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Wedding Wednesday – That Bouquet is MINE!

Over the weekend I attended the beautiful wedding of a long-time friend to her amazing partner. I was asked to bring something from the city I live in, which is also the bride’s home town, to be part of the ceremony and I could not have been more delighted to play even a small part in their big day. The venue, decor, couple, vows and ceremony were gorgeous, the evening was full of love and joy and excitement. Everything was almost perfect, right up until the bouquet toss! A friend of mine and the bride forced her way to the front of the crowd, pushed the sister-in-law the bride was aiming for out of the way, and when she still failed to catch the toss she ripped it out of the hands of the SIL.

The kicker is, this woman has been engaged for a few years to her partner of 5+ years, and this is her 7th bouquet toss win, most of those occurring after her engagement. Later on, when I was offered a centerpiece as a thank you for helping with that small part of the ceremony, she gave me a filthy look and made a huffy noise. I think the saddest part was how unsurprised I was by all this behavior, it’s definitely made me think harder about my ongoing friendship with someone who seems to think their wants are always the most important thing. 0605-18

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  • Anon June 6, 2018, 5:29 am

    At my wedding some years ago my sister in law, who was also engaged, ripped the bouquet out of the hands of the actual catcher too…the 3 year old flower girl. And this only one of many examples of her horrendous behavior at the event. She hasn’t gotten any better. Sigh…

    • Susan. Haverland June 6, 2018, 10:27 am

      I would go
      Up to her , take it
      Out of her hands and say it goes to
      The little girl who caught it . If she refused I
      Would embarrass her .

      • Anon June 6, 2018, 5:25 pm

        Don’t think she has it in her to be embarrassed! But there were more than a few nasty looks going her way. Luckily, the flower girl didn’t seem terribly fazed.

    • LRS June 6, 2018, 8:27 pm

      Toddlers have no place in a bouquet toss. I have always believed that participants should be of marriageable age.

      • EchoGirl June 6, 2018, 10:11 pm

        I don’t know about marriageable age necessarily, but I agree that a toddler is way too young. If things got rowdy or a bunch of people suddenly moved, a child that small and possibly unsteady on her feet could be injured.

        • admin June 7, 2018, 12:33 am
          • WifeyDear June 7, 2018, 10:53 pm

            Oh my! Poor little thing! I suppose it’s a natural reaction to try and catch something flying above your head, but why hold the child in the first place?!

          • staceyizme June 8, 2018, 9:45 am

            Wow! That is SO foolish and ridiculous!

      • T-Belle June 7, 2018, 4:03 am

        I agree with LRS, if the bouquet toss is going to be done, I think participants should be around marriageable age. If there are several young children there, something different could be done for them.

    • Anon June 8, 2018, 9:50 am

      For those saying the toddler is too young – for the record, she was being held by her mother, so in no risk of being trampled. (The bouquet was caught with the mother’s help) and also I had a very small wedding, there were about 7 people in the catching group. And we did not do a garter toss. It was just a bit of fun, please try not to be so judgy. Just because it wouldnt be your choice doesn’t immediately make it innapropriate.

  • Yasuragi June 6, 2018, 6:42 am

    Throwing out a little armchair psychology, but sounds like she’s frustrated with how her own wedding is failing to materialize. Does her fiance see her do this? How embarrassing.

    • Vermin8 June 6, 2018, 9:04 am

      I wondered that, too. After five years one wonders is someone (ie fiance) is stalling and subconciously she thinks this will push things along.

      • Livvy17 June 6, 2018, 2:03 pm

        Exactly. I think if the fiance saw this, he’d be even more reluctant to pull the trigger. Generally, barring situations where there’s some major obstacle, I find that most couples who haven’t gotten married by the 5 year mark, shouldn’t. Seems like if they weren’t excited enough about each other to get married by then, they’re not excited enough to stay together.

        • AS June 6, 2018, 3:01 pm

          @Livvy17- I beg to differ on that. Some couples are just happy in their relationship without the legal contract.

          Others have reasons that are not obvious or significant enough to onlookers.

          Agreed that some people are not committed enough. But this sort of thinking can hurt some relationships, because it puts undue pressure on the couple. My now-hubby and I were married after 4 years of knowing each other. Apparently, dating without getting engaged for more than 2 years means that people are not committed to each other! We were waiting for one of us to graduate grad school, and also save enough money; but a few of our acquaintances did get married while still in grad school, hence not a good enough reason for some. It was annoying to keep on getting questions about why we are not yet married, and the “advise” I kept hearing from people that then-boyfriend is not really into me was frustrating! (He, on the other hand didn’t have people nagging him, and hence was unaware of the “dogma” that more than 2 years of dating and not yet engaged equals not committed!)

          • Vrinda June 6, 2018, 4:59 pm

            This is about an engaged couple, which means they are aiming to get married, not a couple who is committed to each other without an engagement or marriage.

          • AFS June 7, 2018, 8:28 am

            There are a lot of couples that get engaged just to take things to the next level, so to speak, yet never get married. Heck, it’s even become pop cultural fodder: https://www.self.com/story/real-life-five-year-engagement

          • AS June 7, 2018, 12:36 pm

            @Vrinda – I’m talking specifically as reply to Livvy17’s comment, that anyone who has not gotten married at the 5 year mark shouldn’t. And my comment still stands, because a lot of people seem to subscribe to that sentiment.

            But in this friend’s case, it seems that she’s been engaged for a few years, with no set date. That’d be a bigger deal-breaker than the 5-year relationship.

    • Marozia June 10, 2018, 8:34 am

      After 7 bouquet catches, I’ll bet he has!

  • Ergala June 6, 2018, 7:02 am

    This is why I won’t be doing a bouquet toss. I especially hate it when little girls are lined up for it and little boys for the garter toss. Not appropriate. I went to one wedding where the bride gave the bouquet to the longest married couple. It was very sweet. I told my fiance I want to do that or something similar.

    • Wild Irish Rose June 6, 2018, 8:40 am

      Ergala, what a great idea! I wish I’d thought of that!

    • CarolynM June 6, 2018, 8:48 am

      Do it!!! I always hated the bouquet toss and refused to have one when I got married. Instead I presented the bouquet to my grandmother and made a small speech about how much she meant to me and what a great and loving example her marriage to my grandfather was.

      • Susan. Haverland June 6, 2018, 10:28 am

        How lovely to do that . Just think
        About their smiles and later how happy they were . Worth it . Yes a thousand times .

    • pennywit June 6, 2018, 9:14 am

      Have you considered placing the bouquet at the end of an obstacle course?

      • DGS June 6, 2018, 9:57 am

        We did that and presented the bouquet to my husband’s step-grandparents, who were 98 and 96 at the time and married for 73 years! It was such a wonderful moment. Both would pass away soon after, and it was lovely to have a photo of that precious moment. They also joined us for our first dance.

        And we did not do a garter toss – our grandparents and step-grandparents would have fainted had we done so. I have also found the garter toss to be a very tacky tradition.

        • Teapot June 6, 2018, 10:25 am

          I went to a wedding years ago where the bouquet was caught by a teenage girl and the garter by one of the ushers, who was so drunk it was hard to believe he was still upright. The groom actually had to grab him by the collar and drag him away from her because the garter was well past the poor girl’s knee and he had no intention of stopping.

          I’ve also seen little girls end up knocked down and trampled on by women determined to catch the bouquet. Giving it to the longest-married guests is a lovely idea. And the garter needs to just go away.

          • EchoGirl June 6, 2018, 10:18 pm

            I don’t mind the tosses, but the “putting the garter on the girl” has always seemed tacky to me, especially considering that in this day and age, the two might well be strangers to each other.

      • Lauren June 6, 2018, 3:09 pm

        That’s a hilarious idea. Make ’em work for it!

    • Dee June 6, 2018, 10:51 am

      We had both at our wedding, many years ago, and the enthusiasm of the participants was the best part. My boisterous and tall uncle leaped in at the last minute to snatch the bouquet right out of the air, before any of the leaping women could get close to it. I thought it was funny as all get out but they didn’t, he got a very stern, loud and dramatic lecture from the group, and a demand for me to throw again, with others holding him back. All in good fun but the ladies were quite serious. No one hurt the little girls or pushed anybody out of the way. The garter toss was similarly enjoyed by all.

      I’m a feminist but these traditions never bothered me. They don’t mean very much, symbolically, just fun and a chance to be a bit competitive with loved ones at a formal event.

      But if your friends and family are the type to insist that these little games are actually portends of future marital courses, and/or if they can’t behave like civilized people and enjoy the game without hurting someone else or being unnecessarily physical, then it’s not the game that is the problem. Wedding ceremonies and receptions are rich with traditions that no longer hold any real meaning and thus are fairly harmless, but are cherished by many as something to look forward to, as consistent with the event.

      If I had family/friends who behaved that badly it would not be the games I’d be nixing, it’d be that guest list. And find some good people to have in my life, pronto. Our wedding day was rife with disasters (as all big events usually are) but is still talked about, by our guests, to this day, as the best day ever. We didn’t make it so, they did. And while my husband and I didn’t enjoy the day at all (illness and so on) looking back we are able to really enjoy how great our guests were, as people, and that means so much more than the fantasy day we could have had if the stars had aligned. The games never had anything to do with a successful day or not, they just added to the wonderful atmosphere provided by our “people”. They could never have detracted from it.

    • Jenni June 6, 2018, 11:40 am

      My husband and I happened to get married on his aunt and uncles anniversary. We did an anniversary dance where told the DJ to slowly eliminate couples from the dance floor until only we were dancing with his aunt and uncle. She got my bouquet and a little ‘thank you’ gift for letting us share their special day.

    • AS June 6, 2018, 3:09 pm

      My dad would have been quite sad had I presented my bouquet to the longest married couple, as we had just lost my mother, and he’d have been made once again aware of the fact that he could never be beyond 34 years married even though he’d have loved to have mom around.
      I’d never do that, as it just alienated some people – like widows/widowers, divorcees, and maybe even people who just chose to be unmarried; especially a widow/widower. It works if there is no such person in attendance.

      Giving it to someone special sounds great! Or some other innovative way of giving it.

    • TLG June 6, 2018, 3:34 pm

      I did this at my wedding…we gave it to my uncle and aunt who have been married 57 years. The DJ asked them to give us some words of advice on how to stay married; my uncle’s words were so meaningful and heartfelt. We got it all on video, it’s one the best parts and I’ll have it to watch even after they pass on. I highly encourage this!

    • Just Call Me J June 6, 2018, 3:43 pm

      We had a contingency plan at our wedding: If someone under 18 caught either the bouquet or the garter, we’d have them do the Hokey Pokey instead of the usual “put it on her leg” bit… I suggested the Chicken Dance for this originally, but my husband said no to that.

      Cheesy? Absolutely. But the 2 kids who caught the stuff had fun with it.

    • ernie June 6, 2018, 4:49 pm

      Wow, that is a great idea!

      When I wasn’t married, I always had fun participating in the garter catch, but then I’ve never been witness to any of the real “remove the garter” stuff I’ve heard happens. I think I’d be more reluctant in that situation. In all o f the instances I caught it, it was a ceremonial/pre-made one, not the one the bride was actually wearing.

    • Jelaza June 6, 2018, 5:59 pm

      The little girls are so often the only ones who really want to line up for the bouquet toss. They don’t care about the “next wedding” stuff though, they just want the pretty flowers. If I ever end up getting marries, I’d skip all the bother about a tossing bouquet and see if I can get a bunch of loose flowers for the little girls.

    • jazzgirl205 June 6, 2018, 10:50 pm

      When I got married, the social mavens who planned my wedding decided that the garter toss was too vulgar and suggested I not do it. Since dh paid for my bouquet, he thought that tossing it was throwing away his favor. My reception was a fantastic party but there was no bouquet or garter toss.

      • Cattra June 11, 2018, 10:58 pm

        I had a garter and bouquet toss, but it was for everyone, regardless of their relationship status. Turned out to be just a bit of fun.

    • ADK June 7, 2018, 6:20 am

      I am not someone who enjoys the spotlight so our wedding did not have a bouquet toss, a cake cutting (no cake!), no speeches and no father/ daughter etc. dances. Everyone still had a blast!

    • Lou June 7, 2018, 8:41 am

      I couldn’t throw my bouquet at my wedding as it was quite a large brooch bouquet, and would have given someone a nasty clonk on the head – instead, my mum made up a bunch of gypsophila (I think you call it baby’s breath in the US?) and I chucked that instead. It was caught by the daughter of a friend of my in-laws, and as soon as her dad realised who had caught it he ran across the dancefloor shouting ‘Noooo! Hand it back!’. Her elder sister was in the throes of planning a very elaborate wedding and I think his wallet was about to give up – one of the biggest laughs of the day!

    • Shelly Lynne June 8, 2018, 11:32 am

      We did this, too, but included a dance. All the married couples start dancing. Then the DJ says “OK, if you’ve been married more than an hour, keep dancing.” So my new hubby and I left. Then he did one year, five years, ten years, and so on until only one couple was left. It happened to be my parents because some other relatives couldn’t come and it made for some beautiful pictures of all the couples dancing together.

  • Waltzing Matilda June 6, 2018, 7:13 am

    I don’t understand why couples still have the bouquet toss. It’s so degrading for the single ladies to be pressured into taking part and it so often ends in either a brawl or everyone taking one step away and the bouquet falling in the ground. Archaic and embarrassing.

    • NRoss June 6, 2018, 4:29 pm

      I agree! I was 35 when I got married, so I had stood in for my fair share of bouquet tosses. I stopped getting up for them. When I got married, I refused to do that to my single friends.

  • Girlie June 6, 2018, 7:24 am

    I’m not a fan of bouquet tosses, but even if I leave my own personal sentiments out, this woman’s behavior is beyond rude. She doesn’t seem to be a very pretty person on the inside, does she?

    I would definitely spend some time reconsidering any sort of relationship with her.

  • MelEtiquette June 6, 2018, 8:17 am

    Wouldn’t this friend be considered ineligible for the bouquet toss given that she is already engaged? On the other hand, I have come to expect this type of behavior regarding the bouquet. Luckily, I’ve noticed a declining trend in this tradition, but when it does happen, it almost always involves at least one woman who is too aggressive. If the bride really wanted to give it to the sister in law, she probably should have just given it to her. It’s always a more touching moment when the bride gives it away to someone special.

    • Vermin8 June 6, 2018, 9:05 am

      I thought of that, too.
      I’m going to assume the tradition is next to get married rather than next to be engaged.

    • Vermin8 June 6, 2018, 9:07 am

      By the time I turned 30 I learned to politely refuse.
      I had a reputation as stubborn and difficult in my family by that time, so when I said “no I’m not going to do it” twice, they backed off.
      Come to think of it, it was my mother who was the primary one nagging me for the bouquet toss. She really wanted me to get married.

  • Shannon June 6, 2018, 8:40 am

    I didn’t do a bouquet toss, because I hate it SO MUCH. It’s so awkward, cheesy, and degrading.

    When I was single, I learned to hide in the bathroom during the toss. It’s impossible to just gracefully decline to participate, because every wedding has busybody aunties who will run around, check for rings, and pester women into participating. I even had one auntie try to physically drag me out into the toss. It’s a tradition that needs to die.

    • Susan. Haverland June 6, 2018, 10:33 am

      Oh my gosh I totally agree . I find it embarrassing too before I got married. Then it was said. Oh when are you getting married ? I literally had to go stay in a bathroom at least a half hour , smaller wedding
      Photographer kept taking pictures of couples and saying to
      Me over and over , oh you are not a couple to be in these pictures. How rude .

    • Ange June 7, 2018, 12:44 am

      I kind of relished saying no by that point. I did the first one at my friend’s wedding when we were all of 22 and my other friend shoved me out of the way to get it, that was enough for me and I never participated again. People would try to drag me out and I would say no nicely the first few times then would get louder and more stern until they gave in. I’m sorry friends getting married but I didn’t sign up to be humiliated at your wedding, I came along because I care about you.

  • pennywit June 6, 2018, 8:52 am

    At Pennywit Manor, the highborn ladies — and many of the lowborn ladies as well!! — made a habit of competing with each other to catch the bouquet of flowers when a bride throws it over her shoulder. It became quite the event, and we found that it led to multiple bruises and the occasional laceration.

    This could not stand.

    Elmo, the Chief Smith of Pennywit Manor, is a clever, resourceful fellow, if a bit too fond of burning exotic spices in his forge and inhaling the vapors. Elmo and his apprentices fashioned light metal armor that the ladies could wear during competition, the better to prevent serious injury. Additionally, they crafted several cunning items — axes and knives, mainly, with a glaive for variety — that the ladies could use in their competition for the bride’s bouquet.

    Today, the bride’s bouquet toss is serious business at Pennywit Manor. When word of an impending wedding reaches the ladies’ ears, they train in earnest. They spend hours each day with the Manor’s armsmasters, learning the skills necessary to wield knife and axe (and glaive) in close combat for the bride’s bouquet.

    Today, when the bride tosses her bouquet, all guests clear an area in the great hall. The wedding orchestra strikes up a properly martial tune, and a dozen or more young ladies, grim of mien, properly armed, and attired in armor, face off for the honor of catching the bouquet.

    This has significantly enlivened weddings at Pennywit Manor. Also, we have a capable force of steely, cunning warriors to defend Pennywit Manor from invasion and annoying salespersons.

    • Lerah99 June 6, 2018, 9:22 am

      This made me laugh out loud.
      Thank you so much for your always amusing comments. Pennywit Manor is my favorite thing in the Etiquette Hell comments.

    • AMC June 6, 2018, 9:43 am

      This is delightful! Thank you for the belly laugh!

    • NRoss June 6, 2018, 4:31 pm

      How have I missed out on Pennywit Manor? I’ll have to check out older posts for them! How fun!

      • staceyizme June 6, 2018, 9:21 pm

        Awesome! LOVE tales of Pennywit Manor!

  • Liz June 6, 2018, 8:55 am

    Ah yes, the side step! I got very good at it when all my friends were getting married in my younger days! Now, I just leave the room. I mean, there’s nothing worse than a 50-something, never been married woman (me, and I could care less about that) being coerced, shamed, and practically dragged onto the dance floor, in front of everyone. Nope. Not happening. It should be a choice if you want to go up there

    • Lauren June 6, 2018, 3:08 pm

      I’m with you, sister!

      I have been avoiding bouquet tosses since childhood. When I was seven my favorite uncle got married, and some ridiculous female relatives tried to drag me out to the dance floor to catch the bouquet. I ran and hid under a table.

      It turned out another little girl caught it, and then a little boy caught the garter. The old aunts all took it upon themselves to then take them from the kids (so why try to drag me out there?) and give them to my idiot cousins who were getting married. So I got to watch my creepy, doughy cousin stick his hands up his horrible future wife’s skirt. I was scarred for life. At seven years old, I knew that this was a stupid and cringe-worthy.

      Does anyone even do this anymore? I haven’t seen this weird ceremony (including the bouquet toss) in years…thankfully!

  • Vermin8 June 6, 2018, 9:03 am

    I’ve never been big on the bouquet toss (and did not do it at my wedding).
    So perhaps someone can offer me insight?
    Is this behavior merely a winning-at-any-cost mentality? Or is this deference to the superstition here and the offending females very much want to marry in the near future and are hoping (perhaps subconsciously) for some luck to help them?

  • Melissa June 6, 2018, 9:21 am

    I sometimes wonder if people realize that the bouquet toss/catch isn’t actually magic or prophetic…..catching it means absolutely nothing, except that you are the owner of a small bouquet of flowers that will die in the next few days 🙂 Someone who has caught 7 of these things should probably know this by now, shouldn’t they? However it sounds like the engaged woman in OP’s story is just a gimme pig in general, if she also begrudged OP for getting a centerpiece.

    PS, I love the idea of giving the bouquet to the longest married couple, or changing the tradition in a similar way. How sweet! Especially if the happy couple have a feeling any of their unmarried friends may act like a crazy person during the toss!

  • Devin June 6, 2018, 9:35 am

    I hope the bouquet toss goes out of fashion as couples marry later. In my younger years it was fun. A flock of early 20s women laughing and joking (we never took it seriously) and making sure the lady who was hoping for an engagement got the bouquet. Now it’s a bunch of 30+ year old women all trying to get to the back of the crowd, while the children of the women of married in their 20s fight over it.

    OP your friend is doing this out of misplaced anger at her own relationship not materializing into a wedding. Her huffing about you getting a Center piece makes her sound petty, but is probably unrelated to the bouquet toss. If she doesn’t have another amazing quality that is why you are friends, you may wish to cool your relationship with her till she figures out her own issues.

  • Vicky JoJo June 6, 2018, 9:37 am

    I always hated the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Did not do it at my wedding. It is a ridiculous tradition.

    Many years ago I was a single bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. She insisted on doing both. First came the bouquet toss and most of the young women there, including myself, did not really want to participate to the point that the bouquet actually ended up on the ground. The maid of honor, the other bridesmaids and myself all tried to talk her out of it. But the most embarrassing thing was yet to happen-the garter toss. The only single guy was blind. And yet the bride and groom insisted on doing it. Luckily the guy was a good sport but he was not thrilled with being pressured to participate.

    • Shannon June 6, 2018, 12:49 pm

      I went to a wedding in college where everyone took a step back as the bouquet sailed our way. It hit a wall, and then bonked into the woman next to me. We decided it as hers by default.

  • Ripple June 6, 2018, 9:56 am

    I recently caught an episode of “Four Weddings” where the brides-to-be took part in the bouquet toss at two of the weddings, and actually caught the bouquet each time! Talk about nerve.

    Isn’t there something about getting/doing a superstition once is good luck, but multiple times negates that luck?

  • Princess Buttercup June 6, 2018, 10:25 am

    The bouquet toss never really bothered me. It’s a fun game just for the amusement of it. So I don’t know why so many are so bitter about it.
    When I was younger I would join the group but make no attempt to grab it. Still remember one wedding where as the bride was getting ready to toss, the groom was in front of her directing her towards where I was standing. It was purely a joke and I told him “don’t you dare” and laughed.
    At my own wedding I did both tosses just for fun (not superstitious at all) and it was stated that no one had to participate. One person asked if they had to and I said absolutely not, only if you find this fun. What I found kind of funny was my friend (maid of honor that I’m not actually friends with anymore because she still never grew up and stopped always thinking only of herself) brought the guy she was dating and clearly hoped she would catch the bouquet. Instead my sister caught the bouquet and friends boyfriend caught the garter. We took a picture of the “winners” together and friend was standing off to the side the whole time absolutely fuming with envy. It’s just a fun game. No need to get upset or obsessed about it.

    • Queen of Putrescence June 6, 2018, 10:41 am

      I did do the bouquet toss at my wedding. But I was also 23 and the one of the first of my friends to get married. There were probably at least 40 single women on the dance floor for the bouquet toss. If I had gotten married even two years later, I probably would have skipped it since there would have been a much smaller group of single ladies. But it was all in good fun and no one was pressured to join in.

      BTW, the friend that caught the bouquet didn’t get married until at least 12 years after my wedding.

    • Dee June 6, 2018, 11:10 am

      It’s never been tradition here to pair up the catcher of the bouquet with the garter catcher; that’s creepy, and downright gag-inducing if one or both is a child. Pedophiles encourage that sort of thing, why would people at a wedding want to be thought of like that?!? But since I attended my first wedding (too young to remember, and attended many more before I was an adult) the bouquet toss was a chance for a girl to have a bouquet of her own, something lovely from the wedding. That’s it. And the garter didn’t become popular until I was in my teens, nothing salacious at all, just a “toss” for the guys. Lots of fun, nothing more. I really don’t understand the bitterness, either, and not wanting to take the chance to grab a bunch of lovely, free flowers.

      Also, I miss the wedding cake slice, wrapped in a paper doily, to place under my pillow to dream, that night, of the man I will marry. That cake was always really delicious, too, even if you didn’t eat it until many nights (months?) later. Married women slept with that token as well, just because. And nobody grilled anybody over whether they had the dream or not. It was fun to say if you did, and to examine who the person in the dream might be. But just fun, no pressure or meaning otherwise.

      So why throw away fun things in favour of silly stuff that is only a burden, like requiring guests to assume some sort of themed dress code or provide only pre-screened gifts a la the registry? The multiple showers, each with registries, the finest bling and drama that guarantees a wedding party exuding stress and discomfort, these are the trappings of a modern and unfun wedding. A great wedding is where I go to have fun with the people I love, and the others are there to do the same, and the wedding couple encourage that fun instead of worrying about a show and controlling their guests. I miss those weddings, bouquet and garter toss included.

      • Princess Buttercup June 6, 2018, 7:33 pm

        The only under age people that I remember taking part in my toss was my flower girl who was 13. But she was doing it because someone told her to join and she wanted to do whatever she needed to make sure the day was the best for me it could be. I stated to the room that any single ladies _that wanted to participate_ were welcome to come up. No one had to and if I had noticed my flower girl had joined last minute I probably would have told her she didn’t have to be there. But I love her for doing it even though it wasn’t her thing. Honestly she cared more about me than my maid of honor did.

      • theLadyBugg June 7, 2018, 1:06 pm

        Dee, seems to me a very interesting assumption that someone giving up the “fun traditions” like bouquet tosses must be replacing them with more recent (and in your opinion, worse) inflictions on their guests. The last paragraph of your post implies that any bride eschewing this tradition that *you* enjoy but she clearly doesn’t must also be demanding multiple showers, guests in costume, and meticulous control over every detail – I don’t think any of these things are related to each other in the least, and the forced correlation would be insulting if it weren’t so ridiculous.

    • Lauren June 6, 2018, 3:53 pm

      You don’t see how people are bitter about this? Ok, let me break it down for you.

      It’s degrading towards women (add in the garter, where some guy gets to put his hands up your dress and it’s off-the-charts degrading toward women) and most people I know have been forced (not asked, forced) to take part.

      You don’t know any shy people? Picture a shy person with social anxiety in a room full of strangers being dragged out of their chair to take part in this. I have happily never been coerced into participating, even as a child I knew how to say no with conviction.

      But I am bitter about when I was thirteen and just wanted to melt into the background, and I was harassed by a couple of loud mouthed women for not taking part. I’m bitter about watching other people, some who are cripplingly shy, being dragged up to do this, unable to fight the loud-mouths, even as adults. I’m bitter about it because it is silly, and weird to young kids (I honestly thought a good percentage of the adults in my family were insane and ignorant when I was growing up, specifically due to their weird post-wedding rituals).

      Isn’t an important part of etiquette not causing discomfort to other people. This causes discomfort in most people I’ve met (honestly, never heard ANYONE say they liked this little ceremony…some people are indifferent, but I’ve never, ever heard of anyone saying “When’s the bouquet toss! I can’t wait!”), so why not stop annoying people with it?

      • Dee June 6, 2018, 6:28 pm

        What guy is putting his hands up what girl’s dress?!? It’s the groom who takes it off the bride, and then it’s thrown. That’s it. I don’t know what tradition you’re referring to but it’s not what I’ve ever seen in terms of the garter. And I’ve never seen anyone be forced, pushed, coerced or even asked to be in the pool of catchers for either the bouquet or garter. The DJ/MC announces the item is about to be thrown, gather ’round ladies/gents, and that’s it. Whoever wants to be in the crowd is free to be there, and whoever doesn’t is free to sit down.

        What kind of weddings do you go to? If I had family/friends like you describe I wouldn’t invite them to a wiener roast, never mind a wedding – I’d find better people to hang around with. I just can’t believe everybody (in the States? Is that where you are?) is a complete moron, but if it’s true, then I am very sorry for you that it’s so bad there. But I’ve never heard of any of what you describe happening here in Canada. Why on earth would anyone hold a wedding with such a lousy bunch of jerks in attendance? I think everyone here would elope if things started to look like that, and I don’t think it would come to that, as I just can’t imagine the general population acting like that. It’s just not what people do, at least not here.

        And people DO want the traditional things at weddings, at least here, including the garter/bouquet toss. It’s fun. That’s all.

        • admin June 6, 2018, 8:51 pm

          It’s pretty standard that the DJ will lead the bouquet/garter toss which then transitions into this perverse “game” of the garter catcher putting it on the leg of the bouquet catcher. She sits in a chair, the garter catcher kneels and puts the garter on her leg meanwhile the DJ is egging the crowd on saying that for every inch above her knee he places it, it’s ten years of good luck for the newlyweds. I’ve told women for decades to kick the guy in the groin if he goes too far.

          • kingsrings June 6, 2018, 10:27 pm

            Wow….I’ve been to many weddings and I’ve never, ever seen that occur.

          • jazzgirl205 June 6, 2018, 11:04 pm

            I have never seen the garter catcher put the garter on the bouquet catcher. Ever. So this is a tradition at some weddings? It sounds awfully low class.

          • admin June 7, 2018, 12:13 am
          • staceyizme June 8, 2018, 9:55 am

            Yikes! They look as if they are kind of enjoying it, but SO awkward! And some of the events look like they were on the formal side. Is that really what they want the contents of their memories to be after expending so much time, energy and money to celebrate?

          • Dee June 7, 2018, 12:18 am

            That’s disgusting. How could anyone want that at their wedding?!?

          • admin June 7, 2018, 12:29 am

            People think it’s expected and unless told otherwise DJs will orchestrate this. I walked up to one DJ’s table after a particularly bad example of this, asked him for his business card which he happily gave me until I told him that I needed it to remind me to never recommend him to any of my clients.

            I did see one of the one of the most creative responses to this. The bouquet and garter catchers were caught off guard by the DJ directing them to put garter on the young woman’s leg. The young man stretched that garter as far apart as he could with his two hands, approached her looking away and “popped” the garter on her foot. The woman’s boyfriend then approached the garter catcher as if defending his girlfriends’s honor and, entirely impromptu, the two men engaged in a slow motion “fight”. The observant DJ quickly put on “Kung Fu Fighting”. It was hilarious.

          • Miss R June 7, 2018, 7:30 am

            At one wedding, my 8-y-o- stepson caught the garter and the bride’s 70-something aunt caught the bouquet. Quickest garter installation EVER.

          • at work June 13, 2018, 10:23 am

            I am glad I have never seen this re-application of the garter. ICK

      • Princess Buttercup June 6, 2018, 7:38 pm

        Calm down Bitter Betty. Just because you don’t enjoy something doesn’t mean no one else is allowed to. That’s some toxic thinking there. Let people have fun. If it’s not fun for you then say “no thanks” and remove yourself from the situation if needed be. Don’t have to be so hostile about people having fun.

        • kingsrings June 6, 2018, 10:28 pm

          And you don’t have to be so hostile and judgmental towards people who don’t like the tosses.

      • Princess Buttercup June 6, 2018, 7:40 pm

        Oh and by the way, I had multiple people ask me at my wedding when we were going to do the bouquet toss. I’ve also seen many other brides be asked that by eager guests. Some that even state something like “ok, I just don’t want to miss it”.

        • Lauren June 7, 2018, 6:33 am

          Sorry, but I still think it’s trashy and odd.

          I’ve gone to sooooo many weddings. I haven’t seen drunk people, bouquet/garter foolishness, loud-mouths ordering people around, or brides getting fed cake in quite a while, and I am extremely thankful.

  • Bada June 6, 2018, 10:28 am

    At my wedding we skipped the boutinere (Ick) and no one was coerced to go up for the bouquet toss. However, I hit my target with the bouquet and she sidestepped it. Person2 snatched it up… I may have taken it back to give to Target…blushing now…

  • Abcde June 6, 2018, 10:30 am

    My MOTHER (divorced) got up to catch the bouquet at my wedding (voluntarily!). I didn’t realize until I saw the pictures. Gag.

  • lakey June 6, 2018, 10:39 am

    “and when she still failed to catch the toss she ripped it out of the hands of the SIL.

    The kicker is, this woman has been engaged for a few years to her partner of 5+ years, and this is her 7th bouquet toss win, most of those occurring after her engagement. Later on, when I was offered a centerpiece as a thank you for helping with that small part of the ceremony, she gave me a filthy look and made a huffy noise.”

    What I don’t understand is why people continue to invite someone like this to anything, much less their wedding. Also, one of my pet peeves is people who go crazy at the idea of getting something for free. If she wants a centerpiece that badly, she can buy one.

  • Mom'salwaysright! June 6, 2018, 10:39 am

    My daughter did something different at her wedding. Her actual bouquet was handmade with ribbon flowers and her grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s jewelry and not suitable for tossing. For the bouquet toss, she used a large bouquet of two dozen long stemmed roses. All women present, regardless of marital status or age, were invited to participate. When she turned her back for the toss, she quickly untied the ribbon holding the roses together, and when she tossed it, roses flew everywhere. It was a fun surprise for the guests, didn’t single anyone out, and no brawling.

  • CW June 6, 2018, 10:47 am

    I have always hated the bouquet toss. I have spent several receptions standing way in the back of all the women when literally dragged to participate and walking away as soon as the bride turned her back. Hubs and I agreed not to even have a bouquet or garter toss at our wedding and no one even asked about it.

    • Ange June 7, 2018, 12:50 am

      Same. I didn’t even have a bouquet to toss but nobody missed it that was for sure.

  • JD June 6, 2018, 11:18 am

    This woman sounds like a bitter wannabe bride who’s hoping a bouquet will do what apparently she cannot – get that boyfriend to the altar.
    She’s been at six weddings before this? I can’t believe people keep inviting her.

  • caverat June 6, 2018, 12:04 pm

    I can’t get behind hating the bouquet toss for the pure and simple reason that I like flowers and I want them. Prophetically, well, I only ever caught the bouquet once, my now-husband picked up the garter out of pity and the couple was divorced within half a year. No way am I making a portent out of that one! Still, after seeing it, I suggested my best friend do the longest married and I never had a toss of my own – like I said, I want my danged flowers! Plus I’d picked a bouquet with some plants I could grow, so of course I needed to keep it anyway.
    Pushing people out of the way is so classless. I can’t imagine how they don’t realize that’s all anyone will remember them for. How embarrassing and in the case of the OP’s story, sadly desperate sounding.

    • Devin June 6, 2018, 3:16 pm

      In weddings where they do the bouquet and garter toss, after they are done both items go back to the bride and groom. Many brides dry or preserve all or part of their bouquet, plus some bouquets are very expensive and include crystals or other non-replaceable items. Several of my friends used the bouquet to sneak in their something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and in more than one case either needed to return the borrowed item or they use a family heirloom as part of the handle.

      • Girlie June 6, 2018, 3:46 pm

        Many florists offer the option of doing a small toss bouquet so that the bride can keep her original bouquet in good shape without having to worry about any of the flowers or other decorations getting damaged if she does throw it.

        I opted for a toss bouquet, but chose to bequeath it to the longest-married woman at the wedding and then gave the happy couple the chance to offer any words of advice for the bride and groom if they wanted. They loved it. My husband’s aunt who received it had flown from out-of-state despite just finishing up a round of chemo treatments, and was so moved that she was in tears. It would have broken my heart to ask for my bouquet back, so I was glad I’d purchased two!

      • Queen of Putrescence June 6, 2018, 3:54 pm

        My florist made a up a “throw” bouquet for me so I had something other than my bridal bouquet to throw. It was actually so pretty I almost didn’t want to give it away.

      • AFS June 6, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Generally these days the florist will throw in (pardon the pun) a toss bouquet for free with the rest of the wedding package. That bouquet is smaller and less ornate than the actual bridal bouquet. Beyond any sentimental accoutrements, the bridal bouquet tends to weigh upwards of five pounds. That could seriously clunk someone in the head once it gains momentum from the throw. 🙂

      • Mom'sAlwaysRight! June 6, 2018, 4:10 pm

        Most brides don’t throw their actual bouquet, and most of the florists, at least those I’m familiar with, include a special “throw away” bouquet for the bride to toss, often as a no-charge bonus to the bridal floral package they purchase. Then the bride doesn’t need to worry about getting treasured heirlooms back, her bouquet isn’t damaged in the tussle, and no one gets hit in the head by crystals or a handle. Most of the bride’s bouquets I’ve seen recently are very large and there’s no way I’d launch any of them into a crowd. At my sister’s wedding 40 years ago, her bouquet was attached to an heirloom prayer book, so she tossed my maid of honor bouquet instead.

      • ladyv21454 June 6, 2018, 4:45 pm

        I’ve also been to weddings where the bride had an extra bouquet made – similar in style to her own, but much smaller – to be used for the bouquet toss. The bride gets to keep her bouquet, the “catcher” gets some flowers, and everyone is happy.

      • Dee June 7, 2018, 12:16 am

        I don’t know of a wedding where there wasn’t a second, smaller bouquet (in the same style as the bride’s one) made up just for throwing. Had it at my wedding 30+ years ago. I’ve never seen the bride throw her own. The catchers of both the bouquet and garter keep them as souvenirs of the wedding.

        • caverat June 9, 2018, 1:07 pm

          I know all about the toss bouquet. I also know what a colossal waste of money wedding flowers are. ALL I purchased were 3 bouquets and 2 corsages. The rest we bought at the grocery store and made our own centerpieces with. All bouquets were small. No way on earth a sensible florist would have given me a free toss bouquet as well for how little I spent. Also we only had 34 guests. There might have been one person there not married already. I wouldn’t have tossed it anyway.

  • BagLady June 6, 2018, 8:32 pm

    A few years ago I attended a wedding that was about as non-traditional as they come. When the MC announced a garter toss, we all looked at one another like, “Huh?” The newlyweds were the last people we would expect to participate in such a thing.

    As it turned out, the garter toss consisted of the newlyweds going around with bags full of garters and tossing them to the (seated) guests! It was a hoot! Somewhere on the Internet there is still a photo of me wearing one of these garters on my head like a crown and doing the Miss America wave. A 20-something male guest at my table scored two or three of them and put them on his arms, all the while grinning like a fool.

    OP’s “friend” sounds like one of those annoying people who just has to win every competitive thing she’s in. The bouquet toss stopped being about “whoever catches it will be the next to get married” when they started letting little girls participate. If there must be a bouquet and/or garter toss because it’s expected in a particular family/friend circle, why not open them up to all genders, ages and marital statuses? The catcher gets a nice souvenir of the wedding, nothing more.

    I do like the “exploding bouquet” a PP described. It has me hearing Oprah in my head: “You get a rose! You get a rose! Everybody gets a rose!”

    • JennyM June 9, 2018, 8:58 pm

      Now that’s a garter toss I can get behind! I normally think garter-tossing is really tacky, but I love that idea. Those newlyweds sound like a fun couple.

  • staceyizme June 6, 2018, 10:00 pm

    Most of us could manage very well without a bouquet toss or a garter toss, especially when some people have questionable judgement. Is it even reasonable to “toss” a bouquet that you want a specific person to catch? This kind of reminds me of some of the less appealing baby shower games that are done and belongs, in my view, in the nuisance category of activities for special occasions.

  • kingsrings June 6, 2018, 10:22 pm

    I personally can’t stand bouquet tosses and refuse to participate in them anymore. The root of this tradition just puts a lot of people in an awkward position. Thankfully, I’ve never witnessed any mad fights for the bouquet at any weddings I’ve attended, but I’m astounded by the videos and photos I’ve seen of such. What the heck gets into some people that they act like uncivilized animals??
    As for garter tosses, I think they’re tacky and inappropriate. And at one of the last weddings I attended, the bride’s preteen son caught the garter! He jumped right out in front of all the men to catch it. There were already a lot of awkward moments at that wedding because of other reasons, and that very awkward moment was the kicker.

  • Wendy June 7, 2018, 5:05 am

    I had a bouquet toss, but had a tie around mine so that when I tossed the bouquet fell apart and everyone got a flower

  • Dippy June 7, 2018, 8:37 am

    I will be married 27 years in July, we had the Sweetheart Dance (with apron) bouquet toss, garter toss, (no “reapplication” as the catcher was a minor) and the groom and his groomsmen danced in their boxers to Macho Man.

    Classy, probably not. Fun? Completely.

    • Celestia June 7, 2018, 7:25 pm

      What’s a Sweetheart Dance?

      • Dippy June 8, 2018, 12:38 pm

        Generally, the women in the bride’s family will lead the bride to the dance floor and take off her veil and put an apron on her, sometimes it’s covered in little plastic babies. LOL. Then the groom comes up and they dance together to the song Let Me Call You Sweetheart while everyone circles around them. Sometimes they leave off the apron part. Its old fashioned, but sweet, in a way.

        Sometimes it’s followed by the Dollar Dance, but I didn’t have one.

  • Moose June 7, 2018, 8:49 am

    At my wedding 13 years ago (I am now divorced), I did a bouquet toss, but not the traditional one. I made 12 toss bouquets out of my left over silk flowers (I didn’t have real flowers at my wedding — I know that is seen as tacky by some but I was trying to save money and allergies lol). I also made necklaces which I attached to the bouquets. Then at the wedding, I invited all women — young, old, married, single, engaged, attached, whatever — up and tossed out my 12 toss bouquets. About 3 years ago, one of the ladies who caught one told me she still had the necklace I had made. 🙂

  • BeachMum June 7, 2018, 10:06 am

    I got married when I was in my 30’s, so there weren’t many single ladies left and those that were didn’t want to be paraded in front of everyone to catch some flowers. Instead of a bouquet, I carried the bible that my mother carried, wrapped in ribbon and flowers.

    The only person who was disappointed I didn’t do a bouquet toss was my photographer, but he was upset about a lot of things we didn’t do, so his opinion didn’t count. (We didn’t cut the cake for photos, DH wouldn’t lift me up for a photo, we laughed through the formal photos, etc.) The photos were fine, but I never hired him again.

  • Galahad June 7, 2018, 6:25 pm

    I have a cute garter toss story… no comments for OP, however.

    At my SIL’s marriage, for the garter toss all the bachelors lined up and the groom had a bad throw. (elastic snap) It flew nearly 90′ from the direction he intended. and landed on my 10 month old crawling son that I had let move around at the side of the room.

    !! very cute and a great memory.

  • NostalgicGal June 8, 2018, 12:28 am

    I did not carry anything, I did not have a garter, and my wedding went off fine without either. Do what you want at your wedding and if you think you’ll have a bouquet brat, skip that part… and probably watch them lose it because you didn’t.

  • CrochetTouche June 9, 2018, 2:47 am

    As we were one of the last couples in our friend group to get married, I opted not to do a bouquet toss. I knew my handful of single friends and relatives wouldn’t enjoy being trotted out. We got quite a few thank yous for it.
    We never even considered a garter toss. Just not our style.
    Instead, we did an “anniversary dance” that immediately followed our first dance. The band encouraged all couples into the dance floor and asked them to leave if they haven’t been together 5,10,15, etc years. In the end, some family friends won the day with 50+ years.
    She took my mother aside later to tell her how special it made her feel to be recognized and how nice it was to actually get her husband onto the dance floor for more than a minute!
    We made some unconventional choices with our day, but we really did it all with an eye to our guests’ comfort and enjoyment first.

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