To help me figure out how to handle this tradition at my own wedding – whether I should include it, call up only the unmarried women, invite all the ladies to take part, or even give the bouquet away as a prize during the anniversary dance – I turned to my most treasured confidants in all things wedding-related and in many areas of my life overall – my bridesmaids.
I guess I should have known that a couple of the things I love most about my girls – their uniqueness and strong opinions – would result in very different views! Here’s what they each had to say.
I love the bouquet toss! It gives single women like myself that magical, fairytale hope that someone is out there for us, and that one day, we will be able to feel how the bride feels at her wedding. It symbolizes “our turn,” and since the married women have already had their “turn,” they should step back and let us single ladies have a chance. I definitely don’t feel uncomfortable during the toss.
I love the bouquet toss, and like it even better when people fight. (Maybe not “fight,” but at least a good-natured tussle.) I like that it’s tradition. I like the sheepish grins and bad jokes everybody makes as they stand around. I like the very little girls who take it so seriously. I love it when the bride throws the bouquet so hard it hits the ceiling and misses the crowd. For your bouquet toss, I think it should be open to all women and be “for good luck.” That keeps enough of the original meaning, but makes it less embarrassing.
Of the tosses I’ve seen, young girls seem to be the most excited about catching the flowers, while young women in their teens and twenties seem especially shy. And single middle-aged and older women sometimes refuse to participate. I, for one, have avoided catching the bouquet by allowing a hyper 6-year-old to jump in my way.
From my understanding, the tradition is that the woman who catches the bouquet is the next woman to get married. So, I think it makes sense for only non-married women to participate.
As for me, I’m leaning toward taking Ellen’s advice and doing a “good luck” toss that includes all the ladies at the party, whether young or old, as Martina MacBride’s uplifting song “This One’s for the Girls” plays in the background.
What do you think? Are you doing a bouquet toss or giveaway at your wedding? How will you do it, and who will you include? Let me know, because I’m still open to more fun ideas!
(Photo Credits: Wedding Aces & Jennifer S Rau Photography)