Alternatives to Tossing the Bridal Bouquet

tossing the bouquetThe tradition of throwing the bouquet is a bit uncertain with both England and France laying claim to the beginning of this custom.

Whichever country it originated from the belief is that during the 14th century the custom of ‘bedding the bride’, where the wedding guests would accompany the newlyweds to their matrimonial chamber, is thought to be the reason behind the throwing of the bride’s bouquet.

‘Toss the stocking’ was held within the chamber by invading groomsmen who would steal the bride’s stocking and take it in turns to throw the stocking over the heads of the newlyweds from a sitting position at the end of the matrimonial bed. The notion was that if the stocking landing on the groom’s head the thrower would be next to marry.

Brides Objected bouquet

Many brides objected strongly to this tradition feeling it was both humiliating and embarrassing and over the years throwing the stocking disappeared and was replaced by the garter and bouquet toss.

Another belief, albeit very similar, was that it was considered very lucky to obtain a piece of the bride’s clothing and guests could at times get carried away with their grabbing at the brides wedding dress to gain what they could.

Brides did not wholly object to this custom as they believed they would not wear the dress again, however the physical roughness of some guests led them to look for alternatives. This could have also been the start of the tradition of the garter throw.

Brides therefore began to throw their bouquet at the guests, before running off and saving themselves from being manhandled.

Tradition soon eveolved into into the wedding bouquet becoming a symbol of goog luck and the herbs that were placed within the flowers were believed to bring good fortune, health and long-life to anybody who was lucky enough to catch it.

Single females who attending weddings soon began the ‘fight’ to catch the bride’s bouquet in the hope they would be the one to get married next.

Today’s Modern Bride

Wedding bouquets have come a long way since the handpicked wild flowers and herbs of yesteryear. Small fortunes are paid for beautiful displays of flowers which every bride gives a great deal of thought to choosing. Some brides can find it quite daunting to think that they have to ‘throw’ them away.

Many brides are looking for alternative ways to still keep the tradition of the flowers alive at their wedding but at the same time able to take their wonderful bouquet home as a keepsake of their special day.

Some Ideas for Brides

bridal autmn bouquetToss Bouquet for the single females can be used instead. This can be made in the same style as the bride’s flowers but smaller.

Wish Come True Bouquet Toss. All the women, single or married are invited to take part and whoever catches is given a wish.

Fortune Bouquet Toss. This one is becomng a firm favourite where several small bunches of flowers are held together looking like one big bouquet and when it is thrown they separate and instead of just one person being lucky there are several. On each bunch a handwritten fortune or a love quote is attached, or if feeling generous you could attach gift cards, vouchers or lottery tickets.

Longest Married Bouquet Toss. All those that are married are invited onto the dance floor where a countdown of years in marriage is held while they are dancing. Those married less than 5 years will then sit back down, then less than 10 years to leave and so on until the couple married the longest is left dancing and they are awarded with the bouquet.

Bridesmaids Bouquet can be used to throw instead of yours if your bridesmaid has no objections and does not wish to keep the bouquet.

Single Flower from your bouquet can be taken out and thrown.

Hand Picked fresh flowers from your own or parents back garden and held together with a contrasting ribbon.

Dried Rose Petals can be used or placed inside a hanging balloon and when released will scatter into the females gathered below.

Giving Away Your Bouquet without Throwing

autmun flowersSome brides may just not want to throw their bouquet for various reasons – they may feel it is to precious to want to give away.

Some brides’ today want to pass on their bouquet but in more of a ‘refined’ manner as not only can it give the implication that single women are willing to fight one another to be the next one married but it has been known for some to get hurt in the scuffle and those too shy to jump and catch the flowers tend to stand back and really do not get the chance.

Some ideas of giving away your bouquet are:

Split it in half and give to mother and new mother-in-law.

All single women form a circle with the bride blindfolded in the middle. While the bride turns in one direction the women hold hands and turn in the opposite direction. When the music stops the bride reaches out and gives her bouquet to the woman directly in front of her. (This is the custom in Finland).

Gather all married women and whoever has been married the longest present her with the bouquet.

Dedicate the bouquet to a loved one who is no longer with you. Your bouquet with a picture can be placed on a table and either you or a designated person can lay the flowers at the graveside the next day.

It's Just a Tradition

Wedding traditions have been around for hundreds of years. Most are made out of superstition and old wives tales and through the years although somehow the same they have changed to fit in with today’s style of living.

There are no hard and fast rules that say today’s bride has to follow the custom and in fact the new fashion of traditions that are appearing at weddings are becoming very popular – after all traditions have to start somewhere!

It’s your wedding, your bouquet and your wishes that count on what you do with your flowers – so enjoy whatever it is your choose!