic in me thinks that it still won't stop some of your "traditionally-minded" guests, who may very well continue clinking until you actually kiss. I'd recommend you stick to your guns and either keep kissing with those props and ignore until the next round. Eventually the clinking ought to stop as everyone begins to understand the routine.

Regardless, have fun, and congratulations!
posted by CancerMan at 11:46 AM on October 12, 2009

Do you have table decorations? Put a bunch of Trivial Pursuit cards at every table, with an explanatory note saying that guests are encouraged to come and try to test the trivia knowledge of the bride & groom. If the guest asks you a question, and you miss, you must kiss. Fell free to miss on purpose.

You get to ask the guest a question and if they miss, they must pay a forfeit - sing a song, dance, pay a dollar.

I can't imagine that you'd have much time, but making your own trivia cards would be quite fun.

And, bring an air horn. If people clink glasses, use it.
posted by theora55 at 11:54 AM on October 12, 2009

We were at a wedding like the one davejay attended, where if you wanted the couple to kiss, you had to sing a song about love. It worked out pretty well as most people aren't keen to stand up and sing in public.
However, it did make for a good way for disparate tables to get to know each other, as with time and alcohol, whole tables were brainstorming songs and singing together. It got quite competitive (in a good way) and was one of the more fun weddings we've been to.
posted by arcticseal at 12:46 PM on October 12, 2009

davejay's advice is by far the best: you get to make a really sweet thing out of it, with none of the passive-aggression involved in making people "earn" their wish to see you kiss.
posted by fightorflight at 12:54 PM on October 12, 2009

Wow. I have never been to a wedding that did this. So clearly it's not a default at EVERY wedding....

That said: (a) if you have relatives/friends that you KNOW are going to do this, then you can't really prevent it, and (b) the "if we have to, you have to" ideas around here sound good to me. Especially the one involving the DJ that got suggested.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:22 PM on October 12, 2009

I was at a wedding with bells when I, completely innocent of what it was for, kept fidgeting with it and ringing it. After a couple times of this, one of the wedding party came by and filled me in on the custom, so I stopped (actually, just held the ringer so I could still fidget).

Enlist your wedding party and your family in spreading the word - have the wedding party spread it to friends and the family spread it to both sides. If someone's determined to ring it, have those people again stop by and mention your alternate plan.

As mentioned above, people really get into the alternate methods.

For mine, we had plastic silverware, so I don't think anyone tried clinking on the glasses (even though my husband was adamant to make sure that they were clinkable). They ended up just shouting for us to "Dip her! Dip her!" We were in an even smaller venue - 40 people, outside in a park pavilion and most people were happier playing cards than orchestrating photo ops.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:22 PM on October 12, 2009

I've never been to a wedding that did this, either. And I'm 40 years old and have been to dozens of weddings! Is it a regional thing?
posted by jdroth at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2009

I've never heard of this either - is it particular to a certain area or something? I haven't been to that many weddings, but the few I have been to didn't seem to have anything like this going on... unless I'm just completely oblivious, maybe.

If it's just people clinking glasses, can't you just ignore it? Or if someone yells out "kiss" after having clinked their glass, just kind of laugh it off like you've never heard of it? Because it is entirely possible to be simply unfamiliar with this tradition.

If you want to do a game with the crowd that involves you guys kissing as a prize, you could do it case-by-case whether the person should involve the room or ask more personally, since it may depend if you've had enough stories and sharing from the wedding party and all that already, and want to let people have a little conversation time, or if it feels like the group is still in group-mode.
posted by mdn at 3:34 PM on October 12, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, thanks so much everyone! We didn't even consider the fact that making much of it makes it a bigger issue than it is. And we don't have a wedding party or DJ (or microphone), so no one to easily make announcements. I'll hold off until after the big day to mark best answer, as we probably won't know for a few days which we'll end up using.
posted by spinturtle at 4:53 PM on October 12, 2009

Every wedding I have been to where they had an alternate option to clinking the glasses, people loved it and were enthusiastic about making the couple kiss. I have never been to a wedding where people have clinked glasses together. The alternative seemed to have encourage people? Some people love the spotlight, IMO if you don't want to be interupted, don't even mention it and hope for the best.
posted by Gor-ella at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2009

People do a lot of dumb things at weddings because they think they're supposed to. It's the couple's wedding. If they don't like something, they don't have to justify it. They're not there to be performing dolphins.

Yeah. Just ignore it.

I got married on Saturday, was unaware of this "rule", and didn't kiss Mr. WanKenobi against my will at all. To my knowledge, no one complained.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:59 AM on October 13, 2009

After reading all these responses I'm wondering if this a Midwest thing. I'm from metro Detroit and -- unfortunately -- this is standard protocol at most weddings. Anybody know about this outside of the Midwest/Canada?

I love the idea of including all married couples and increasing the length of the relationship!
posted by ReneeOg at 6:24 PM on October 17, 2009

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