Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era

 Posted by N. M. Cedeño



What’s going on with wedding receptions these days?

My husband and I were apparently married in a bygone era, the pre-YouTube era. Consequently, our bridesmaids and groomsmen did not choreograph dances, put on a ballet, or produce a Broadway musical during our reception for the entertainment of our guests. I would never have asked them to do so. And, it wouldn’t have occurred to them.

Now, the newly engaged search YouTube for what’s “traditional” at wedding receptions. Because if it’s “traditional,” it must be on YouTube, right? And, if the newly engaged believe the videos online, then an important part of the reception is the “Introduction of the Bridal Party” who are called out by name and title by a DJ, as if he were introducing contestants on the Price is Right.

“Introducing the Mother of the Bride! Mary Smith, come on down!” yells the DJ as music booms loudly in the background.

The members of the bridal party then enter the room in pairs or individually, dancing into the room possibly with props, to the applause of the gathered guests. Sometimes, the entire wedding party then gets together and performs a choreographed dance number for the watching crowd. Based on YouTube, this is a required duty of the bridal party and an important part of entertaining the guests. The bridal party had better be ready to put on a show.

My wedding cake

Not having been involved in any weddings recently, I had no idea that this practice had become so ubiquitous. Back when I got married, the bridesmaids went to showers, paid for a dress, showed up at the wedding, and posed for pictures. The maid of honor and best man had a few other duties as well: giving speeches and planning parties. So, when asked to be a bridesmaid recently, I said yes, not knowing that I would be receiving instructions on choosing an appropriate song for my grand entrance, selecting props and/or costume items, and, of course, choreographing my dance moves.

I have never aspired to be on Broadway or dance in musical theater. I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm. The ballroom dance class I took in college taught me quickly that my ability to see a dance step and then copy it was almost nonexistent. Imagine my shock when I received my instructions.

So of course, I told the bridal couple that my husband wasn’t willing to do any of that stuff. He’s a required member of the wedding party, so I threw him under the bus. The bride was surprised, but understanding. Having carefully studied YouTube, she hadn’t realized that bridal parties haven’t always danced into the reception. It never occurred to her that we didn’t know that entertaining the crowd with a dance routine was a duty of the bridal party.

In days past, I remember the bride and groom being introduced as they came to do their first dance. No one bothered to introduce the entire bridal party. Bridal parties didn’t do choreographed dances and post them online in the pre-YouTube era, that bygone era, before 2005.


N. M. Cedeño writes short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her stories vary from traditional mystery, to science fiction, to paranormal mystery in genre. Her debut novel, All in Her Head, was published in 2014, followed by her second novel, For the Children’s Sake, in 2015. In 2016, For the Children’s Sake was selected as a finalist for the East Texas Writers Guild Book Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. Most recently, she has begun writing the Bad Vibes Removal Services Series which includes short stories and the novel The Walls Can Talk (2017).

Visit her at or find her books at her Amazon author page .



19 thoughts on “Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era

  1. I’m glad that the wedding I attended last month didn’t include any Broadway acts! Sounds like weddings are getting more bizarre by the day instead of focusing on what happens after the Happily-Ever-After.


  2. Looks like the younger generation as patterned their weddings and wedding receptions after reality TV. I see on YouTube that once in a while the bride and a bridesmaid end up in a catfight. Fun blog post…


  3. Wow! Blink your eyes and the current generation has once again abandoned the past to create a new history! Not wrong, just different! I would love to attend a dance spectacular like you describe. I admit, I would be a spectator, not a participant.


  4. Today’s young adults make their own rules and a new history! Not always good or bad but different. I personally would love to attend as a guest the type of wedding you describe. I would not however want to participate in the dance line.


  5. As more weddings become multi-thousand dollar performances, the divorce rate increases or at least is quite high. Interesting isn’t it? I’m with you, we were announced as in “Let me introduce you to Mr. & Mrs. Arlo Bodin right after the vows, just to use our new combi-title by the minister. But basically, everybody knew all the bridal party so we didn’t need those intro’s again. And the marriage was the entertainment! There’s a lot of pressure on a bride for even a simple wedding. Glad my hubby and I who just reached our golden anniversary had a very economical wedding without a dance even! We just wanted to get married and start living together.


    1. Congratulations on your golden anniversary. You are right. I do think the social pressure on the bridal couple has increased. People have to work hard to fight the tide and keep things simple these days. Weddings can be the proverbial snowball rolling down hill.


  6. A most informative post. I had no idea. My idea of a formal wedding is showers, dress-up clothes, vows, and cake and punch in the fellowship hall. I would never have been a bridesmaid if dancing had been required. Back then, I didn’t have anyone to throw under the bus. My husband and I went against tradition. In fact, I didn’t know we were going to have a church wedding until I heard him invite his step-mother to it. I wore a white suit that didn’t look like a suit, the bridesmaids wore what they wanted, and we had brownies and ice cream sundaes (plus cheese and fruit for the sensible) in the Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. I had a trained soprano sing “Simple Gifts” and “The Prayer Perfect.” He had a group–I can’t remember who–sing “A, You’re Adorable” and Jo Stafford sing “La Vie en Rose.” (The pianist pressed the play button on the CD player.) If I’d married when I was twenty, it would have been totally different, but we were both over fifty and figured we could do what we wanted. And it was fun.

    Your wedding cake is beautiful. Are those orchids, or Dutch irises, or—?


  7. If I’d tried doing a choreographed routine at my wedding over ten years ago, my too-loose shoes withd have gone flying, and I would have been dancing in my stockinged feet. My late husband had so many fused limbs he couldn’t have danced to save his soul. Thank goodness YouTube wasn’t prevalent when we were married.


  8. I know what you mean. You have to know a few line dances and of course the dance-Gangnam Style- My husband and I are getting ready to learn a few line dances because in May our middle grandson is getting married. This is our 3rd grandson to be wed and we know we have to be updated. We are also renewing our vows on February 14th, followed by a dance and dinner. Fun Cher’ley


  9. Not being part of the utube generation I didn’t realize being part of a utube video that the bride and groom hopes goes viral was part of being in a wedding party. I am not sure when wedding changed from being a celebration of the start of the couples life together and became elaborate media events. But i am sure I won’t be appearing on utube anytime soon.


  10. I don’t think their goal was a viral video. My understanding is that they wanted to use the bridal party introductions to “pump up the crowd” and “entertain the guests” during the reception. They were definitely adding to the bridal party duties in a way I didn’t expect.


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