Men can be bridesmaids - Breaking with traditions blog - Fabulous Functions UK

Breaking with Wedding Tradition

Breaking with wedding tradition: How the modern wedding has torn up the rule book

Flower man at a wedding - breaking with wedding tradition
Having a flower boy is one way of breaking with wedding tradition!

Most folk of a certain age, or fans of musical theatre, are likely to be familiar with the 1934 Cole Porter song ‘Anything Goes’.

In recent years those two words have become ever more applicable to weddings. As the traditional nuclear family has morphed into something much more fluid there’s been a blurring of traditional gender roles at weddings and a breaking with wedding tradition.

We’re all familiar with the traditional wedding party lineup of the bride and bridegroom, a best man and groomsmen, bridesmaids and flower girls. Along with one set of parents per member of the couple, a number of friends and a smattering of sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts these were the core ingredients of the ages-old wedding set-up.

Yet, as this 2008 article from The Guardian,’Why grooms want a best girl’, points out, one growing trend is to have a best woman instead of a best man. It seems this move started when chaps realised there was nothing to stop them having multiple ‘Best Men’ at their wedding. From there, men with close female friends started to ask themselves ‘Why a best man? Why not a woman?’

The then director of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners commented that, once the realisation dawned on couples that anything goes at a modern wedding, they began to play around with the male/female roles at weddings in effort to break with convention and to be different.

So if you want Groomswomen instead of Groomsmen and a Best Woman instead of a Best Man there’s nothing to stop you. This way you create a wedding that reflects you and what is important to you, not what tradition dictates. Do it. Be brave. Get yourselves breaking with wedding tradition.

Giving up the giving away: or at least changing the game

The whole ‘giving the bride away’ thing dates from the days when women didn’t exist in their own right. They were their father’s property until they married and became their husband’s. Nice.

These days many brides opt to do something different – for a number of reasons:

  • Feminism – many women don’t feel, and rightly so, that they are someone’s property to be handed over. But instead of dumping this section of the ceremony you can be creative with it and turn it into something more meaningful and one that reflects your choices.
  • There is no father – divorce, death and disappearance from a life – all sound reasons for doing it different. In such circumstances a bride often chooses her mum to walk done the aisle with her.
  • The bride wants to incorporate both her parents into this part of the ceremony. Because being given away presents a super opportunity to give thanks to your parents. It nods to the tradition without following it blindly.

This article from The Spruce, ‘Traditions and Alternatives to Giving Away the Bride’ offers some suggested wordings to fit any of the above scenarios.

Give the older generation a leading role in proceedings

In a society where worship of youth seems to be all-consuming a heart-warming trend of late is that of asking grandma to be a bridesmaid. What a wonderful, family-friendly move this is. Back in May 2015, when Caroline Quinn tied the knot, her bridesmaids included her grandma.

“What a way to celebrate a special relationship. “Who doesn’t want her best friend standing beside her on her wedding day? Not to mention all of my friends love my nana as well.  So we all had a great time planning and spending time together”

I can’t think of a better way to honour and celebrate the special role a grandmother plays in a child’s life than that!

Grandma-Bridesmaids- changing wedding traditions
Image courtesy of Sweet Water Portaits.Com


What do you think? Are you planning to break with tradition and have a Best Woman or have your mum give you away?

Let us know – we’d love to hear from you.

You’ll find us on the usual social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Or drop us a line on:

And if you want to talk to us – contact us here.



Multicultural weddings: A Hindu and BRITISH Fusion Wedding

Read Will’s account of his and Sonam’s beautiful multicultural Hindu & British fusion wedding

In a recent blog about planning a multi-cultural wedding, we highlightd many of the areas to consider when deciding which parts of your cultures to include in the ceremony.

Will has shared his thoughts on his planning journey as he planned his Hindu/British wedding.

After getting engaged to Sonam, I suspected that our initial future would stressful yet exciting. Yet of course, worth it in the end.

Having an inter-racial relationship can bring up some hurdles, with marriage, in all likelihood, the largest one to overcome. I was very fortunate that Sonam‘s family were welcoming. Thus, despite a few roadblocks on the way we made it to a wedding and beyond!

A HINDU AND BRITISH FUSION WEDDING - multi cultural weddings
Photo credit: Wilde Photography

Our Hindu Ceremony

When planning our wedding, I knew that it was important that we honour both our cultures. So we had a religious component as well as the civil ceremony. My wife is Hindu and I respect her beliefs whilst I consider myself to be an atheist/humanist. We agreed straight away that we would have a blessing at the Hare Krishna Temple in Watford Then a civil ceremony at another venue. Initially we wanted a small wedding with close-knit family/friends.

Hindu wedding ceremony - multicultural weddings

We were also aware that, as Sonam was the first to be married amongst her siblings, then a fuller, traditional religious ceremony may be in order.

The Hindu ceremony was something that was brand new to me. I had never been to any type of Asian wedding. Therefore I only had ‘the internet’ and the experiences of a couple of friends to help me. In terms of the planning, this was looked after by Sonam‘s family – from the clothes (I wore an indian suit) to the ceremony. I didn’t mind this, as it meant that everything was done in the correct and respectful manner.

Wedding Preparation

I had simple wedding preparation: get dressed and turn up. I didn’t get to see all of Sonam‘s preparation – much more involved over multiple days. One thing we both chose was the venue, which was perfect! The day was an incredible experience that introduce my family to another culture and focused on the joining of our two families.

When planning this part of the wedding the two of us met with a wedding planner. She such a tremendous help in guiding us to customise and design the wedding.

Our civil ceremony

This second day of our wedding comprised a traditional British civil ceremony. We chose our vows, the music, the colour theme, food and entertainment.

Sonam and her parents chose The Pinewood Hotel as our venue.

We kept our vows traditional, along with wedding speeches by the Father of the Bride, Best Man and Groom.

Sonam and Will at their civil ceremony

Our wedding breakfast

For our wedding breakfast we enjoyed a three-course meal that we followed with an evening reception. It was a somewhat one-sided guest list though – with most of the guests being Indian we opted for Indian food from a caterer.

I had more involvement in the arrangements for our second day of celebrations: the civil ceremony. I chose the mens’ suits and the colour scheme. I also chose our wedding songs and spent days planning and rehearsing my speech. I spent a great deal of time thinking about making everything as meaningful as possible. This was very important to me – I’m only going to do this once!

Joint decisions

I always knew that co-habiting before we married was never an option. I knew too that I had to be with her for quite some time before I proposed.

I always had great respect for her culture and her family so we never considered living together before we got married. This wasn’t always easy – we had stress, arguments and issues. But our marriage made all that worthwhile.

We took decisions together and did everything with a shared focus on starting a life together.

5 top tips for wedding speech nerves - Making a speech- Blog- fabulous functions uk

5 top tips for wedding speech nerves

Wedding Speech Nerves: 5 Top Tips to keep calm when the heat is on

Guest blog from Frances Barrone – Life skills coach

5 top tips for wedding speech nerves
So, it’s been months, perhaps even years in the planning. You’ve booked the venue and the dress and the suit are hanging in their respective wardrobes in readiness. You’ve chosen your menu and ordered your cake. The invitations are out – you have only to wait for the RSVPs to come back. Time now to think about the speeches.

Whaaaaat speeches? – Oh no!!! The BIG day looms larger and closer and then nerves start to kick in as creativity deserts the brain. Performance anxiety and the concerns about how well it will all go on the day begin to build up. But stop! Wait! There is a better way. There’s my 5 top tips for wedding speech nerves! You can also read this ultimate guide to wedding speeches.

5 top tips for wedding speech nerves - Making a speech- Blog- fabulous functions uk
5 top tips for wedding speech nerves

Here are my 5 top tips for wedding speech nerves to keep you calm under mounting pressure: 

  1. Place your hand on your tummy or on your chest and notice how your hand moves with each rise and fall as you breathe. If you have two hands free that’s even better. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach and notice which hand moves most. The point of this is to notice your breathing. By placing your hands on yourself it connects you back to your body and away from all the stress inducing thoughts to a sense of being present. This is itself can induce a sense of calm and a natural progression to regulating and deepening of the breath. Stress can cause fast and shallow breathing. That can cause fuzzy thoughts as it reduces oxygenation of the blood.

  2. Slow down your speech – Utter your words and sentences with deliberation and clarity. This gives you thinking time and can even improve your diction and sentence structure. It will also help you be more focused and attentive in your interactions.

  3. Rehearse – Practise what you want to say over and over. Do it in your head. Also in front of an appreciative, loving and kind audience, if you’re rehearsing a speech, walking up the aisle or performing best man/bridesmaid duties. Seek helpful feedback. Be measured rather than rushed.

  4. Choose to enjoy it, all of it! Not only the day itself but all the activities in preparation up to and  including the wedding day. Think about all the wonderful ways in which it will go well and about how many things are being ticked off the ‘to do’ list. Think how exciting it is to be planning such a wonderful occasion in your life and sourcing all the things that will add to its success and the enjoyment for everyone!

  5. Ask for help. People who love and care about you and your wedding will be more than willing to help out with planning and arrangements if asked. If you can delegate tasks and hand over certain duties – trust they’ll get done. Then step back and allow yourself to be grateful that it’s all coming together. You may decide to choose the best man and the chief bridesmaid to coordinate some aspects of your wedding. That way you need only communicate with them rather than a whole team. It’s your choice and depends on the level of enjoyment or stress it all invokes for you.

The big day goes past in a blur and you’ll wish you could have worried less, slowed it down and remember more of the event.


Coaching can be a game-changer. I can coach the best man, father of the bride, bride and groom to get beyond the nerves and anxiety so that they are as well prepared and set for the big day as possible.

I will include all the above top tips and more into ensuring you feel mentally prepared for the big day. I’ll work with you to create your personal circle of excellence and magic resources to prepare you.

I recommend that you consider coaching throughout the preparation stages, whether that’s a year or a month away from the date.

If you want to enjoy the build-up and the have a fantastic time on the big day why not give me a call on 07731 693082.

Or view my LinkedIn profile here.  Together we can give you the power!

Frances Barrone – Life Skills Coach.

Thank you Frances for these tips. I am sure our brides and grooms to be and anyone making a speech will find them very helpful.

In related matters see also our top tips for a stress free wedding planning journey.

Having a child free wedding

Having a child free wedding

The protocols and pitfalls of having a child free wedding – Deciding whether or not to invite children to your wedding

Having a child free wedding
Are you struggling with the  dilemma of whether or not to invite children to your wedding? It’s your wedding. So yes. If you want it to be child free wedding then that’s your prerogative. But be aware that in taking such a step you’re disturbing a nest chock full of vipers.

Having a child free wedding - graphic of wedding invitation

Families are tricky entities. It’s not impossible that insisting on a child free wedding could cause a family rift. Careful treading is advised. So, indulge us while we first play devil’s advocate and look at some reasons why children should be invited

According to this article in the Metro, not having kids at your wedding is just selfish. Among many compelling arguments that the writer puts forth is this:

‘Asking someone you love to be separated from their baby so that they can watch you walk down the aisle? That’s just selfish.’ As she goes on to argue, weddings are a celebration of love and family. So why would you cut out a section of people you love because they’re under eighteen? ‘Weddings aren’t just glorified parties. They’re more than that. I probably wouldn’t invite children to a 21st or a 30th, but birthdays are different. They’re about one person, rather than a family.’ A wedding on the other hand is a different animal. Yes, it’s a party. But it goes much further. A wedding is about cementing your life together in front of family and friends – and their children.

It’s not a Pinterest competition

A wedding, above all, is a celebration of your love for each other – not a competition to out-Pinterest Pinterest. On that theme, this article ‘You don’t have to invite kids to your wedding but you should’ has this to say:

‘For so many couples, a wedding has become, first and foremost, a chance to showcase their highly-refined taste. The results are magazine-worthy events with the emotional warmth of an airport first-class lounge. Sure, the flowers are lovely, and parts of the ceremony are moving, but the overall effect of these elaborately produced nuptials is a sterile one. This is where children can help.’

Put another way: a child free wedding lacks warmth, humility, fun, chaos and unpredictably, joy in imperfection, freedom and abandonment.

And inviting children is a simple way to sidestep the risk of alienating a lot of friends and family members for whom their children’s absence means their absence.

You don’t have to agree but it definitely gives food for thought!

How to tell guests that their children are not invited

After exploring why you should invite children to your wedding , you may still be firm in your resolve  – if a child free wedding is what you really, really want we’ll take a look at some tactics for handling the situation. So, let us look at how to go about indicating that children are not invited. Consider these three basic tactics:

1. Subtlety

Address the wedding invitation to the adults only. Reinforce the names or number of the invitees on the RSVP card.
Risk factor: It could be simply too subtle and you might have guests make the assumption that their offspring are part of a package and turn up with them.

2. Telling your guests you would rather have a child free wedding

Being direct is simple and avoids confusion. On your invitations or your RSVP cards use a straight-to-the-point statement to make your intentions clear. Such as:

  • No children
  • Adults only
  • Strictly no children please
  • Adult wedding and reception
  • Please respect our wishes for a child free reception
  • Adult only affair
  • This invitation is extended to adults only

Risk factor: Guests of a sensitive disposition are likely to think this is plain rude

3. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

Another way to approach the situation is with the delicate touch:

  • We want all our guests, parents included, to have a relaxing evening. For that reason we’ve chosen for our wedding day to be an occasion for adults only. It’s our hope that this advance notice means you’ll be able to share our big day and enjoy an evening off!
  • We’d love to have children present at our ceremony. But the reception is for adults only.

Or words to that effect.

Risk factor: A lot of people you’d like at your wedding may decline – at best. At worst – be mortally offended! Besides which, all that explanation will take up a lot of room on your invitations with potential extra printing costs!

Finally …

… and as this article from The Knot states, if you’ve taken this decision don’t back down! You can be sure that some close friends and family members will push against you. Be sensitive to the issue but don’t back-pedal and allow some guests to bring their children and others not. That’ll make everything worse. As the article says: ‘As long as you’re thoughtful and helpful to the guests with kids, then that’s the best you can do. If parents are still awkward and upset beyond that, then they probably shouldn’t come to your wedding at all’.

Have you seen anything clever or creative on wedding invitations to tackle this issue? If you have let us know via the usual channels:  FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or drop us a line on:

We have also published a blog on ways to occupy children at your wedding. Have a read of ‘Ways to keep the little ones happy on your wedding day

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy

Will you be inviting children to your wedding?

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy
Children as wedding guests is a hot topic. I have heard parents say they will decline a wedding invitation if their children are not invited. Others have said they are glad to have an adult only celebration. So at the end of the day it’s down to the personal preferences of the couple. And whether they have their own children or not.

Keeping Junior Wedding Guests Happy - a small boy and girl at a wedding

If you have decided to invite children to your wedding, you may have started wondering how you can keep the younger guests occupied during the various parts of your ceremony. Children can make the best guests at weddings. If they’re courageous enough they’ll make the cutest speeches and the most memorable photo moments.

Children look super cute in their little suits and dresses, and can quickly help break the ice between guests. They can ask the most indiscreet questions at the top of their voices and all without ever batting an eyelid.

If your own children will be coming along, or you have decided to invite youngsters to your nuptials, here are six ways to keep them entertained and out of trouble during your big day – keeping junior wedding guests happy.

1.  Toy Baskets

novel ways to entertain children at your celebrations

If you are getting married in a church then half the work may have been done for you. Often churches have a crèche or toddler group and will have a good range of toys that your young guests can use during the ceremony. You can be certain there won’t be any noisy toys among the choices.

2. Including Children in your ceremony

Children playing an important part in your celebrations

There are the usual bridesmaid or page-boy roles but you can also ask children to help hand out the hymnbooks, order of service, or confetti. They will love to feel responsible and welcoming the guests is an important job.    

If you have several children you want to take part in the ceremony why not let them form a tag team and deliver their reading together. Being up front is a lot less daunting when you have company.

An example of a perfect reading that can be shared is this one from Winnie The Pooh


“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” 

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” 

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” 

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” 

A.A. Milne

3. Wedding Timings

As parents you know your children best and their hunger needs. Consider what time you have the service and the wedding breakfast.

Food is a important ingredient for a successful celebration

It can be a long time between the wedding ceremony and the meal, so have your emergency rations on hand to pre-empt and satisfy the hunger pangs. Hungry children get restless quickly and restless children get grumpy and fidgety.

If you are having the service around lunchtime, you may prefer to have food before the speeches.

Depending on the age of your little guests you may want to consider a children’s table where they can sit and play together, it could be a lot more fun for them than being stuck on a table full of boring adults.

4. Activity Bags for your children wedding guests

Entertain children with their very own personalised gift bags

Surprise your little princes and princesses with their very own age appropriate activity packs  

Fill the bags with activities that will keep them occupied during the speeches. The children will love these gifts and they can double up as   place name and wedding favours.

5. Wedding Creche/Entertainer

You can hire an entertainer to come along to your wedding and look after children for the reception.

It may be worth speaking to your friends and family to see how popular an entertainer would be. Chances are, they would relish the idea of a little bit of extra help!

Please remember to check the credentials of anyone working with children as they have to hold a DBS certificate

Not forgetting the ever popular photo-booth /photo-station- these usually come with lots of colourful, fun props and children will love taking all sorts of photos with then.

6. Giant Party Games

Party games for your little and not so little guests

Giant party games are a really fun way to keep the little one entertained. I am sure your not so little guests would love a go too. If your venue has the outside space and the weather permits, this is a fun way to occupy a few hours on your wedding afternoon.

You can visit the bargain shops to see what they have in store. There’s sure to be some good buys to be had. Or why not hire giant party games from us? And the bonus is you can return them afterwards. No storage or sorting out for you to bother with. Everyone will join in and you will have some fab photo opportunities!

“Oh no” you think, “I am too busy to take on any extra task!” No Worries! Appoint a coordinator amongst your friends and close family. Someone to organise the children’s activities, you may be surprised at the options they come up with. And the bonus is you will be creating another memorable wedding day moment.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your ideas and vision for your wedding day. You can call us on 07511 842 451 to book your consultation, we’d love to hear from you. Our contact details are here and you’ll find us on Facebook too.

Happy planning!


Is Giving Away the Bride Still Relevant?

Who giveth this woman?

In the 21st century is the notion of giving away the bride to her new husband still relevant? And what might you do instead if you don’t want anyone to give you away at your wedding?

In our blog, Breaking with Wedding Tradition, we examined the ways in which many couples are throwing away the matrimonial rule book and having a ‘Best Woman’ instead of a Best Man, flower boys instead of flower girls, and grandmothers as bridesmaids and more. We’ve also touched on another tradition, that of tossing the wedding bouquet. This archaic tradition is one that’s being abandoned – or at least done another way – as is that if giving away the bride.

Is Giving Away the Bride Still Relevant? - bride and groom at alter

What else might you do?

Before we look at some alternative ways of dealing with this aspect of the ceremony let’s first take a look at its roots. Like so many wedding traditions, the origins of this one go way back, and extend across the globe, in various forms.

For hundreds of years’ women have been viewed as nothing more than another piece of their father’s property. A father arranged his daughter’s marriage with a man he deemed acceptable. Together, they drew up a trade agreement called a dowry. In this agreement, the bride’s father accepted money or land or social status – or a combination of all those things – in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. In essence he didn’t so much ‘give her away’ as sell her!

So the question ‘Who giveth this woman?’ was a means for the vicar, or other officiant, to check that the father agreed to the terms of the marriage and therefore supported it. The bride then moved from being ‘owned’ by her father to being ‘owned’ by her husband. ‘Giving away the bride’ was a literal act in bygone eras. It’s not so romantic when you delve into it, is it?

All change

Now though, there’s been a drastic change in women’s status in society. With that, we’ve seen a corresponding move by modern brides to discard or to challenge many marital traditions and put their own spin on them. And quite right too we say. Many modern brides are asking themselves the qestion: Is Giving Away the Bride Still Relevant?

Giving up the giving away

So now we’ve unveiled the meaning behind the giving away of the bride. It is – or at least it was – an objectification of the bride and a business transaction. Not something that fits with the modern world, we think you’ll agree. So, here’s a few alternative wordings and approaches for you to think about:

1. Involve both your parents
When the officiant asks ‘Who gives this woman to be married to this man’ OR – a more modern version: ‘Who presents this woman to be married to this man?’ your parents can reply in unison: ‘Her mother and I do’ – or ‘Her family and I do’ – or words to that effect.

2. Make it about both of you and both sets of parents – this would go something like this:
Officiant: ‘Who presents this woman and this man to be married to each other?’
Answer: (All parents in unison): ‘We do.’

3. A feminist option
Officiant: ‘Who gives this woman to be married to this man?’
Answer: ‘She gives herself, but with her family’s blessing.’

Of course, much of the above is assuming that you have a father to walk you down the aisle. Yet that might not feel right for you.

In this Offbeat Bride article ‘Giving yourself away’, the writer talks about that situation: ‘…He’d raised me to be an independent, self-sustaining woman, and I’d been one long before I got married. Because of this, walking down the aisle felt odd – what was being given away? Nothing. What was changing? Nothing.’ This bride decided instead to honour the role her father had played in her life in a different way – by asking him to read one of his poems.

Alternatives to having someone give you away

  • Walk with both parents
  • Walk with your husband-to-be
  • Walk by yourself
  • Walk with a child
  • Walk with a sibling
  • Skip the aisle walk altogether and do something else instead!

We love some of the ideas in this article on alternatives to walking down the aisle from Bustle.Com. One of our favourites is number 5 – the couple leading the guests to the ceremony space in a procession. As it says ‘…a beautiful, community-focused way to start the ceremony.

Bustle summarize it all perfectly and echoes what we’ve often said on this blog so we’ll leave you with them:
‘What’s great about weddings today is there’s no hard and fast rules. So feel free to use one of these alternatives to walking down the aisle or come up with your own. If, at the end of the day, you’re married to the one you love, it won’t matter how you got there.’

What do you think? Is giving away the bride still relevant or are you planning to break with this particular tradition? If so let us know what you’ve got planned. We’d love to hear about it.

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Tossing the bridal bouquet

Tossing the Wedding Bouquet

Tossing the Wedding Bouquet

tossing the bouquet

Many brides are questioning the validity of some wedding traditions in the today’s world. One of which is the one about tossing your wedding bouquet over your shoulder.

Tossing the Wedding Bouquet: A tradition to keep or throw away?

Tossing the bridal bouquet

We’ve most of us witnessed the butt-clenching scene where the MC/DJ ushers all the single women into position for the tossing of the bride’s bouquet. That or there’s an unseemly scramble.

But why do brides do that anyway?

Well, like most of the traditions surrounding weddings, (and there’s another blog post there methinks), tossing the wedding bouquet has its roots both in folklore and social history.

It’s important to remember that, back in the day, marriage for women was a social and economic necessity. Not allowed to work, women needed a husband to ‘keep them’ – to support them economically. And to save them from the social stigma of being a ‘Spinster of the Parish’. Men could be a gay (before the word took on its current meaning) a bachelor – a status with positive, even aspirational, connotations. The same wasn’t true of the spinster. Quite the opposite in fact.

Indeed, as this article from The Guardian points out in regard to the Civil Partnership Act: ‘here will be no more spinsters of this parish or bachelors gay.  This will be particularly welcomed by women who have consulted Webster’s dictionary and found that a spinster can be defined as “a woman of evil life and character”, a meaning deriving from those who were forced to spin in a house of correction.’

I should be so lucky

It doesn’t take a big leap of imagination then to grasp that a woman getting married was LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY.

And therein lies the root of the tradition of tossing the bouquet. People thought that, if they touched the bride, her luck would rub off on them. But we’re not talking simply touching the bride’s hand here. Oh no. It was far more invasive than that!

As this article from the Reader’s Digest explains: ‘This often caused discomfort and invasion of privacy to the bride, since guests would typically stand around her in an attempt to literally rip the gown off!’

Hence, brides took to distracting people by tossing their bouquets into the crowd. This prevented their wedding dress being ripped from them. Then she and her husband bolted for the bridal chamber.

And so, over the years, this act of distraction has morphed into a wedding tradition whereby the bride’s fortune is passed onto one single lady. And by fortune we mean a husband.

Times are a changing

But times have changed thank goodness. Most women now marry because they CHOOSE to. Not because they have to out of any social and economic necessity.

With that freedom comes the freedom to choose what wedding traditions you want to use, ignore or adapt. And many brides now are choosing to eschew tossing the wedding bouquet. As Jezebel.Com points out: ‘Most of you — 81 percent — feel that skipping the bridal bouquet toss, that ritual in which all the single women in attendance are herded up and made to battle one another to catch a clump of flowers in hopes of being the next to marry, is a no-brainer.’

Create Your Own Traditions

The same article suggests some alternatives worth considering. These two are the Fabulous Functions UK’s favourites:

  1. “Instead of tossing the wedding  bouquet, I handed it to my good friend who was getting married a few months after me, and had everyone toast her and her fiancé. She took the ribbon and little jewel pins from my bouquet and had them incorporated into her bouquet, then did the same thing I did, handed her bouquet off to her friend who was getting married, who also used the pins and ribbon and so on…5 brides have used the pins now (the ribbon got a little ratty) and I don’t even know the last 2 brides outside of some sweet notes and photos they sent me, but it’s a really cool little connection and a “something borrowed” for them.”
  2. “We asked all the married couples to come out on the dance floor and then the DJ whittled it down to the couple who was married the longest (40 years for the couple at our wedding) and we gave it to them. I saw it done at wedding years ago, then it went to a couple married for 60 years, and it was really fun. People were a bit confused when we asked the married couples to come out on the floor, but then once they got what was happening they really liked it. Also it saved our single friends the embarrassment of the whole “traditional” ritual.”
A gorgeous brooch bouquet with silver toned brooches- Fabulous Functions UK

Our brooch bouquet would work very well if you wanted to do something along the lines of example No 1 and our silk bouquets would be perfect for No 2, or something similar, as they’d make a lasting reminder.

Have you found an alternative wedding tradition to tossing the bouquet that works for you? Do tell us about it – we’d love to hear your story. Drop us an email at Or find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Questions? All our contact info is here.

Five Champagne Alternatives for Wedding Toasts  - wedding party sat around a table proposing a toast

5 Wedding Toast Champagne Alternatives

Speech! Speech!

5 Wedding Toast Champagne Alternatives
The wedding toasts and speeches are an integral part of any wedding breakfast. This is one of the favourite parts! It can be totally wonderful or excruciatingly awful. In either event, it’s usually memorable.

Of tradition, the modern-day wedding toast is usually drunk in Champagne. Of course, you can choose an alternative libation with which to wash down the speeches at your own wedding and we’ll look at some options later.

Five Champagne Alternatives for Wedding Toasts  - wedding party around a table proposing a toast.

The history of the toast

According to this article on The Feminist Bride, the story goes like this:

In days of yore, groups of people were often at war with neighbouring groups of people. Truces were often formed by marrying the offspring of respective leaders to each other. At the banquet table the bride’s father would be the first one to take a sip from a communal wine pitcher. This action sent the message to his guests that it wasn’t poisoned.

But why a toast? Well, wine was not always as sweet and smooth as it could be. To improve the situation, they’d pop a piece of burnt toast into the communal wine pitcher and that would absorb some of the acidity. And that’s how the term originated.

Choosing the tipple for your wedding toasts

As we said at the start of the blog, Champagne is the traditional choice. The chances are it’s also the most expensive. That said, all our leading supermarkets do jolly good own label Champagnes that are worth consideration. This guide to what kind of Champagne to serve at your wedding is worth a read if Champers is what your heart is set on.

But if your wallet simply isn’t elastic enough for Champagne, or it’s simply not to your taste, what else is appropriate for your wedding toasts? Let’s take a look at five fab alternatives to accompany your wedding speeches.

  1. Crémant

Staying with French sparkling wines consider Crémant. This article from The Guardian shows how Crémant gives you more fizz for your buck than Champagne!

  1. Prosecco

Moving now to Italy there’s a sparkling wine that we’ve all become familiar with thanks to Fizz      Friday: Prosecco. The success of Prosecco is something of a phenomenon that can’t be put down to its accessible price point alone. This article on the BBC website proffers reasons why that should be. See also this blog from Born Again Swindonian on the topic of Prosecco. And, to go slightly off topic, Cava is a great fizz-alternative. Further, as this article points out, it’s closer in taste to Champagne than is Prosecco. Not only is Cava closer in taste to Champagne than Prosecco, it’s made in the same method. But with different grapes. Find out much more about Cava on the Wine Folly website.

4. Signature cocktail

Are you planning a signature cocktail at your wedding? If so, substitute the Champagne toast with that. Have large jugs of the cocktail prepared and poured in glasses in readiness when your guests sit down.

5. Do it with a shot

The niece of a friend of mine did this. The half-Danish bride opted to give each guest a shot glass engraved with her and her husband’s initials. These were charged with snaps (it’s snaps not schnapps in Denmark) for the toasts.  Skaal!

The glasses, along with a Lego mini-figure for each guest, doubled as a wedding favour.

Okay, so not everyone is keen on shots. But if you want to do it don’t hesitate. Your guests only need have a tiny taste. There’s no need for them to down it in one.

  1. Go with whatever is on the tables

It’s not vital that you have a specific drink for your guests to toast with. You could simply let them toast with whatever they already have in front of them. It’s simple and if you’re on a budget it’s cost-effective

Raise your glasses 

While we’re on the subject of toasts and speeches we’ll leave you with this guide to the running order of speeches. It’s good to know who speaks when!

What are you planning for your wedding toasts? Champagne or something different? Let us know via our social media channels – we’d love to hear from you. Find our contact details here.

Until next time: Salute, Cin Cin, and Cheers! Oh – and not forgetting Skaal!

Our packages

So that’s everything you need to know about drinks for the wedding toast. To find out about our venue styling packages go here. And for wedding flower packages visit this page.


Venue for main photo : Wrag Barn

Photo: Barefoot Photography 

Wedding gowns : Fairytale Occasions

Suits: Fox in House

MUA:  Holly Andersen

Wedding Cupcakes: Fays Fairy Cakes

Venue styling : Fabulous Functions UK

Blog-5 Alternatives to Champagne for your wedding toast - Fabulous Functions UK