LOVE/HATE: The Stand-In Edition

It never occurred to me to carry anything other than my choreography notes at my wedding rehearsal. Yes, I was that bride-to-be, with the list of who was to stand where and enter when, plus who exactly needed to remember what. I’m thorough, or at least I thought I was. Apparently, according to some sources, I ought to have been carrying a rehearsal bouquet made of all the ribbons that graced the gifts I opened at my bridal shower. Oops?

I was fully aware of the bridal shower paper plate hat tradition, even if I ended up with a ribbon-covered sombrero because the Mexican restaurant where my bridal shower was held didn’t have any paper plates. No one offered to whip me up a post-shower bouquet and it never struck me to desire one. In fact, I’d never even seen one at a rehearsal or in rehearsal pictures, so at the time I wasn’t even aware that a bride-to-be might carry bows and ribbons in place of an actual bouquet (or anything at all) at the rehearsal.

Ribbon bouquet

But apparently they do, or some do, somewhere. I know from having seen a friend’s sister whip up a ribbon hat that some ladies have the skills to pay the bills where bridal shower novelty headgear is concerned, so I can say that I’m fairly sure one could make a rather nice looking bouquet provided that shower guests did not decorate their gifts with anemic, oddly-colored ribbons. Those brides-to-be who have not yet had their bridal showers AND love the bouquet stand-in idea should point their MOHs toward some of the ribbon bouquet tutorials out there:

So ribbon rehearsal bouquets… I don’t love the idea or hate the idea. I guess I feel kind of lukewarm about it. What say you? Do you plan to carry a ribbon bouquet during your rehearsal? Have you even ever heard of this?

11 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The Stand-In Edition”

  1. Twistie says:

    I’ve heard of it, but didn’t do it. Like you, I found my notes quite enough to handle during the rehearsal. What other brides choose is between them and their gods.

    For me, this one goes firmly in the ‘I honestly don’t give a hoot’ file.

  2. MET says:

    We did this at my friend’s shower, and there was enough ribbon to do bouquets for all 8 bridemaids too. It was fun and worked well because there were a lot of presents and most of them were wrapped with lots of ribbon. At another shower, people mostly brought gifts in bags, making it hard to produce a bouquet.
    As a bridesmaid, I liked having them at the rehearsal because it made us aware of having a bouquet and what we would need to do with them at various points in the ceremony.

  3. libbyblue says:

    my fiance’s ex-wife carried one out in the midwest. i currently have no idea what kind of shower, if any, i’m having, so i don’t know what my sister’s going to do. when i was moh at a friend’s wedding, i just did the hat.

  4. Kai Jones says:

    I hate it, along with the “first words you say as you open each gift are what you’ll say on your wedding night” and “how many ribbons you break is how many children you’ll have.” I’m not superstitious and you can be happy and have lots of fun without being undignified. All these things have always seemed to have an undertone of meanness when I’ve observed them happening.

  5. Ashley says:

    I’m surprised that this isn’t a universal thing. This has been one of those little funky/fun traditions at every wedding I’ve been a part of. I’m in Phoenix – and we don’t have many “local” traditions here since everybody is from somewhere else.

    I imagine I’ll do it just because it’s a harmless little tradition. My wedding is pretty non-traditional but it would seem weird or forced if i tried to do without this one.

  6. daisyj says:

    So, what’s the over-under on how long it will take a vendor to come up with a $500 custom version (in your wedding colors, natch) for those brides who wouldn’t dream of being seen with a tacky, home-made ribbon bouquet? Because, after all, it’s the day before the happiest day of your life; shouldn’t everything be perfect?

    I give it a week and a half.

  7. KTB says:

    I did this–it was really the only “traditional” bridal shower game I played. My sister dutifully whipped up a “bouquet” from the ribbons and a paper plate, and someone actually reminded me to bring it to the rehearsal. I thought it was fun, and I have a few silly pictures of me holding it.

    I’m actually more surprised by the notes than the bouquet–I thought I was pretty thorough, but maybe not!

  8. 7nina says:

    I’ve seen this done a lot. In fact, I’ve never seen the hat!

  9. Mary says:

    My sister made a ribbon bouquet for me to hold at the rehearsal. She looked it up on Martha Stewart (completely out of character for my sister) and worked hard on it. She was furious when her husband deleted the only photo of me holding it from his camera. My in-laws didn’t take any pictures of me at the rehearsal, and no one else on my side had a camera. I appreciate her effort, but it didn’t make much of a difference to me. And the owner of the venue was telling everyone where to stand, which was fine with me, so I didn’t have a list to hold.

  10. La BellaDonna says:

    I think the one shown is pretty, and might be a fun memento. As I am a (daily) hat-wearer and known milliner, I got drafted for a friend’s shower; I wound up making and dressing a very pretty hat in the bride’s wedding colours, something she could attach the package ribbons to that would actually look attractive, and be a wearable memento with or without the shower ribbons. The bride was also a hat-wearer, and appreciated the hat (and hatbox).

    Something to think about: if you don’t want to wear a paper plate on your head, at least bring to your shower your own pretty, cheap straw hat that the ribbons can be attached to; straw hats can be found at craft stores cheaply enough, if you’re not a regular hat-wearer, and may make you much happier with your shower pictures.

  11. Annie G. says:

    I had a ribbon bouquet, but not a hat– and indeed, I have never heard about the hat tradition!

    My understanding was the bride uses the ribbon bouquet to practice when and how to pass off the real bouquet to her MOH (or other person) during the service. So it’s (almost) practical!