Where has the time gone? It’s been nearly five months since we said “I do” and one month since my last post. (Unfortunately, I didn’t meet my goal of finishing our wedding recaps before the calendar turned to 2010. I apologize!)

Since August, my husband left a good job in northern New Jersey and accepted an even better job in central Pennsylvania. We combined our kitchen gadgets, hardcover books, and camping equipment into a one bedroom apartment with no storage space. And we started the search for a more permanent — and larger — place to live.

But let’s move on. You came to hear about the wedding, right?

Last time we talked, I told you about our playlists and our dance moves. We chose traditional songs for our parental dances and threw in a few party favorites (YMCA, Twist and Shout, You Shook Me All Night Long).

About an hour into the dance party, Nick and I took center stage to thank our families and friends for traveling from California, Utah, Michigan, North Carolina, and Germany to share the day with us. If you’re comfortable with a microphone, I highly recommend doing this. Our guests really appreciated the acknowledgment. (And Nick made me laugh, as usual.)

bride and groom speech

We also gave a special shout out to our parents for setting wonderful examples for us to follow — in life, love, and marriage. We then asked them to join us on the dance floor to celebrate 30 years of marriage (my parents) and 36 years of marriage (his parents).

Yes, it was time for the Anniversary Dance. Rather than tossing the obligatory bouquet to a lucky — and likely embarrassed — single lady, we chose to honor the couple with the longest marriage. My grandparents, who have been married for 57 years (!!!), joyfully received the bouquet.

wedding anniversary dance

wedding anniversary dance

And in lieu of the garter toss, DJ Wild Bill suggested the groom and groomsmen perform a special dance. Honestly, none of them knew what to expect. Bill lined them up on the dance floor and led them through a series of moves, then asked them to “pay respect” to the bride and bridesmaids. The grand finale was unrehearsed, too. Nick strutted toward my chair, showed off his red socks, and planted a big kiss on my lips. It was one of my favorite moments of the night.

wedding groomsmen dance

wedding reception bridesmaids

wedding groomsmen dance

So we decided against the bouquet toss and the garter toss, but we insisted on the Dollar Dance. It was less about the money and more about spending a few minutes with individual guests. Our aunts and uncles and cousins especially enjoyed it. And to make it more classy, my mother ordered a monogrammed ivory satin bag to collect the dollar bills, proudly displayed by our maid of honor and best man.

wedding dollar dance

What reception traditions are you choosing to keep and to change?

Next: The Sweets

{photos credit to Robert Winton}