You would think that, after 12 years of being a wedding DJ, I’d be able to say that I’ve seen everything that you can see when it comes to wedding celebrations. This is truly not the case; it’s one of the reasons that I still have the love for being a wedding DJ that I do.

The experience that I bring to the table is one of the things that I rely upon most when discussing a reception with every client. I’m often asked my opinion on the ideas that the bride, the groom or the event coordinator bring to the plate when it comes to certain events. I never take the stance of being The Authority, the client’s wishes are paramount; it’s not about me, it’s about THAT bride and THAT groom.

A recent conversation with a bride went something like this:

Bride: So, we’ve talked about the garter and we don’t know if we really want to do what everyone else does.
Me: Trust me, you don’t have to do what everyone else does. This is YOUR reception that we’re talking about. You can do or NOT do anything that you see fit. Did you have any ideas in mind?
Bride: What have you seen people do instead of the traditional garter?
Me: One thing that I’ve seen on numerous occasions is an anniversary dance. I’d invite all of the married couples to join yourself and your husband on the dance floor. We whittle the couples down by the number of years that they’ve been married until the last couple is standing. They’ll be the couple that’s been married the longest; you guys can then present them with the garter afterward.
Bride: That doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Me: I actually REALLY like doing those. They can be fun. Another option that I’ve seen is a garter auction. Think of pretty much any auction that you’ve ever witnessed, only with the garter as the prize. Now, I’m no auctioneer; you REALLY don’t wanna hear me try, but we can make that happen.
[There was a brief pause while the bride considered the options that I presented. I allowed her the time she needed to gather her thoughts when she introduced a Plot Twist.]
Bride: We had an idea, can I run it by you?
Me: Sure.
Bride: So, we would like to raffle off the garter. We’ve got tickets; the groomsmen will collect the money for the tickets. After the bouquet toss, we’d like to announce the winner. The winner will get the garter and half of the money that’s raised from selling the raffle tickets.

Now, I’d NEVER seen a garter raffle before. The discussion about it got me a little hyped (yeah, I’m that easy when it comes to doing something differently at wedding receptions). It took very little to set up. A quick announcement by yours truly explaining how the raffle would work then announcements on the amount of money raised and the eventual winner once the ticket was chosen.

Sidebar: Nearly $700 was collected that night, split evenly between the newlyweds and the eventual winner. Not a bad haul at all for a garter ceremony (though, I’ve heard stories of a garter auction getting well north of $1K).

So, for my fellow DJs out there that may want another option to offer clients when it comes to garter ceremonies or any brides or grooms that are looking to avoid the potentially risqué nature of a garter retrieval, maybe a garter raffle is just what the doctor ordered.