How Do You Introduce a Couple at a Wedding Reception?

Judit Covarrubias García
Wedding couple

The introduction of newlyweds, their bridal party, and important family members at the reception is a tradition that is still observed in most weddings and it's actually quite functional. It serves to inform people that the couple is now married, who they are exactly, and 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, then, follow through. If you're the couple who is looking for the right intro, know that you can request a specific one. Last names may be taken, compounded, merged, or kept, and people work hard to earn their titles and degrees. So do your best to get all the details right: from last names to proper pronunciation to titles to format in which they want to be introduced. It will mean a lot to the couple.

Traditional Intros for Bride and Groom

Timeless and functional, traditional introductions are widely used for happy brides and grooms. They infer the bride is changing her name and are basically worded the good old-fashioned way. It's tradition!

  • May I please have your attention as we welcome the new Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Anders! Please join me in congratulating the happy couple!
  • It is my great honor and happy privilege to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Ben 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 Carmen Carlysle! Please give them your heartfelt applause!

Gender Neutral Introductions

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. David Darcy and Dr. Dana Davalos! Let's give them a standing ovation!
  • It's a true honor for me to introduce to you the newlyweds Emilia and Elise Estevez-Earl! Let's offer them the warmest welcome!
  • Ladies and gentlemen, let us raise our glasses and welcome the newly united couple Finn and Fabrizio!

Traditional Intros for LGTBQ Couples

Brides walking through curtain

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? Couples all over are enjoying traditional introductions knowing full well it is a right hard earned.

  • Ladies and gentlemen please stand for the newly married husbands, Mr. and Mr. James and Jeremy Jacobson!
  • Let's offer the warmest applause to Grace and Gabrielle Gibson-Gray 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 Tristan!!

Creative Introductions

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. Samuel and Susan 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. Pepin and Paula 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 Orlando and Owen Olson!
  • Beginning the journey of a lifetime, let's give it up for our globe trotting brides, Mrs. Naomi Newton and Mrs. Noelle Nichols!
  • 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 Marley Mendez!
  • Globalization never looked this good! Let's offer multilingual applause for our international couple Lee Min Soo and Lazar Levi!!
  • They searched their feelings. He loves her, she knows. The circle is now complete. Please raise your light sabers for Jana and Jesse Jones!! May the force be with them, as is our thunderous applause!
  • Roses are red, violets are blue, let's clap for newlyweds, Harriet 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 Erik Eason!
  • 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 Arisa and Amanda Allen!

Offering 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.

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. Newton Neville, father of the groom, and Mrs. Nina Neville, mother of the groom.
  • Bridal party: Introduced after the parents, call them 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.
  • Newlyweds: 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 they enter the reception and take 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.

Groom and groomsman dancing

Add a Fun Twist

Dancing numbers and all kind 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. This tradition can be modified to suit the couple's preferences.

More People Can Be Added

Grandparents, ushers, flower girls, children, and whoever is close and dear to the couple's heart can be added. 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 when grandparents, or even parents, are on the elderly side.

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 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. Of course, 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

When it comes to introducing the couple, you'll need to keep etiquette in mind to avoid a faux pas.

Couple's Titles

First Dance

When introducing a new couple at a wedding reception, it is imperative 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. Examples include:

  • Mr. Samuel and Dr. Sylvia Smith / Mr. Samuel Smith and Dr. Sylvia Stewart
  • Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Thomas Thompson
  • The Honorable and Mrs. Victor Volks
  • Reverend and Mrs. Walter Wallace

Last Names

Many women choose to retain their former last name or hyphenate their new last names instead of taking their husband's name. Introduce the wife using her proper last name, such as Ms. Lila Lawson-Lewis and Mr. Leighton Lewis. Traditionally, the husband is introduced first; however, in these cases many people choose to "embrace" the wife's name by placing the husband's name in second place in an attempt to mirror the traditional intro which would be Mr. and Mrs. Leighton and Lila Lewis (see how Lila is "embraced" by his name and surname). Versions of both takes would be:

  • "Please show your love for the newlyweds Ms. Lila Lawson-Lewis and Mr. Leighton Lewis!"
  • "Let's give the warmest of welcomes to Mr. Leighton Lewis and Ms. Lila Lawson-Lewis as they join us in celebrating their marriage!"

Additionally, you may encounter situations where couples have decided to combine their last names, whether by creating a new one with both their surnames or hyphenating. For example: Jo and Jamie Johnson-Jones or Andrea and Amelia Arleigh (Aristos/Leigh). In these cases, it is recommended to 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!

Complicated Parent Issues

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? The short answer is straightforward and with tact.

  • If a parent is single/divorced/widowed and entering unescorted, introduce him/her by name and role. For example: Mrs. Sally Simpson, mother of the bride.
  • If a parent is divorced and escorted by a significant other, introduce him/her by name and role, plus in the company of, plus name (role is optional). For example: Mr. Robert Rios, father of the bride, in the company of his wife/partner/girlfriend, Ms. Rhia Reyes.
  • If a parent remarried, and the stepparent helped raise the marrying person, they could be introduced as: Mr. Ollie Oster, father of the groom, and Mrs. Odette 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.

Deceased Parents

Parents who have passed away are not introduced. The very logistics of this being an introduction of people attending the wedding dictates it this way. However, a commemorative mention may be made at some point during the reception. Most appropriate is to include a note in the wedding program in memoriam of the deceased parent, perhaps a special element as part of the ceremony, maybe even an honorary place in the reception, a couple of words during grace, and even offer a toast in his/her 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 introductions fun, tactful, and to the point, unless the couple directs you otherwise. With that in mind, have fun and enjoy the privilege!

How Do You Introduce a Couple at a Wedding Reception?