Let me set the scene, here: You just got married. You’re sitting with your new spouse(s) at your reception. Dinner has just been served, and you’re ravenous because you haven’t eaten in ages (possibly since yesterday). You’ve spent the last one to three hours posing for photos, thanking people for coming, putting up with marriage jokes that make your eyes want to roll into the back of your head, and smiling nonstop. You’ve EARNED your dinner.
You pick up your fork to dig into your food- but hark! Little do you know that one of your guests is also picking up their fork. It isn’t for the purpose of eating their (potentially very expensive) dinner… oh, no. Their intent is far more insidious, far more nefarious. Just as you are bringing your own utensil to your lips and savouring the very first taste of your meal, they raise their fork and tap it violently on their glass. The cruel marriage of glass and metal reverberates around the room, a ringing cry that summons others to join its infernal call. Your guests look at your and your partner(s) expectantly, faces twisted into perverse grins as they hit their glasses like war drums. The seed of rage plants itself in your chest, and you kiss your partner- the only way to satisfy the horde- knowing full well that they will do this again, and again, and again, each time interrupting what should be a relaxing, celebratory evening for you and your new spouse(s) by demanding a show of affection.
It’s as if they want PROOF that you’re in love, LITERALLY RIGHT AFTER YOU MARRIED EACH OTHER. What the hell is up with that?!?
I know I’m not the only one who absolutely detests this tradition. If the thought of this happening at your wedding makes you want to cringe, roll your eyes, or punch through a wall, try one of these less conventional alternatives. I can’t promise that all of them will be less annoying than the pervasive glass clink- I don’t know who you’re inviting to your wedding. But they might just save you from gaining a Pavlovian response of getting annoyed whenever your kiss your partner(s).
Roll for Initiative! Tabletop RPG fans may appreciate this one: Make your guests roll a dice. If they roll higher than a certain number (chosen by you), then you kiss. If they roll too low, it’s a no-go! I saw this done at a wedding featured on Offbeat Bride (one of my absolute favourite wedding blogs, by the way), and I thought it was the coolest thing. You don’t need to be into RPGs to employ this tactic, either… you can easily make this work with a casino or games theme!
You can find the Offbeat Bride post here: https://offbeatbride.com/d20-kiss-game/
Make them Sing. I once attended the wedding of a college classmate/roommate. She and her partner were big Disney fans, so in lieu of glass clinking, they had their guests sing a short excerpt from a Disney song if they wanted her and her partner to kiss! Seeing as we went to school for Musical Theatre Performance, you can imagine just how fun this was for at least two of the tables at the reception (it’s entirely possible that some of us were a little TOO into the idea…). Of course, you don’t have to stick with Disney songs or showtunes at your reception… you can ask your guests to sing a song with the word “love” in the title or lyrics, a song from a specific artist, band, or genre, or have them solve a riddle to figure out what song they need to sing for you and your partner(s) to kiss!
Money Talks. If you want to kiss for a cause, set up a tip jar or bucket near your table. When your guests want you to kiss, they can put a small donation in the jar. After the wedding, the money from the jar can be donated to a charity, nonprofit, or organization of your choice! I’m a big fan of throwing chances to Give Back into weddings, and this is a great way to accomplish that!
Play a Game. Maybe you aren’t feeling the dice idea, but still like the concept of your guests having to accomplish something. Set up a booth, station, or game for your guests to enjoy during the reception- their prize is your affection (with each other)! This would be an awesome idea for a carnival-themed wedding, a wedding inspired by board games, a reception hosted by riddle- or puzzle-loving newlyweds, or the celebrants who just want to give their guests another chance to have fun on their own.
Quote the Greats. Ask your guests to quote a writer, a series, a poem, a book, or a movie to earn a kiss. Just be warned: If you aren’t having an unplugged reception, your guests may just do a quick internet search on their phones and find a trove of quotes they can use throughout the evening.
Do we have any Comedians? Make your guests tell a joke. If the joke makes you or your partner(s) laugh, you kiss. This might not be great if your guest list involves folks with questionable senses of humour *coughBIGOTRYcough*… but if you’re comfortable with the company you’re sharing, this strategy could lead to a lot of laughs on your wedding day!
Just Say No. Kissing your partner in front of your loved ones might feel really awkward and uncomfortable for you, no matter how you get there. And that’s completely valid. Regardless of anyone else’s feelings on the matter, you can just choose not to do it. Just make an announcement (yourself, or via your MC) that you won’t be participating in this tradition and leave it at that. It might just save you from having to dole out death glares to anyone who dares interrupt your meal/conversation/reverie!