Just as with your wedding ceremony, you can have any kind of gay wedding reception you desire without being concerned about following any particular wedding traditions. On the other hand, you are invited to incorporate whichever traditions you like in your reception, and to create your own unique queer version. Once again, let your creative side guide you!
Throw a Party!
The gay or lesbian wedding reception is the time for you to celebrate and for your guests to have fun! Your guests just sat through your gay wedding ceremony and are probably ready for the party to begin. If your gay wedding reception is a big event that includes dinner, it’s customary to serve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while the wedding party poses for some additional photos. If the ceremony took place in a different location from the reception, you also need time for all the guests to travel between the two venues.
Following Wedding Traditions
Don’t feel obligated to follow any of the wedding reception traditions that don’t make sense or that you don’t feel comfortable with. For example, the bouquet toss typically isn’t popular with gay grooms or lesbian brides. You are obligated, however, to throw a fun party for your guests and are welcome to include fun surprises during your gay wedding reception.
Most people expect that there will be a wedding cake, whether your’re throwing a big wedding bash or having a small gathering of close friends and family. Feed the wedding cake to each other for some great photos that everyone should have in their wedding albums.
If you want to be introduced and presented to your guests, refer to yourselves as “the happy couple” or something that is don’t worry that you’re not a “Mr. and Mrs.” or that you might not share the same last name if you haven’t changed yours. It’s quite common to have a receiving line to give each guest the opportunity to say congratulations to the newly married couple.
Having a Sit-Down Dinner and Dancing
For a sit-down gay wedding reception, it’s customary to have a head table for the brides or grooms and their wedding parties, to assign seating for your guests and to include a small gift or memento of your wedding at the table. Expect to kiss your new husband or wife throughout the celebration as your guests tap their glasses to make them ring until you silence the ringing with a kiss. If having dances with one or more parents is appropriate, then do it! If not, it’s OK to just skip it.
Brides who wear wedding dresses can feel free to change into something more comfortable after dinner while they enjoy the rest of the party.
Don’t forget to thank everyone who helped put your special day together, and to thank your guests for taking part in your special gay wedding reception.