Bubbles? Rice? Bubbly Rice?
September 9, 2011 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Throwing one of my friends a wedding-themed birthday party to do all the corny wedding-reception rituals that I know she'll refuse to do when she actually gets married next year. So, er... what are those rituals again?

Basically, one of my very good friends is getting married next year and she is on the way to planning a really cool 20's/deco theme alterna-wedding (which sounds awesome), but I can't resist the opportunity to antagonize her with all of the cliches she's running from.

I've got the traditional white wedding cake, some hors d'ouerves and champagne all ready to go, and I'm thinking of clearing out some space so her and her fiancé can do a "first-dance", but I know that there's a lot more that I'm forgetting (I haven't been to many weddings).

Oh, bonus points: I'm in New Orleans, so my hazy memories of wedding receptions includes something something money dance something something umbrella?
posted by bookwo3107 to Human Relations (42 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mean second lining for the umbrella dance?
posted by quodlibet at 6:47 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: The part where the groom takes off the bride's garter and throws it to the other men in the reception is always cringe-worthy.
posted by xingcat at 6:48 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Ringing bells or clinking silverware on glasses to incite the happy couple to kiss- apparently this drives some people crazy.
posted by heyheylanagirl at 6:51 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Bouquet Toss and boring speeches
posted by missmagenta at 6:57 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: chicken dance and/or electric slide
smashing wedding cake into new spouse's face
posted by freshwater at 6:57 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: There are multiple tacky garter traditions, you could give her a half dozen garters and go through them all. The ringing bells thing is sometimes replaced with a "sing a song about love" or "kiss in a weird way and make the couple recreate it". There are a bunch of money based traditions -- pay to dance with the bride etc -- which can be redone using monopoly money.
posted by jeather at 6:57 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: quodlibet,

Yeah, I was pretty sure it was second lining, but I'm still unsure of the customs of the second line w/r/t weddings.

posted by bookwo3107 at 6:58 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Well, from the weddings I've had with a second line (or really a main line, I guess) - it is usually from the ceremony to the reception with a brass band. There's umbrellas (sometimes strangely decorated) and canes. Guests dance with white hankerchiefs.

Another New Orleans thing is the cake charm pull for the wedding cake.
posted by quodlibet at 7:06 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Have a friend give a toast that is more like a roast. If the person who give the toast is drunk and slurring, bonus points!
posted by murrey at 7:08 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Encourage guests to come wearing the ugliest bridesmaids dresses they can find. Thrift stores are full of them (I know, because I've contributed a few).

Thrift stores are also full of those tacky toasting glasses; and the weddings in my past often had little net bags of Jordan Almonds.

It's also a very good excuse to have a chocolate fountain.

You could find bizarre objects for this tradition:

Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue.
A lucky sixpence for your shoe
posted by peagood at 7:22 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There has to be a DJ who announces all the stupid dances and the gross-ass garter toss and everything. A horrible, horrible DJ who makes all sorts of dumb cheesy comments that emphasize how very little they know about the wedding party.

Have the first dance be to some song that sounds romantic but is actually inappropriate, like "Every Breath You Take" or "Tears in Heaven." At some point play that awful creepy song about how the bride's dad loved her first.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:26 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Make sure you have a soundtrack of all the crappy songs traditionally played by DJs at weddings. Like "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, and "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger (the song makes my skin crawl).
posted by bolognius maximus at 7:28 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Let's see. I just got married. Here are some of the traditions we did NOT do:

Something old, new, borrowed, blue.
Being "given away" by father
Throwing bouquet
"Just Married" car with streamers, tin cans, silly string, etc
Being incited to kiss during reception (drives me nuts too!)
Official dances: sappy first dance, mother/son, father/daughter, etc
Wearing a veil
Having flowergirls, bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, best man, ringbearer
Feeding each other cake, either messily or not
Making an official entrance in to the party
posted by Cygnet at 7:30 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: Yesss... Thank you guys. I, in particular, like the totally inappropriate first dance song option. It's perfect for what I'm going for. You are all geniuses at tacky weddings! Please keep 'em coming!
posted by bookwo3107 at 7:49 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: the dollar dance? where guests line up and pay a dollar to dance with the bride or groom for a minute? (You could use Monopoly money since it's just for a joke).
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:53 AM on September 9, 2011

Can you have a broom closet for people to 'make out' in?

Cause that's the most mortifying wedding tradition I can think of.
posted by bilabial at 8:05 AM on September 9, 2011

seconding the dollar dance
posted by Neekee at 8:08 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Play "Daddy's Little Girl." Aack, I am tearing up already and my girls are still young! /schmaltz

Tapping on glasses to get the couple to kiss. (Will he be there?)

And make sure to take away her food before she gets a chance to eat -- Just Like A Real Wedding!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:10 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You need to include the 'traditional' dances always done at wedding receptions:

Hokey Pokey
Chicken Dance
Conga Line
Cha Cha Slide
Electric Slide

etc etc
posted by jaimystery at 8:12 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Oh, can you serve some things cold that are supposed to be hot?
posted by bilabial at 8:14 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: The New Orleans umbrella thing is easy. The bridal party has umbrellas with tacky shit hot glued onto them (black and gold and "Who Dat!" is always appropriate) and the rest of the guests pick up their napkins by the corner and wave them over their heads. Everyone follows the bridal party around in a circle around the dance floor to that one terrible Mardi Gras song that is way longer than everyone expects so that it's no longer fun (if it ever was) by the middle of the song and it's downright painful by the end. I don't know the name of the song. Da da DA dadaDA. I can hum it. Ugh. Y'all need to do that.
posted by artychoke at 8:24 AM on September 9, 2011

If she's Jewish, lift her in a chair (with the groom if he's there) and dance the hora around her (them).
posted by brujita at 8:27 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: It can be really cheap to get personalized things printed up, with the bride and groom's names on them: napkins, match books, shot glasses, plastic champagne flutes, etc. I don't have links but I did keep stumbling across these when I was searching for things for my wedding (not those!). Or you can get some labels and print up your own to attach to favors.
posted by JenMarie at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Awful chicken with beige sauce is a wedding staple, so a rubber chicken on a plate wouldn't be too far off. And tulle. Lots and lots of tulle. Make just about everything in sight as fluffy and frilly as possible. Bonus points if you manage to coordinate things that were never meant to be coordinated. And rose petals and/or twinkly lights on everything, like, say, the bathroom.

(silently weeps in her own private corner of wedding planning hell.)
posted by Diagonalize at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, and you need the lamest cake topper of all time. Like the one with the bride dragging the groom. Or a Disney one. Or a Precious Moments one. Or a Precious Moments Disney mashup.

If you can, make the wedding cake inedibly dry and bland and entirely covered in fondant. A groom's cake is a nice cheesy touch, especially if it's a sheet cake that looks like it was hastily decorated at Safeway, with a completely un-weddingy dudely theme. College football is ideal.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I love the red velvet armadillo cake for a groom's cake which is a Steel Magnolias reference.
posted by quodlibet at 8:56 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I left out one umbrella related thing up there. You need really cheap white ruffled Bridal Umbrellas from the craft or party store, not regular ones. You also need line dances. Strokin' and the Electric Slide and that "to the left to the left to the left" song. And YMCA. And mini muffelettas.
posted by artychoke at 9:08 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: "Shout" is another wedding staple that I hear from my apartment all the time (I live down the block from a ballroom).

Garter and bouquet toss needs to be followed up by whoever caught the garter putting it on whoever caught the bouquet. Bonus points if these people are related and if your party is in fact my brother's wedding reception in 1996.
posted by dismas at 9:39 AM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: I shit you not, at my cousin's wedding, the bride's father showed up with a fake (I hope?) shotgun that he supposedly had used to "protect" her up until now, which he then presented to the groom (my cousin) as part of his job now. It was done as a semi-serious moment, and made me really uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I had almost forgotten about it until now.

Also, music recommendation taken from another actual wedding: "When Daddy Let Me Drive" for the slightly creepy daddy-daughter dance.
posted by Polyhymnia at 9:41 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh! Even more bad wedding memories. My date caught the garter at a wedding we attended, which he then had to place on the woman who caught the bouquet, who kept instructing him to go "Higher, no, higher! Higher!" It was weird. Definitely encourage lasciviousness between faux "bridesmaids" and faux "bridegrooms."
posted by Polyhymnia at 9:43 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: Oh god, Polyhymnia that's disturbing. I am so glad I asked that question and got that response.

I love the food suggestions. And the tulle. Man, I'm ready.
posted by bookwo3107 at 10:54 AM on September 9, 2011

This is the greatest question ever and I am so looking forward to torturing my best friends with the same party. Thank you.

I was coming in to suggest watching "The Wedding Planner" and doing all the stuff that the obnoxious blonde bride wants to do for her wedding to Matthew McConawhatshisface.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

more songs:
"I Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas (especially good if you make them run into the party like they just won homecoming, which seems to be popular)
"Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel (ugh)
"Daddy's Little Girl" Al Martino. Oh god this song is so awful I need to give you an excerpt:
You're the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree,
You're the Easter bunny to mommy and me.
You're sugar you're spice, you're everything nice,
And you're daddy's little girl.

You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,
You're daddy's little girl to have and hold.
A precious gem is what you are,
You're mommy's bright and shining star.

Get a friend to play photographer and pose people into extremely awkward cheesey poses? (Bouquet sitting on the train of the dress, couple with their heads together staring at her engagement ring like it's a newborn baby...make sure these are then post-processed with lots of selective coloring.)

a guestbook where everyone has to write relationship advice for the couple.

You could force your guests to watch a 10 minute photo montage of the bride and groom (which i've seen at a wedding) but that would be truly cringe-worthy.
posted by inertia at 11:48 AM on September 9, 2011

When anything goes wrong, especially if it is a really minor, paltry little thing that no one really cares about, you should have someone scheduled to have a complete meltdown.

She should be ready to burst into tears or storm out of the room because: "I wanted this day to be perfect! Now we've run out of diet caffeine-free soda and everything is RUINED!"

I like the idea of the party room being covered in tulle, and also bizarre color combinations (like in Steel Magnolias, when Julia Roberts says her colors are, "blush and bashful," which are just two shades of pink, and her Mom says, "It looks someone threw Pepto-Bismol all over the living room").
posted by misha at 12:10 PM on September 9, 2011

Two horrible songs that people use all the time at weddings are "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle and "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. The cringing -- oh, the cringing.
posted by hmo at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2011

Brick House.

Someone to play the role of the Awkward Uncle (dancing, especially).
posted by anaelith at 4:18 PM on September 9, 2011

The photo montage that inertia suggested is perfect and needs to include baby photo's (preferably nude), photo's with acne, braces and terrible hair. It must make the bride and groom WANT TO DIE. Bonus if the MC is reading a really badly-written commentary with extra cheese.

Also, glitter on tables. It seems like a good idea to some people but you will be eating that shit all evening and nothing's tackier than glitter.
posted by ninazer0 at 6:50 PM on September 9, 2011

Kleenex carnation flowers in blue, yellow, or pink.
Extra credit if you put them on the car!
posted by calgirl at 8:49 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

New Orleans Wedding Second Line OMG I was just trying to find the song. Here's the actual thing. Doesn't it look so fun? These guys even sprung for tiny tambourines.
posted by artychoke at 9:48 PM on September 9, 2011

Further to artychoke's answer, please make sure that there are lots of videos taken of the event that provide the viewers with a case of motion sickness and the worry that they're suffering from glaucoma.
posted by peagood at 9:51 PM on September 9, 2011

You have to include the standard wedding pranks. You know the ones:

- Write "HELP ME" on the soles of the groom's shoes.
- Have the DJ announce that since [friend] is now a married woman, everyone who has been given a key to her apartment needs to give it back. Have a dozen male guests and one female guest dutifully walk up to the head table and give her a key.

I'm sure there are others.

In the invitations, include one of those awful poems requesting cash instead of gifts. Like this one:

To save you looking, shopping or buying.
Here is an idea, we hope you like trying.
Come to our wedding, to wish us both well.
And bring this small sack, to throw in our wishing well.
Fill it with paper all colours will do, gold is our favourite but silver will do.
Now that we have saved you, all of that fuss.
We hope you will come, and celebrate with us.

For bonus points instead of requesting cash, have the poem request something ridiculous like hi bounce balls or glitter pens.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 10:43 PM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Make them do a unity candle ceremony, or a sand ceremony, or any other cheesy ceremony with cheap symbolism.

can you tell I fucking hate these things in weddings?
posted by Fuego at 10:30 AM on September 11, 2011

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