Stop the violence against glassware: 6 glass-clinking alternatives

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From Offbeat Bride reader seneadawn: “Instead of clinking their glasses to make us kiss, we asked our guests to sing a song from one of the shows we had worked on. This was SO MUCH FUN.”

Are you like me — a person who HATES the glass-clinking tradition? For the unfamiliar: guests bang their silverware against their drinking glasses until the couple (who are trying to enjoy their meal or have a conversation) stops everything and smooches while everyone cheers. I was so a-feared of this happening at our wedding, but didn't think ahead enough to figure out an alternative to discourage this kind of behavior. So my solution: the moment the clicking started I. shut. that. shit. down. I put on my best Megan bitch face and just slowly shook my head in a “this is simply not happening” way. Let me tell you, nary a glass was clinked after that.

If you're looking forward to glass-clinking, more power to ya! I wish you all the glass-clickings possible. But if you aren't comfortable kissing on command (or bringing out the bitch face to make it stop), here are some useful glass-clinking alternatives from Offbeat Brides…

Make 'em work for it

I come from a long line of glass-clinkers. It's a big thing at weddings, at least in the Midwest. So we both knew it was gonna happen even if we politely requested that it not happen. In order to avoid said clinking, we came up with an alternative.Any table that wanted us to kiss had to sing a song with the word “love” in it. Any song, and only a snippet so we could hear the LOVE. Then we'd kiss. This had many advantages. One: the whole table had to get brave enough to sing. Two: they had to choose a song. And three: it interrupted their own meals in order to do it. This drastically cut down on the number of times I had to swallow a gulp of food to play tonsil-hockey with my husband, and it was amusing to see which tables actually sang, and what song they chose.

If you have a semi-rowdy family, this might be a great way to keep the glassware silent but still allow them to have the fun of “making” you kiss. I put it in the wedding program and also told a few key family members, so that we got NOT ONE glass-clink.

Some alternatives I've seen include:

  • Demonstrate the kiss you want the couple to have
  • Perform (poem, song, etc. about the couple)
  • Tell a story

Basically, you can make it as easy or difficult as you'd like if you want to give guests the option. My hubby and I didn't provide an option.
-Kirsten aka littleredlupine

Roll the dice

We figured we'd steal from So you're going to sit through a wedding: the funniest wedding program evar and have an inflatable large D20, and you had to roll 10 or better for kissing to happen. although I suspect our nerdy friends will be playing with that thing all night.

Just say “no”

If you and your fiance are shy, and you don't want to have to kiss on command, simply put a note in your program or a sign at the door. The wording could be something simple like, “We will not be having any kissing games during the festivities instead believing that everyone should be able to choose when and why they kiss. We ask that everyone please honours this request. Thank-you.”

If you instead would just like to avoid the clinking but still have some form of kissing game (that won't involve personal trivia or stories coming out) you could try a game that focuses around other things. You could try general knowledge trivia, a name that song sort of game or a game of chance with a dice or cards (roll a number higher than 3, pick out a card and do the challenge on it, draw a heart from an ordinary deck).

Personally we will have a “tongue in cheek” comment in our day-of survival guide saying “Ninja spies (i.e. groomsmen) have been instructed to remove anyone caught clinking a glass…. but you'll be lucky if the bride doesn't get to you first! Instead there will be a trivia game explained at the start of the reception for which each correct answer will result in the couple kissing (that is if you happen to find a moment when they aren't kissing to begin with).”

Make 'em pay

A friend of mine had the idea to instead of people clinking glasses if you wanted the happy couple to kiss you had to put a dollar in a glass fish bowl that was on the table in front of the couple. Their idea was that the money would go to the honeymoon.


At this wedding, you didn't clink glasses to get us to kiss. You donated money to City of Hope. We raised $271. We didn't expect the mad stampede of guests waving dollar bills when we made the announcement. Boy did we have numb lips when it was over! We have such awesome people in our lives!

Make 'em drink

Someone in my family put bottles of vodka on the tables and guests had to do a shot to get the bride and groom to kiss. I wasn't there, but everyone agrees it was memorable, and the wedding party/family/friends all like to have a good time and drink whilst doing it. -msmcelligottster
Maybe just use plastic cups? © by John Loo, used under Creative Commons license.

Make a different noise

I kinda like it, but being a science geek I think I'm going to ask people to resonate their glasses instead. It leads to fewer broken glasses and sounds lovelier. It's also harder to do, so that is better in my book. You basically run a fingertip around the rim of the glass to make it hum. Sounds easy, but isn't at all.Also, my sweet Maid of Honor has already expressed disdain about glass-clinking during the meal at a previous wedding. She leaned over to me at said wedding and said, “If they try that at your wedding, I'm gonna yell, ‘KNOCK IT OFF, they're trying to EAT!'” My Maid of Honor is amazing.

Now it's your turn! What are your glass-clinking alternatives?

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Comments on Stop the violence against glassware: 6 glass-clinking alternatives

  1. We are opting for an inflatable D20. We are pasting tasks onto each side. 2 will say “bride and groom kiss”, but the other sides will say things like “roller must hula hoop” or “roller must perform a 30 second skit of their favorite movie”.

    • The d20 picture is from our wedding and I have to say, it worked really well! If our guests rolled under 10, they had to kiss someone (though usually they picked us, lol!).

      I have to say that I *love* your idea and wish we’d thought of it! I hope you guys have fun with it! 😀

  2. We used New Year’s Eve horns as our glass clinking alternative at our wedding. Since it was Lord of the Rings themed, we told everyone they were “Horns of Gondor”.

  3. We’re currently considering our options, but the front runner is *epic*. We both have a deep love for drag queens, especially RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo (in the States). So, to have our guests make us kiss, we’re having them “Lip Synch for a Kiss” (a play on “Lip Synch for your LIFE”).

    • HOLY FUCK WUT!? You totally have to say it like RuPaul.

      “It’s time for you to llllipsync…. FOR YOUR KISSSSSS.”

      (PS: Team Jujubee forevar!)

      • I have visions of wedding programs with RuPaul on them.. and our other favorite Queens. I need to mock up some designs in the next couple months and, of course, get them approved through the FH first, but I’m pretty hopeful he’ll dig it, too.

  4. I totally pulled out the ‘bitch face’ at our wedding! I am a very laid-back person but I can honestly say I was a bitch on our wedding day. Hello bridezilla

  5. We were going to require people to compose original limericks (that had to be suitable for all audiences) if they wanted us to kiss. Everyone was too busy eating, dancing and enjoying the venue (an aquarium) to try clinking glasses though, so we only got one limerick the next day at brunch, and we kissed for that.

  6. you BETTER BELIEVE I sent the shot idea to my Sister and future B.I.L. 😛

  7. Our wedding was 3 days after my little brother’s birthday, and 2 days before one of our best friend’s birthday. We told everyone they had to sing “Happy Birthday” to them if they wanted us to kiss. Our swing band played throughout dinner, though, and nobody wanted to try to sing over the band or interrupt the band, so we got to eat uninterrupted. One of my favorite photos is from later on in the evening, when someone organized the entire hall to sing “Happy Birthday” to our birthday boys. My brother grabbed our friend and the two of them swayed happily to the music and sang along at the top of their lungs. And everyone got their kiss.

  8. We were kind of hoping because we are older everyone else would be as sick of it as we are and not do it. I was wrong. We played along and kissed once. When it started up the second time, it was a friend of mine who we both know really well. So, we stood up, went to her and her husband and Dave kissed my friend, on the lips, for a good couple seconds and i did the same to her husband. Everyone cheered and laughed, but the clinking STOPPED.

    • LOL! That was our plan B…to kiss the bridesmaids or groomsmen if a clink was heard. Would have horrified his very Catholic grandmother!

  9. I’ve never heard of this odd tradition or witnessed it in action… so I guess another option is to get married in Australia. lol.

    • Glass clinking is something done often in Italian weddings. It is supposed to interrupt the bride and groom when they are on opposite sides of the room. It is meant to be kisses for good luck.

  10. at my best friend’s wedding this summer the MC prepared a stack of trivial pursuit cards. each table had a bell they would ring to have the couple kiss, but first the couple would ask them one of the trivia questions – they’d only kiss if the table agreed on the correct answer. we all learned a lot that night!

    • We’re also doing trivia. Each of our tables has a different theme (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc.) and we’re writing really hard questions that people have to get right if they want us to kiss.

    • I am totally stealing this idea. My mom bought kissing bells… and my first fear was that it was going to be horribly abused. We’re going to have other games at our wedding as it is (Boggle, Yahtzee, cards)… so this is sort of perfect. 😀 Mom gets her bells. I don’t end up with my face plastered to my FH all night.

    • Oooh, I like this! We’re already having a stack of Trivial Pursuit cards at each person’s place, so we could figure out something from there. The thought of the clinking just gives me the shivers.

    • For some reason this just made me think that we should make people play Munchkin (the card game) and if they beat the monster they can make us kiss. Depending on how we do our reception, it may or may not involve people playing board/card games, so this isn’t entirely out of the question, so we may just weave the kissing game into the table games.

      I’m still sort of on the fence. On the one hand, haha funny tradition, I love being the center of attention, and I’m probably going to be kissing my man all night anyway–plus how funny to watch us run across the room for it! But on the other hand, if I’m in the middle of a conversation or eating I don’t want it to get out of hand, and–yes I’m a party pooper sometimes–but I think it’s a great opportunity to point out to people that date rape isn’t funny. But I know if I say anything of the sort, it’s just going to get people rolling their eyes and calling me melodramatic.

      I liked the idea posted above where people had to donate to something to get them to kiss. Maybe I can combine the two, get some air time for a good cause and still enjoy the fun part of the tradition. I’ll have to run this past my mister.

  11. At our wedding in August we had a galvanized bucket with a lovely sign right in the middle of the room. In order for us to kiss, people did have to pay. We raised money for the animal rescue we volunteer for ( In the end we had $75 and a huge wad of Canadian Tire money (perfect for buying kitty litter!). So, I guess we still had to kiss a lot, but it was to raise money for something we feel strongly about supporting, therefore it wasn’t a hassle. In fact, although we had cold dinner, we were pumped that so many people were dumping money into the bucket!!!

  12. A friend of mine suggested responding to the clinking by kissing increasingly ridiculous non-mouth body parts, starting with hands and moving to elbows or something like that. I dramatically offered my hand to my husband for the first glass clinking; everyone laughed and no one tried it again.

  13. I have never ever heard of nor seen this tradition. This is a midwest thing? I’ve been to weddings in Oregon (a glass clink means: hey everyone pay attention dad’s about to give a toast) and I guess just one in South Carolina, but I never saw this. ??

    • I think the tradition may have started with bells. “ring a bell to see the couple kiss” I’m suppose some industrious couple may have thought they could escape it by not providing bells(or could not afford bells), and it was replaced with glass clinking.

      I’m like you, a clinking glass means someone is about to speak, not that I’m required to kiss my new husband.

      • I agree – I haven’t seen this done. (I’m from the South.) For that matter, most weddings I’ve been to have not had glass or metal to clink together.

    • I’ve definitely seen it done, but not at the majority of weddings I’ve been to. Most of the weddings I’ve been to were in New England or California. So I think it’s all over. It didn’t even occur to me to worry about it happening at mine though and no one tried it.

    • Must be regional: I’m in Southern Ontario and it’s very much a thing. Insistent guests don’t really respond too well to bitch faces either (To be fair, they lose a lot of impact when you’re further back in the room). Alternative solutions do work though.

  14. I think the dollar jar is a great idea! We’re using Warehouse 13 “artifacts” for our centerpieces anyway. I think it would be hilarious to see how many people are willing to risk “frozen zombification” to see us kiss!

    • I do not know you in real life but I totally love you for using Warehouse 13 in your wedding. That is EXCELLENT.

  15. I never heard of this until after I was married to my ex-husband (so if someone had tried it at our reception, I would have had no clue what they were going on about). I’m tempted to get the 20-side die when I do marry again, just in case.

  16. We played a trivia game. Each table had a list of questions about us, our families, wedding party, etc. If someone clinked, my partner and I chose a question for them to answer. If they got it right, we kissed. If they got it wrong, we fist-bumped. It was a fun way to get tables chatting together and for folks who didn’t know us well to learn a little more. It was fun!

  17. At my wedding guests had to hoola-hoop. My cousins started the tradition and now its a hit, and always results in some epic photo ops.

  18. Besides the noise (and please, my family does not need another outlet for noise making, truly), the thing that I find the most annoying about this whole thing is that the clinkers want to watch the couple kiss – creepy much? I mean there’s some Awwww involved in catching a couple smooch, but demanding and then ogling – what? why??? So not only will I insist the demanding not happen at my wedding (not through clinking, or dice rolling, or games, or toasts, or speeches, or songs, or skits), but I will probably have a photo op scavenger hunt, and kissing will be on the list (thanks OBB for the idea of the photo list for guests), so if someone catches me kissing my newly wed partner – well, then, let them Aww, and cheer, and photograph to their hearts content – but the “You must kiss now so that we can all see, because we demand it” thing, uh-uh, not happening. I will so wear my bitch face if at the earliest tinkling of cutlery to glassware (or plastic-ware, whatever)!

  19. I kissed my maid of honor and my husband kissed one of his groomsmen – that pretty much stopped the clinking for the rest of the night!!

  20. We made a mini-putt! If someone wanted us to kiss, they had to get on stage and sink a putt! Our family made a funny alternative though – grabbed a huge box and put it behind the first hole and labeled it as the “Make-out Putt”.

  21. We’re making the guests hula hoop at our carnival themed wedding if they wanna see us play tonsil hockey.

    • We considered this, but FH and I just decided that the number of sideshow people are inviting to the wedding makes this *way* too easy.

  22. I haaaate this tradition. I don’t know why, it just really irks me. When we eventually get married, BF and I are planning to just duct tape an airhorn under our table. *clinkclinkclink* HOOOOOOOONK!

  23. My wedding is still 11 months away and I can already feel my bitch face coming on. I don’t deal well with being demanded or told what to do, and this tradition irks me very much. We are doing away with lots of other (in my opinion) dumb wedding traditions, like bouquet and garter toss, and this one is out the door too.

  24. My favorite came from a friend’s wedding last year. If you wanted to see them to kiss they wanted to see you kiss. The DJ had a list of couples, (started with grandparents, parents, aunt/uncles, etc). The couple on the list was called out first, they had to kiss, then Bride and Groom copied their kiss. With no direction it took a couple rounds to find out what was going on, but once people figured it out kisses got very creative and cute!

  25. My bashful conservative cousin tried the “Must sing song or give speech with the word ‘love’ in it in order to get us to kiss” thing. Unfortunately for her, I love to sing, have a pretty damn good voice, have memorized “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, and am not afraid to sing a capella, with or without alcohol.

    The word “love” ended up being sung more than four times, because I really hammed it up near the end. I think if my FH and I want to adapt this to our wedding, we may either do the “money in a bucket for charity” route or the D20 one. Because penalties to rollers or making them kiss someone else is AWESOME and just bastardic enough for my love.

  26. I have never heard of this, either. I’m also from the South, from Texas, and I’ve never seen this done. It *would* annoy me, though, if I was expected to kiss on cue! I’ve got IMPORTANT things to do like eat the food we paid a fortune for, LOL.

  27. I was at a wedding last year and they had a great alternative to glass clinking – so good we are considering it too. The MC’s painted a large box in the wedding colors using the numbers 1-4 and the couple’s first initials. When the dice was out (during agreed upon times), anyone could come up and roll the dice. If either of the initials came up, the couple kissed. If any of the numbers came up, that person had to kiss that many people!

  28. I am Russian, we have a very fun tradition where all the wedding guests chant “GORKA!” “GORKA!” “GORKA!” until the bride and groom kiss. Gorka means bitter, and the idea is that the world is bitter until the bride and groom kiss and make things sweet again. I recently introduced this tradition to my friends wedding, because I knew the bride had russian heritage, and it was a blast. Every one got really into chanting a silly word 🙂

  29. I had no idea this was a thing. It didn’t happen at my wedding and I can’t remember every being at a wedding where people clinked (or did anything else) to get the couple to kiss. I’m not too into performing on command, especially something like a kiss, so I don’t think I’d like it either. I guess it’s not a tradition in the circles I’m familiar with.

  30. We did the “sing a song with love” for our kisses, after getting irritated early on with clinks.
    We have some pretty rowdy friends…which lead to some “Earmuffs!” pictures featuring our flowergirl.

  31. We had kazoos as part of our wedding favors, because when we got married, as we were about to leave after the ceremony, we had the wedding party pull out kazoos and play the imperial march (since when we asked them beforehand nobody knew the wedding march and everybody knew Star Wars)
    we made people blow the kazoos for kisses, which everyone seemed to really like (especially the 4 year old flower girl)

  32. My boyfriend’s baby sister got married about 2 months ago and they used the demonstrate a kiss idea. It turned out really well. Their photographer stayed in the general area of the head table and tried to get pictures of as many of the demonstrated kisses as possible. I can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out.

  33. I seriously had spaced this one, even tho my maid of honor mentioned it to me when I talked about liking ribbon wands with bells on them… Forgot about it all over again… my community of pirate reenactors are quite the rowdy bunch… We’re getting married at an big Pirate and gypsy event and it’s a pretty drink heavy environment as is or I’d love to go with the shot for kiss thing… I really do love the sing a song with love in it idea! However I don’t know how much kissing on demand I can handle… Not sure glass tinking will even be an issue as it’s a bring your own drinking device(bottle, flask, cup, glass, tankard, etc.) sort of event and the utensils will be plastic… And also we’re not having a long meal just a potluck sot of thing…. Well something else to think about how to make fun… Thanks for reminding me of this! =D

  34. I was just at a wedding where, whenever the glasses we clinked the DJ read out the name of a couple (off a list) at the wedding who had to kiss *instead* of the bride and groom. It was so popular they had to add more couples names toward the end of the evening.

    I hate clinking and dis but this was cute.

  35. We are also doing to d20. If they roll under 11, they take an action card from the deck I’m making. It has tasks, trivia questions about us and our hobbies, etc. if they roll a crit, we have to use tongue 😉

  36. If you forget or get very persistent people and are up for it I recommend playing kissing chicken. What I mean is – give them more than what they bargained for – that usually stops the clinking. The first time at our wedding we barely noticed the first time and then were like – oh right that’s us. Basic smooch. The second time my husband and I were prepared and gave them exaggerated open mouth kiss. No more clinking after that. It was glorious – and now we have a hilarious kiss picture in our wedding pics.

  37. I had party horns as favors for the guests and that’s what they used instead of clinking the glasses. My cousin and his wife didn’t like kissing in public, so instead of them kissing when glasses were clinked, they drew the names of another couple in attendance out of a hat and they were the ones who kissed. It really curbed how often the clinking happened.

  38. At our wedding, we decided that glass clinking would totally lead to kissing, but not between me and the hubban. The first time they did it, we had one of my bridesmen kiss his girlfriend up at the high table. The second time, I kissed one of my bridesmaids.

    They got the point after that.

  39. We made a prize spinner out of a lazy Susan. There are a few bride and groom kiss, but also tell a story about us, spinner has to kiss someone, toast and sing a love song. I’m super excited to use it at our wedding in september.

  40. I don’t think that I legit HATE the glass clinking (us Midwesterners looooove it, apparently) so much as it’s stupid, old and boring. Blah! FH and I are having a sports themed wedding (Chicago teams… Go Sox!), and so I bought cheap referee whistles for everyone to use instead!! The hall staff will probably hate us, but it will definitely be something different!! ????

  41. Since the glass-clinking tradition is big in my family, I can’t take that joy away from them. HOWEVER, they only get one. Anything after that, the offender gets shot with water pistols, and I’m a pretty good shot. 🙂

  42. Since my fiance and i are having disposable plastic drinkware, our families are gonna have to be creative to get us to kiss! We haven’t thought of any ideas to make it fun yet, but I think it will just be fun watching everyone try to figure out what to do with plastic silverware and plastic cups! 😛 Tailgating grill-out wedding dinner FTW!!! 🙂

  43. I just realized this is a side benefit to my bottled-beverages, finger-foods-only reception. There’s no silverware to clink on glasses that don’t exist. Totally not my intention with those other choices, but I can’t say I’m not inordinately pleased to discover it’s solved another problem I’d been dreading! (It’s also part of the purpose of our ribbon wands as rice-alternative and favor. If people are going to do the kiss-on-command tradition, it’s going to be bloody quiet when they do it!)

  44. We put in our program, “Anyone clinking a glass should be warned. The children have been told this means you are warm. They have been provided with a bucket of water balloons and asked to help keep the guests cooled off. Please decide if you’d like us to kiss or if you’d like to spend the wedding wet.” we have a bucket that we are gonna fill with empty water balloons. But guests never know. Hubby to be may sneak some filled ones in.

  45. My cousin and his wife refused to kiss when people clinked the glasses, so they put the names of all the couples in attendance in a bag and whenever a glass was clinked, one couple was drown out of the bag and they were the ones who had to kiss instead of the bride and groom.

    At another reception, instead of clinking glasses, a large cow bell was put on the head table. A lot of the guests were from the midwest, and who doesn’t like ringing a cow bell? Everyone loved it.

  46. We had someone walking around with a gong and she would follow us around and gong us and that was our cue to kiss. It was hilarious but not for the faint of heart. My mother in law also had a cowbell to get everyone’s attention.

    • Right?! Our best man got us a gong as a surprise, and GOD was that better than glasses clinking. Plus, free gong!

  47. We made it clear at the beginning of our reception that we would only kiss for anyone who could solve a Rubik’s cube. We had them scattered on some of the tables. We did end up having to kiss. Once. A few months after our wedding, some of the people at that table confessed that they cheated–they swapped some of the stickers.

  48. We’re doing cowbells. Though our friends are going to crack up so much that we’ll be able to distract them with said cowbells and not spend the entire night in the never ending PDA. Though my hubby to be is excited about this part. Gotta love being a PDA shy bride!

  49. We did the usual alternative with a bell but with a rocking slant! I found mini cowbells online and attached business cards to them. The background on the card was a black and white shot of a singer facing the crowd at a concert. I then had the cards printed with “What this wedding needs is more cowbell! Please ring to see the bride and groom smooch!”

  50. My cousin replaced the clinking with something a little…unusual.
    Instead of clinking, or trivia, or singing…you had to swallow a live bait minnow.
    To be fair, it was in rural Wisconsin, where at 4pm in the afternoon in the middle of town, I had to stop my car to let a deer pass.
    It was MEMORABLE to say the least.

  51. We had a Plinko board made. I’m excited to see how it turns out. It has slots for lose a turn, bride and groom kiss, and show us how it’s done.

  52. We’re doing something I didn’t see here…

    I saw at a previous wedding where the Bride and Groom had “Bozo Buckets” and guests threw a ping pong ball in. If they got the furthest bucket, the couple kissed, anything shorter and they had to do something else like kiss the MoH or BM, do a dance, sing a song, etc.

    That gave me an idea that more matched our Tuscan/wine themed wedding. We’re going to do ring toss onto wine bottles. The center differently colored bottle will result in us kissing, the others will result in the thrower doing something silly.

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