It's kind of a huge moment: the first time a couple is introduced as a married pair. It's good to spend a little time deciding how to be introduced at your wedding reception or how a couple would prefer to be announced if you'll be doing the honors. This will totally set the stage for how people will refer to the newlyweds going forward.
The wedding reception introduction of newlyweds, their bridal party, and important family members is a tradition that's still observed at many weddings, and it's actually quite functional. It is a formal way of introducing the bride and groom (or bride and bride or groom and groom) as a married couple, along with what they are going to be called from now on.
Examples for Newlywed Introductions
Whether traditional, modern, or creative, the best introduction is the one that caters to the couple. Ask and confirm how they want to be addressed when introduced and then follow through.
If you're the couple and are looking for the right intro, know that you can request a specific one. You've got options here. Last names may be taken, compounded, merged, or kept, and people work hard to earn their titles and degrees.
It's really important to do your best to get all the details right: from last names to proper pronunciation to titles to the format in which they want to be introduced. It will mean a lot to the couple and the people who love them.
Traditional Intros for the Bride and Groom
Timeless and functional, traditional bride and groom introductions are a simple and classic way to infer that the bride is changing her name. These are basically worded the good old-fashioned way that you've probably heard at lots of weddings over the years.
- May I please have your attention as we welcome the new Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Johnson? Please join me in congratulating the happy couple!
- It is my great honor and happy privilege to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Adam and Bella Bowers! Let's welcome them with a round of applause!
- Let us welcome for the very first time as husband and wife, Charles and Ellen Carlysle! Please give them your heartfelt applause!
In a time of marriage equality and egalitarian marriages, all kinds of couples are favoring introductions that place both partners in equal standing. These introductions are neutral and respectful of each individual's preference regarding last names and gender roles.
- It is with great joy that I now introduce to you the newly married couple Mr. Steven Darcy and Ms. Dana Thompson! Let's give them a standing ovation!
- It's a true honor for me to introduce to you the newlyweds Amelia and Elise Estevez-Mark! Let's offer them the warmest welcome!
- Ladies and gentlemen, let us raise our glasses and welcome the newly united couple, Finn and Skylar!
Traditional Intros for LGTBQ Couples
If union and marriage were the same, the fight for equal marriage would not have existed. After all that struggle, why shy away from being introduced as wife and wife or husband and husband or simply as spouses?
Couples all over are enjoying traditional introductions, knowing full well it is a right that's hard-earned.
- Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the newly married husbands, Mr. and Mr. Silas and William Jacobson!
- Let's offer the warmest applause to Sarah and Rebecca Gibson-Thomas in their first appearance as newly wedded wives!
- Now, for the first time as a married couple, let's give it up for Taylor and Skye!!
A creative introduction truly reflects the couple. Have fun creating something special that matches their interests and likes.
- With stars in their eyes, they danced into each other's hearts. Let's dazzle them with applause as Mr. and Mrs. James and Ashley Smith make their first appearance as husband and wife!
- She is sugar, he is salt; she is zest, he is piquant... starting their marriage with lots of flavor, let's give Mr. and Mrs. Aaron and Kathy Puck a taste of our love!
- They walk in beauty, and carry each other in their hearts, as they start writing their very own marriage epic! Let's welcome Bill and Owen Morison!
- Beginning the journey of a lifetime, let's give it up for our globe-trotting brides, Mrs. Amy Newton and Mrs. Kristen Hill!
- Wild horses couldn't keep them apart! Let's offer a standing ovation to the couple that tamed each other, the newly married Madison and Adam Mendez!
- Globalization never looked this good! Let's offer multilingual applause for our international couple Lee Min Soo and Sven Levi!!
- They searched their feelings. He loves her; she knows. The circle is now complete. Please raise your light sabers for Jana and Will Olson!! May the force be with them, as is our thunderous applause!
- Roses are red, violets are blue, let's clap for newlyweds, Jenny and Hugh!
- With a round of applause, let's two-step and boogie for our disco-loving diva and her rootin' tootin' husband - Emma and Scott Weston!
- With a love that goes on and on, far beyond pi, these two add up like sine squared plus cosine squared... please stand perpendicular for the one and only Rose and Grace Allen!
How to Offer a Wedding Reception Introduction
Wedding reception introductions are usually offered by the wedding DJ or an emcee. This act opens the activities of the wedding reception, and it serves to offer formal introduction of the couple, bridal party, and their parents to the wedding guests. This is where you get to have fun.
Follow the Basic Order
A wedding introduction typically follows a standard format.
- Parents of the bride: Parents can walk in together as spouses if still married, individually if widowed or divorced, or with escorts of their choice.
- Parents of the groom: Introduce all parents by name and role, i.e.: Mr. Stan Neville, father of the groom, and Mrs. Ella Neville, mother of the groom.
- Wedding party: Introduced after the parents, call each member of the wedding party by name and role (use full names in formal events). If the couple requests it, include a brief "how they are related/how long have they known the bride/groom" story in the wedding party introduction.
- Newlyweds: This is the most anticipated and the most important introduction. This introduction is last and the most enthusiastic of all. Make it count!
Usually, all members to be introduced wait outside the reception until presented by the emcee. As they are introduced, the wedding party enters the reception and takes their seats. Once the parents and bridal party have taken their places, it is time for the newly wedded couple to enter the reception. The emcee then calls attention to the arrival of the couple, announces their names, and invites guests to offer congratulatory clapping.
Add a Fun Twist
Dancing numbers and all kinds of fun variations are now taking the place of the formal "walk over to your place" introduction. However, the basics remain: those who are taking their place do (usually parents) and those who are staging something fun take their spot in the limelight to the rhythm of the perfect tune.
Parents and Wedding Party Are Optional
Not all introductions include parents, and some don't even include a wedding party! This has much more to do with local customs, usage, and the actual shape and form of the wedding in question and much less to do with the "right" way to do this. There's no wrong way, as long as the couple is happy. Feel free to modify the tradition to suit the couple's preferences.
More People Can Be Added
You can add in grandparents, ushers, flower girls, children, and whoever is close and dear to the couple's heart. They can line up and make an entrance, or you can just give them a shout out to their tables. This last option is particularly useful for people who have mobility issues.
The Only Must Are the Newlyweds
If there is no wedding party, you don't need to announce it. Even if there is, if logistics or preference dictate otherwise, couples may choose to omit their introduction. If there are no parents attending or if it's not common to introduce them in your social circle, there is no need for that either.
The local customs can also be a factor, but again, it's all about personal preference. If you live in an area where parents are not usually introduced but the couple wants to do it, go right ahead. Conversely, even if you live in an area where parents are usually announced, the couple may choose not to do it.
Etiquette Tips for Wedding Introductions
When it comes to introducing the couple, you'll need to keep etiquette in mind to avoid a faux pas. Nobody wants this moment to be awkward, but it won't be with these tips.
Use the Couple's Titles if They Want
When introducing a new couple at a wedding reception, it's super important that the DJ or emcee understands their titles and how they wish to be introduced. If one spouse or the other has a formal title, such as a doctoral degree, military rank, judge's position, or ministry position, it is important to use it in the introduction.
- Dr. Ella Stewart and Mr. Samuel Carson / Dr. Ella Carson and Mr. Samuel Carson (if she changes her last name)
- Reverend Steve Wallace and Mrs. Andrea Wallace
- Congresswoman Virginia Forrester and Dr. Terrence Volks
- Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Thomas Howard
When you're introducing a couple with titles or ranks, the higher ranked individual precedes the other. This trumps gender or any other form of assigning order.
Know What the Couple Is Doing With Last Names
Many partners choose to keep their former last name or hyphenate their new last names instead of taking their spouse's name. Ask what the plans are, and introduce each spouse using their proper last name, such as Ms. Lila Smith-Williams and Mr. Christopher Williams.
It's totally normal to encounter situations where couples have decided to combine their last names, whether by creating a new one with both their surnames or hyphenating. In these cases, you should usually use alphabetical order of first names and then the combined last name, but of course, the couple always has the last word. Sometimes, it just sounds better the other way!
Keep Complicated Parent Issues in Mind
If the couple's parent situation is outside of the traditional, there might be a few situations to deal with. Parents may be widowed, divorced, remarried, or dating. There might even be adoptive parents and biological parents, all divorced and remarried! So how do you go about introducing them at the wedding reception? These tips can help:
- If a parent is single/divorced/widowed and entering unescorted, introduce them by name and role. For example: Mrs. Sally O'Neil, mother of the bride.
- If a parent is divorced and escorted by a significant other, introduce them by name and role, plus in the company of, plus name (role is optional). For example: Mr. Philip Rios, father of the bride, in the company of his wife/partner/girlfriend, Ms. Anna Harrington.
- If a parent remarried and the stepparent helped raise the marrying person, they could be introduced as: Mr. Chuck Oster, father of the groom, and Mrs. Angela Oster, stepmother of the groom.
Single, divorced, and widowed parents may be escorted by other members of the bridal party or even close family and friends. Divorced parents may not be on friendly terms. Stepparents may not always be welcomed. Do not assume, and do not force situations. But also, don't overthink it. Keep the introduction simple, to the point, and always double check with the couple. Always take the feelings of everyone into account, and when in doubt, ask again.
Don't Announce Deceased Parents Unless the Couple Wishes
Generally, parents who have passed away are not introduced. The very logistics of this being an introduction of people attending the wedding dictate it this way. However, the couple may choose to make a commemorative mention at some point during the reception.
One great option is to include a note in the wedding program in memoriam of the deceased parent. They might also have a special element as part of the ceremony or maybe even an honorary place in the reception. Some couples choose to mention lost loved ones in words during grace and even offer a wedding toast in their memory. There are many ways to honor those who have passed in a wedding, but the introduction of the couple at the reception is not necessarily the best place.
Keep It Short and Sweet
When introducing a couple at their wedding reception, whether they come on their own or with an entourage, consider that this is just the beginning of the reception. They already had an emotional ceremony, maybe a couple of drinks during cocktail hour, and now they are getting ready to enjoy a little dinner and party the night away (with a host of other activities in between).
If people are attending the wedding, they are already familiar with who is who, at least from the invites and the program, so keep the wedding reception introductions fun, tactful, and to the point, unless the couple directs you otherwise. With that in mind, have fun and enjoy the privilege!