Origins of the Wedding Bouquet Toss
One of the highlights of a wedding is the bouquet toss. Just like the cake cutting, the first dance, and the best man’s speech, it has become a staple in a wedding programme. The bouquet toss makes for some great wedding photos, but it has an interesting story behind it as well!
Why do weddings have a bouquet toss today?
The origins of the wedding bouquet toss dates back quite a way, and like many wedding traditions tends to hide some of the more ‘sultry’ parts of what a wedding represents.
In Medieval Europe, people considered bridal dresses lucky. Once a ceremony is over, the bride gets to keep the dress and never wears it again. Before this happens, some women who wanted to share in the good luck would chase the bride and try to tear pieces from the dress. By the time the bride manages to get away and join the groom, there would be barely anything left of her attire!
Naturally, weddings that took place in a church, (as most were) tended to view this tradition of deflocking a bride as she exited the church as a little repugnant, so eventually, brides started throwing other things, like her garter and bouquet.
Flowers became a popular item to throw since they represent fertility as well. The recipient of the bouquet is supposed to have romantic good luck from catching the item—they inherit the bride’s fortune in finding someone to wed.
It’s turned out well that the custom developed this way; wedding dresses tend to be expensive, and few women would want to see theirs destroyed. Also, many brides choose to keep their wedding dresses as keepsakes or heirlooms to their children.
Bouquet tosses in today’s ceremonies
Today, the bouquet toss is a fun moment in the wedding ceremony, it tends to be a distracting end to more tearjerking or sentimental formalities to lead into the party! It involves the bride gathering the single ladies in attendance, who will gather a few paces behind her and try to catch the bouquet she throws. It’s an opportunity for the wedding photographer to take dynamic shots. In some weddings, the single men get in on the fun as well with the garter toss.
Sometimes, the bride requests one of her bridesmaids’ bouquet for the toss so she can preserve the flowers in hers, or have a specially made ‘toss bouquet’ for the occasion. Occasionally, brides might throw one made of artificial flowers, or paper so that everyone can keep their bouquets as mementos. Some bouquets can be heavy too, so throwing one into a drunken mass of people can be a recipie for disaster.
Are you ready to throw your bouquet?
If you want to keep this tradition in your programme, make sure you tell your wedding planner or maid of honour. They should inform the MC when to announce bouquet toss, and time it for when people are no longer eating or milling about outside after the meal. Furthermore, it’s vital to keep your wedding photographer aware of the flow of activities so that they can prepare their equipment for each part.
You should also know how to transition the program from the toss into another activity; it will look awkward to move abruptly from the bouquet toss into something else! Since the bridesmaids and single ladies are already front and centre, perhaps you could have them participate in a game, to extend the fun. You could also open the dance floor at this point so everyone can end the evening on a high note.
Today, throwing the bouquet is a fun tradition sure to deliver some laughs, especially among the single women. Be sure to incorporate this activity into the ceremony by prepping the DJ, master of ceremonies, and the photographer properly. Finally, make sure you get a photographer who can capture the event and give you something to look back on fondly.
Everything at a wedding has a tradition steeped in history, and the origins of the wedding bouquet toss is no exception. It can be a bit of fun researching this kind of thing if you’ve ever wondered why we do certain things at times like a wedding!
Weddings are among the most memorable events in a person’s life, and SvenStudios can help you immortalise yours. We work out of Adelaide, specialising in wedding photography all around Australia! Get on an obligation-free video or in-person meeting to discuss your wedding today!