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?

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

  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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)!

  9. 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!!

  10. 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”.

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