Reasons to Retire the Tradition of Tossing the Bridal Bouquet

This spin-off of an ancient tradition has just got to go

Updated 04/07/17

Photo by Whyman Studios

One of the biggest headaches that is attached to wedding planning is trying to figure out what to do with ancient traditions that no longer carry over to modern times. There are things brides keep at their weddings that have been around since medieval times, and while they don't know the meaning of why people used to do them, they think they have to keep on doing them so that their special day feels like a truly traditional wedding.

One of those things is the bridal bouquet toss, which has become a tradition that people are x'ing out of their wedding celebrations since it can be seen as a rude way to single out single women and can even be quite dangerous.

Since the bouquet toss usually happens toward the end of the night, it can get rowdy, competitive and even bloody if someone reaches too high and elbows someone else along the way or steps on their feet accidentally while running forward toward the bouquet of peonies.

According to ancient wedding lore, women would rip pieces of the bride’s dress to obtain good luck. To escape from the crowd of women, the bride would toss the bouquet and run. The tradition morphed into something that was passed on as a way for a single woman to try and catch the bridal bouquet, so that (the superstition says) she will be next in line to get married. Here is why I think it should go:

It’s Mean

When else in your real life do you gather all of your single friends in a clump and ask them to fight for a golden ticket toward finding love? It’s plain old awkward, embarrassing, and mean for your single pals, especially if almost everyone at your wedding is already married and you only have two or three people on the dance floor trying to catch the bouquet (it happened to me once where I was the only one).

It Ruins Chances

You may think you’re doing your friends a favor when you place a symbol of good luck in their hands, but really, most single guys at the wedding will shy away from the person who caught the bouquet and now has marriage on her brain. Your single friend has better chances of meeting someone at your wedding if she can dance the night away without being known as the one who caught the bouquet.

Replace It With Something Everyone Can Enjoy

There are so many other fun reception events that can replace the bridal toss tradition. How about a conga line or a dance move competition—something that will get all of your guests involved and boogieing?

Jen Glantz is the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the author of the new book Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire). She frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

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