Wedding Bouquet Toss Traditions

Weddings are a joyous celebration of love and commitment, brimming with age-old traditions that have been passed down through generations. Among these cherished customs is the widely beloved wedding bouquet toss. 

This article delves into the fascinating origins and evolution of the wedding bouquet toss. We will explore its roots in the past and share its current modern alternatives that keep this tradition from going out of fashion.

Bride holding bridal bouquet above her head with ladies standing behind her ready to catch the bouquet

What is a Bouquet Toss?

The bouquet toss is a time-honored tradition during the wedding reception. It is a playful and exciting moment where the bride tosses her bouquet over her shoulder toward a group of unmarried female guests. The belief is that the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married. This lighthearted custom adds fun and laughter to the celebration and symbolizes good fortune and the passing of luck in love from the bride to the lucky recipient.

The History of the Bouquet Toss

Steeped in history, the bouquet toss has evolved over the centuries, becoming an integral part of the modern wedding experience.

The wedding bouquet toss has been a long-standing tradition in Western weddings, dating back to the 14th century. Its rich history has adapted to become the modern bouquet toss we are familiar with today.

In the Middle Ages, fragrant bouquets of herbs and spices played a significant role in wedding ceremonies. Brides would carry aromatic herb bouquets instead of flower arrangements that are more familiar to us today. These bouquets served various purposes, from warding off evil spirits to symbolizing fertility and loyalty. Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, and Dill were common herbs in medieval wedding bouquets. There is evidence that these herbs also played a part in masking body order when showers were not as accessible. 

Historically, touching the bride on her wedding day was considered good luck. However, this tradition could be taken too far by some single women who knew all too well that marriage was their only chance to change their status in life. Desperate single ladies would rip at the bride’s dress, trying to grasp their piece for good luck. To save her dress, the bride would toss the bouquet and run. Leaving the ladies to fight over the bouquet. 

The Modern Bouquet Toss

Although not all modern weddings have continued the bouquet toss tradition, it is still a much-anticipated part of some weddings as part of the evening’s entertainment. 

Typically, the wedding DJ or master of ceremonies will announce the bouquet toss. Inviting all the single ladies(and single men if you choose) to gather on the dance floor. The bride then stands with her back to the group and, often with a countdown or a bit of playful teasing, throws the bouquet into the air. The women eagerly reach out to grab the bouquet, and there’s often a bit of friendly competition involved. The one who catches it is met with cheers and congratulations.

As times evolve, many married couples choose to make the bouquet toss part of their wedding entertainment. Inviting all guests regardless of relationship status, gender, or age—to join in the fun. This is a great way to shift from finding the next bride to sharing good fortune and well-wishes with everyone present. 

Alternatives to the Bouquet Toss

  1. The Friendship Bouquet: In this version, the couple assembles a small bouquet, each representing a friend or family member who has played a significant role in their lives. Instead of tossing the bouquet to predict the next person getting married, the smaller bouquets are thrown to honor those who have supported and loved them throughout their journey.
  2. Breakaway Bouquet: The bride or groom can hold a bouquet of several smaller, individually wrapped bouquets or single flowers. When they toss it, the bouquet breaks apart. This allows multiple guests to catch a piece of the action. 
  3. Wish Bracelets: Replace the bouquet with a collection of wish bracelets. Guests can tie these onto their wrists while making a wish for themselves or the couple. This way, everyone gets home a sweet memento from the wedding.
  4. The Lucky Charm Toss: Couples can opt for a non-floral alternative. A small pouch with lucky charms, tokens, or even gift cards are fun ideas. When tossed, the person who catches it gets to keep the lucky charms and share the good fortune.
  5. Bouquet Ribbon Cutting: During this ritual, the bride holds her bouquet and a pair of scissors while standing in the middle of guests who surround her in a circle. The bouquet has ribbons tied around the flower stems, and guests all hold a loose end or the ribbon. The bride then holds the scissors up and cuts the ribbon in the middle, allowing the ends to fall gracefully on either side of the bouquet. The last ribbon left is the winner of the bouquet.

No matter which version of the modern bouquet toss you choose, the goal is to make the moment fun, inclusive, and memorable for everyone. It’s an excellent opportunity to put your unique spin on a fun wedding tradition. 

Bridal Bouquet Toss – Questions and Answers

Do people still do the bouquet toss?

Many couples choose to include the bouquet toss tradition in their big day. However, this tradition has been adapted to be more inclusive in today’s modern world. If a bride chooses to throw her bouquet, it is often part of the entertainment. You may choose a funny bouquet toss song, inviting all guests are asked to join in. Remember, your wedding day is about what you and your future partner want. So if the traditional bouquet toss is your thing, go for it; it’s your day. 

What bouquet do you toss?

Traditionally the bride threw her bouquet to distract from any desperate single woman ripping at her dress. Today, couples may choose a separate bouquet for the bouquet toss. The bride may want to avoid throwing her bouquet of real flowers. One that they don’t mind being fought over in the tussle to be the lucky winner. 

Is the bouquet toss outdated?

We are all about inclusivity and women’s independence in today’s modern world. This may mean the traditional idea behind the bouquet toss may not sit well with many people. You can still add this tradition to your wedding. You can make it your own in many ways while respecting all your guests. Inviting all single wedding guests to partake, regardless of gender, is a great option. You may also include one of the many alternatives to the bouquet toss found above in this post.

Some couples opt for an anniversary dance where the last remaining couple “wins” the bouquet. Married couples are asked to join the dance floor. The DJ then asks those who have been married for a year, two years, five years, and so on to return to their seats. The last remaining couple, usually an older couple who have been married for some time, are presented with the bouquet. 

When do you do the bouquet toss?

The bouquet toss usually occurs at the reception after all the formalities of speeches, toasts, and the first dance have finished. However, there are no rules, and you can decide when best suits you. 

Who participates in the bouquet toss?

As we have covered earlier, unmarried ladies traditionally would be invited to partake in this tradition. Modern brides preferred to be more inclusive and include their style. If you ask guests to participate, remember that some may be newly single and recovering from heartbreak. Don’t force any guests to partake if they don’t want to. This should be a fun activity that those who wish to join in can do so. 

How much does a bouquet cost?

This will depend on your wedding flower budget. It’s a good idea to sit down with the florist you intend to use and look over the styles of bouquets you like. Size and flower availability will dictate the cost. If you plan to have a second bouquet to toss, ask for a package deal. You may want to avoid throwing your expensive bridal bouquet, so be sure to discuss your options around a second bouquet. Any experienced florist will have a wealth of knowledge about wedding flowers and bouquets. 

When should you order your bouquet?

It would be best to lock in your flower and bouquet arrangements 6 to 9 months before your wedding date. Your florist will know which flowers be in season at that time and help you choose a complimentary bouquet. 

How long is the bouquet toss?

The bouquet toss usually lasts as long as the song you have chosen for the event. Be sure that the DJ announces to the guests that the bouquet toss is coming up and encourages people to make their way to the dance floor if they want to participate. 

Does the person who catches the bouquet get to keep it?

Typically yes, that is the idea behind the bouquet toss. This is why some couples choose to have a throwing bouquet that the bride tosses. 

Suggested Bouquet Toss Songs

Choosing the perfect song for your bouquet toss is a fun way to add a personal touch to this fun tradition. Here are some top songs you could consider using for your bouquet toss. 

  1. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé – A modern classic, this empowering anthem is a favorite among brides and guests alike.
  2. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper – This upbeat, 80s pop hit is perfect for setting a playful and energetic tone during the bouquet toss.
  3. “Girls like you” by Maroon 5 and Cardi b – A fun, catchy tune that will have everyone singing along.
  4. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain – With its confident and sassy vibe, this country-pop hit is an excellent choice for a lively bouquet toss.
  5. “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor – This playful, retro-inspired song is a fun way to get your guests excited for the toss.
  6. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams – This universally loved feel-good song will surely set a joyful mood for the bouquet toss.
  7. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA is a timeless classic; this catchy disco tune is perfect for getting everyone up and dancing.
  8. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – With its infectious beat and funky groove, this song will surely get your guests in the mood to catch that bouquet.
  9. “Love on Top” by Beyoncé – This upbeat, soulful song is perfect for celebrating love and happiness during the bouquet toss.
  10. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston – This iconic 80’s hit will have everyone singing along and feeling the love in the air.
  11. “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child – Although a song about woman’s independence, this could be a funny bouquet toss song choice due to its contradictions. 

Remember, the most important thing is choosing a great song that reflects your personality and sets the tone for a fun and memorable moment. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and choose a song with special meaning for you and your partner.

Bride throwing three bouquets backwards into the air with a cathedral in the background

Final Thoughts

The bouquet toss is a beloved tradition that adds a touch of fun and excitement to any wedding reception. With its rich history and evolution over the centuries, it has become a modern-day staple at many weddings.

You could stick with the traditional bouquet toss or put your spin on it. The goal is to make it inclusive, memorable, and fun for everyone. And with the suggested bouquet toss songs listed above, you can add a personal touch to this time-honored tradition. For more information on the bouquet toss and other wedding traditions, check out some related posts on this site.

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