The Wedding Finale

Cutting the Cake and End of the Night Tips

Fireworks aren’t the only way to bring an incredible evening to a spectacular end.

The end of the night is just as important as the beginning. By then, you will have gone through a roller coaster of emotions (grateful, happy, solemn, ecstatic), and probably consumed more than your fair share of champagne.

There is no excuse, however, to skimp on the details when planning the finale of the biggest party you'll ever throw.

The groom's big moment--the garter toss--is a custom that is occurring less and less frequently. The garter toss dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was customary for friends of the bride and groom to steal into their wedding chamber after the nuptials and make off with their stockings.

The ceremonial removal of the bride's garter at the wedding became a preventive measure designed to avoid such a midnight raid. According to wedding legend, the bachelor lucky enough to catch it will be the next to marry.

The cake cutting is one of the high points of the night. Plus, it is a major photo op, so you might want to sneak out and run a comb through your hair beforehand. The groom's boutonniere tends to look pretty tired right about now, so consider having your florist make you a second boutonniere that you can swap out just before you and your bride cut the cake.

Your bandleader will generally announce the cutting of the cake or play music to get the guests' attention. Be sure you and your bride are properly positioned for photography before you actually make the first cut.

Traditionally, the groom feeds his bride the first bite of cake, and then she reciprocates. In recent years, a mean-spirited, awful custom-called pushing cake into the bride's face-has surfaced. You should skip it. It's tacky.

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