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THE GROOM SPEAKS: Put a Twist on Tradition—Your Guests Will Thank You

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Courtesy of Josh Brentan

As a wedding guest, I often hope that this time, when I'm interrupted from enjoying my salmon dinner, I'll see something I've never seen before. The May issue of BRIDES magazine has a fun roster of new traditions that are taking root for 2010, but in the meantime, here are a few I've been thinking about changing for our wedding:

Old tradition: The introduction of the bridal party
New twist: Do we really need to be introduced to people we already know? Instead, introduce the people at Table 18 who don't know anybody else. ("All the way from Florida, it's my grandmother's friend, Selma!") It will improve the mingling and make everyone feel included.

Old tradition: The first dance
New twist: The first-dance circle. Nothing kicks a party off better; a good dance circle (or three) will get everyone moving, clapping, and usually laughing. Mandatory participation for the parents and anyone in the wedding party; participation encouraged for everyone else.

Old tradition: The photo slideshow of the happy couple
New twist: Old photos of different guests with the couple at various points in their lives. A nice, personalized touch to let your guests know you care.

Old tradition: Feeding each other cake
New Twist: If you're expected to get frosting on your face anyway, you might as well take it one step further: a cake-eating contest for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. One piece per person, no hands allowed. Winner gets a bottle of champagne. (Betting is optional.)

Old tradition: The bouquet toss
New twist: For those women vying for a ring, why not make them prove their worth to the men they love via a skills competition, or mud-wrestling out back? Set up a tournament bracket—winner takes home the bouquet. Yes, I know it's unrealistic, but wouldn't it be fun?

I've only got two months to find some new, fun ideas, so if you have some of your own to share with me, please leave them in the comments section below.

—Josh Brentan, The Groom with a View

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