Wedding reception

From ArticleWorld

A wedding reception is a party held after the completion of a marriage ceremony. In most societies worldwide, a post-marriage party is traditional. There is, however, significant variance when it comes to the details of the celebration.

In Western countries

After the ceremony in most Western countries a meal where food and alcohol flow freely occurs. The bride’s family traditionally pays for this wedding reception, which is also known as the wedding breakfast. The couple is toasted, most often by the bride’s father, the best man (who usually add humor to the occasion) and the groom. In the United States the best main and maid or matron of honor typically give these toasts.

At the wedding reception the bride and groom have their first dance, to a song they have selected that holds special meaning for the couple. Traditionally, this dance was a waltz, but today the style varies depending on the musical tastes of the couple. Other dances often follow the first dance, for example, the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. Guests joins the dances and the party continues long into the night.

Traditions within the wedding reception

Traditions vary by country, region and family, but some popular traditions include:

  • The dollar dance, where guests pay a dollar to dance with either the bride or the groom. This is common in the U.S. Midwest.
  • The tossing of the bouquet, where the bride tosses her bouquet over her shoulder to all the single women present. Whoever catches it is said to be the next to get married.
  • The tossing of the garter. The groom removes the bride’s garter and tosses it to the single men present. On some occasions the garter catcher puts it on the leg of the flower catcher. Other times, it is sold in a raffle.
  • Glass clinking. When guests clink their glasses, the newlyweds have to kiss.

Weddings in China

The reception in China is more important that the wedding itself. (The wedding is a short civil ceremony.) The qualities of the weddings in China vary by region but they are traditionally elaborate and expensive. Often, they cost the groom’s family several years’ worth of salary. Wedding presents are typically given in the form of cash and gold jewelry, it seemingly is offset by wedding guests. Receptions in China also build community solidarity.