Image from Style Me Pretty
Today’s edition of Wediquette Wednesday addresses the tradition of getting the newlyweds to kiss by clinking glasses during the reception. It’s one of my very favorite parts about being a guest because how cute is it to see the couple blush and get to smooch in front of all their guests?! Or maybe I’m just that obnoxious girl… If you have no idea what I’m talking about, keep reading for the explanation, folklore, and how you can join in the fun too!
What IS this tradition?
Let’s rewind. At a wedding reception, have you ever heard a guest or group of guests clinking their glasses or tapping on a glass with their flatware to make the same clinking sound? That’s the signal for the bride & groom to give each other a nice smooch. Every so often, the bride and groom can’t hear the clinking and not kiss or they may be shy and just plain not want to kiss in front of everyone, but you won’t know until you try!
Where did it come from?
It turns out there’s folklore from the Medieval Times that explains how this tradition came into existence. Apparently it was quite common to poison the drinks or food of a guest that you didn’t like. As a sign of good faith, the host would offer to drink from your cup to show it wasn’t poisoned or if the guest already trusted the host, they would clink glasses and then drink together. Which is also how clinking glasses has generally come to be known as a sign of celebration, saluting good health, and trust!
How do I get in on the fun?
There are specific times that it’s appropriate and advantageous to clink your glasses. The reception is the only time where you should try this trick, and it’s the perfect time when there’s a lull in activities and the music is softer. For example, try clinking your glass in between the toasts or right after them, during dinner if there isn’t other entertainment, and before or after the cake cutting. For the best results, ask the other guests at your table to join you so that your clinking is as clear as possible! As always, be appropriate and don’t overuse this, but definitely have fun trying it out once or twice at your next wedding!!
Image from Style Me Pretty
We don’t want to do this on our wedding day. Help!
There are plenty of alternatives if you’re shy or uncomfortable at the thought of having to kiss more than once in front of all of your closest family and friends. Westchester Magazine has some great alternatives that you can use instead! Just make sure to decide on this ahead of time with your significant other and let your emcee know if necessary:
- Acknowledge the gesture by clinking your own glasses together without kissing
- Ask the guest who began the clinking to show what a really good kiss looks like
- Have a donation jar handy and ask that the clinking guest donate to your favorite charity and then you’ll kiss
- Request that the guest or table of guests who are clinking to serenade you with a song about love or that has one of your names in it
- This takes some preparation, but have wedding party members write a little memory or story about you. Then whenever a guest clinks, have a person from the wedding party read one of the anecdotes
- Put a small bell at each table and adopt the Irish tradition of ringing bells for good luck. Include a note on your menu card or at each guest’s seat for them to that you’d appreciate substituting ringing bells in lieu of clinking glasses