In It to Win It

With the exception of a handful of rogue weddings, the nuptial celebrations I’ve attended as an adult have NOT included the tossing of the bouquet. At one of the aforementioned affairs, I didn’t get anywhere near the thing. I caught it at another — mainly because my aunt winged it right at my head. At yet another, I actually did catch it, but then I tossed it covertly to the woman standing next to me and she was more than happy to have it.

As I’ve gotten older, there have typically been less and less single ladies on the floor when the bride has decided to toss the bouquet. You get the teenage girls, the older widows, the “cougars,” and the small group of single, of-marriageable age women. Sometimes you can see the horror and mortification in these ladies’ eyes as their friends and relatives elbow them onto the parquet when the DJ announces the impending toss.

Of course, some women are into the whole game. Really into it. Some even want to nab that bunch of blooms so badly that they’re willing to commit bodily assault to get it! This how-to from Howcast is meant to be humorous (I hope) but I’ve known a chick or two who would treat this as deadly serious advice.

I’d advise taking an entirely different approach to the bouquet. Step 1: Before the wedding, ascertain whether your group of friends has any interest in the outdated tradition. If not, proceed to Step 2: Approach the bride-to-be to determine whether she’s thinking of tossing the bouquet. If she is, proceed to Step 3: Threaten to take her future husband hostage if she won’t agree to scrap the idea. If she procures another fiancée, proceed to Step 4: Strap yourself to your seat when the MC announces it’s tossing time.

13 Responses to “In It to Win It”

  1. Melissa B. August 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    Another gracious way out: find a little girl and let her catch the bouquet. At one wedding in which I was a bridesmaid, none of us single gals wanted to make a spectacle of ourselves so we encouraged the 7 year old flower girl to jump for the bouquet. She caught it and was so thrilled with her pretty flowers!

  2. blablover5 August 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    Or you could give it to the next person who is gonna get married, IE if you have a recently engaged friend or the like.

    I was dragged to the floor once by my friends who thought it was hilarious but in the end the flower girl caught it.

  3. Evie August 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    I caught many a bouquet as a little girl at family weddings, and was quite pleased with myself. Only later did I realize that my older female relatives had taken the more dignified way out and done exactly what you’ve described, Melissa B :)

    Personally, I think it’s kind of a silly tradition and don’t plan on doing it, but it’s nowhere near as icky as the garter toss so I’m not personally offended by it. On the other hand, I’ve never attended a wedding as a single adult female and had to suffer through the embarrassment of the whole thing…

  4. Twistie August 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    I guess I’m behind the times, because I still enjoy the bouquet and garter toss, so long as they are handled with some semblance of dignity.

    Of course, I’ve never been in a Death Match for flowers, nor have I watched grooms remove garters from upper thighs with their teeth.

    I say if the bride and groom wish to toss flowers and/or garters into the audience, they are certainly free to do so. The fact that they do, though, does not obligate any single person to participate in trying to catch them. One can always be too engrossed in conversation with someone fascinating or need to visit the ladies’ room until the danger is past.

  5. class-factotum August 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    I had the horror of being forced onto the floor for the toss, which I was unlucky enough to catch. That wasn’t so bad — it was having to grit my teeth while the guy who had caught the garter — and whom I had never met before — put the garter on my leg. I had never heard of that tradition and thought they were joking when they told me I had to let some stranger touch my limbs. I would have refused had I known how to do so graciously, but I was so surprised and appalled that I submitted in numb disbelief. I have since made sure to steer clear of the flower toss. I never want to be in that situation again.

  6. Melissa B. August 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    class-factotum, how icky! You poor thing. My fiancé and I are skipping the garter toss -like you, I’m not wild about a crowd of people witnessing me being felt up. Instead I’m considering getting both genders involved in the bouquet toss. Our single male pals are goofballs, I think they might be into it.

  7. Jane Canuck August 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    At one of the “adult” weddings I went to, the bride gave her bouquet to the couple in attendance who had been married the longest. I thought it was a much classier option and actually kind of sweet. I think I’d go for this in lieu of throwing a bouquet when the time comes and forget about the garter toss all together. I’ve never been fond of either at weddings.

    ~ Jane

  8. JR August 26, 2008 at 8:01 am #

    Having just recently attended a wedding which included a bouquet toss, I really was not fond of the badgering all the single young women (including myself) received to make us get out on the floor for it. Any pictures of the event will show about half the group leaning away from the bouquet and the other half making only half-hearted attempts to catch it.

  9. Maggie August 26, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    I’ve actually been thinking about having a bouquet toss at my wedding. But if I do it, I want to do it right: with a trebuchet. Let’s see how far we can fling that sucker!

  10. Colleen August 26, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    I’m also doing the anniversary dance, as every wedding I’ve been to with a flower toss has been a group of ladies pressing to the back of the hall to try and stay as far away from the damn thing as possible. Although the trebuchet idea would probably win favor with my engineer father.

  11. Tizzy August 27, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    When I was 8 I was knocked to the floor in the bouquet toss at my cousin’s wedding. I immediately developed an irrational hatred of the tradition.

    I’d say about half the weddings I’ve been to had the bouquet toss but only one had the garter toss. I can’t understand why anyone thinks it’s approriate to throw underwear at a wedding.

    -Tizzy, who is apparently rather cranky about the whole concept.

  12. Roya August 27, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    I have always been kind of fond of it (I’ve never caught it though, even when my aunt threw it at me.) The garter thing is disgusting, but the bouquet toss can be nice

  13. Sarah August 31, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    I flat out refuse to participate in the bouquet toss, on either end. At a wedding I attended recently, the bouquet was caught by one of the bride’s friends, who a little drunk, immediately sent it winging back at the bride. Awkward. Makes me wonder why she was there to catch it in the first place!