Rethinking The Bouquet Toss


I had previously decided that I would forgo the bouquet toss, for a few reasons.

1. I think it is rude and weird to single out (pun intended, because come on) the unmarried people.

2. My bouquet is made of wire and throwing it at people would be tortious.

But over the weekend I was looking at the proof book for my cousin’s recent wedding. Rocky and Lauren had a very traditional wedding (which I realize sounds like an insult when you say that on a wedding blog, but I don’t mean it as an insult because I’m not cool like that and I’m also not a jerk.) So of course they had the bouquet toss.  And the photos of it are just adorable. And looking at them made me have a pang of… “we should do that.”

Plus there is the fact that I caught the bouquet at my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s wedding, which was awesome. She threw it right at me, but I’m still proud of myself for catching it. And I was so excited and happy. I screamed like a warrior who’d just torn off her opponent’s head with her bare hands. Shouldn’t I pay that joy forward?

And I really want Collin to have to take off my garter with his teeth.

And because I don’t want to take out anyone’s eye…

You can add your own answers to that poll, so if you have a great idea for a thing to toss, please share!


  1. As a single person, but partnered for 7+ years at this point, I haaaate getting up for the bouquet toss. But I think if I didn’t feel obligated to participate (because I don’t want to be a jerk to the couple getting married!), I would enjoy watching them. Maybe you could just say, “Anyone who wants to…” and really stress that?

    • I think it can be more uncomfortable for dating unmarrieds. Because it’s like, “ooh if you catch it he’ll make it official” and you’re like, “I’ll make my own damn life official, thanxmuch.”

  2. Honestly, I think if you’re going to do one, you should do it for the right reasons. Do one because you really think it would be fun and not because it’s a good photo opportunity. Don’t think your wedding will be lacking in the slightest without it. If you feel odd about singling out the unmarried folk, don’t bother. If it feels right to you and to the Mr., do it. If not, forget it. We chose against it for a few reasons and never regretted not doing one.

  3. I was JUST talking about this over in another forum. I had decided not to do it and then remembered how excited my friend was when she caught it at another friend’s wedding, and now I am wondering.

    HOWEVER. I am never one to enjoy a bouquet toss. I always slink to the back of the pack and chat to a fellow single not-fussed-about-the-catch lady whilst the others scream and brandish claws.

  4. For the love of all things, PLEASE don’t do this. I was single until I was 38 years old and EVERY TIME I went to a wedding, it was tortuous. I hid out in the bathroom once and the bride was ticked I wasn’t there, so to make it worse, ANNOUNCED MY NAME REPEATEDLY into the microphone until I showed up. I stood there with about 9 other females, all under the age of 12. I was 30. It was ridiculous and demeaning. Clearly, I have yet to get over it! ☺
    Historically, when women were getting married younger and life itself was more traditional, I think the tossing of stuff was OK. However, there are just so many nuances to partnerships, what it means to be singled/married to some people – it can be insulting to some.
    And yes, it’s your wedding and you should do what you want to do, but I would first consider your guests (you are still the hostess) and make a decision based on your desire to practice the tradition.

    My 2 cents.

  5. I was just reading on some blog about a bouquet toss where they just asked EVERYONE to come out and try and catch the bouquet, and they had some kind of prize that they gave away (like how about a bouquet of scratch tickets)! I wish I could find the site, but the pictures looked AMAZING, with everyone scrambling to get it. That way you get the awesome pictures, no one gets left out, and no one gets hurt.

    • I really love this idea. Being called out as a “single person” when I’ve been in the same committed partnership for seven years makes me crazy, but (as I said below) I love the idea of someone feeling warrior-joy. This seems like the perfect way to go about it without any singling out.

    • Definitely going to strongly consider this! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Sarah for the win!!! Everyone is in involved!!!

  7. I screamed like a warrior who’d just torn off her opponent’s head with her bare hands. Shouldn’t I pay that joy forward?

    Um, yes. I love this!

  8. I LOVE the scratch tickets idea.

    I also have always hated the bouquet toss as a single person. And have been singled out and forced to participate. But scratch tickets where everyone participates, THAT would be fun.

  9. Agree that as long as they’re left to people who want to do it, it’s totally cool. I’m fairly shy in groups, and hate feeling like patriarchal bullsh*t is being forced upon me. And people get bizarrely forceful about “GET UP AND CATCH IT” when we’re all fighting to melt into the background. I love, however, those where they’ve arranged to throw it specifically to someone who wants it. That’s cute and sweet.

    I won’t have one, but you would totally own that sh*t awesomely. And pull it off in a way that made people feel good.

    I want you to take Collin’s garter off with your teeth! ;)

  10. I hate the bouquet toss. Hate hate hate it. I hate it because I was always single at every damn wedding and had no interest in getting married or having it pointed out that I was disappointing my mother and all womanhood. I hated being forced to the front of the room, even when I tried hiding in my seat, because I didn’t really think marriage was the Thing To Aspire To and Grasp For. I hated the cat-fighty female-competition element of it.

    I also think it’s even worse when you’re in your late 20s as opposed to early. If your friends are pushing 30 in any way, please don’t do this to them.

    If you really want a photo op, trust me there will be enough at the wedding. Really and truly. If you want to toss something because it’s fun to throw stuff and battle it out and you’ve enjoyed it… then maybe there’s a better way. Like mentioned above, maybe an everyone-in prize toss. Bag of candy, scratcher tickets, whatever. Something egalitarian and non-single oriented. Because it’s already hard enough being single at a wedding – even if you’re comfortable with it and like hooking up with the single best man, there’s still weird coupley undertones – without getting shoved to the front of a room.

  11. I have always loved the bouquet toss. I’m always the chick trying to get it. I always thought they were fun and silly.

    But then again, I was always in a relationship of some sort. When I was younger, it was totally just fun and I didn’t feel like the implications that you need to get married were directed towards me. Now that I’m in my late 20s, I don’t mind the bouquet toss, because I’m engaged and I know I’m getting married, so again the implications don’t bother me.

    But, I can totally see that some of my single friends in their late 20s or early 30s will feel the pressure heavily. If they aren’t in relationships, it’ll just make them feel like they aren’t part of a club. And many of my friends are getting married now, that the spotlight will shine a lot brighter on the few who aren’t yet so much more than before when there was a big group of us single girls on the dance floor.

  12. I like the “everyone get up” scratch-off idea. I am 31, and one of the last of my friends to get married, so there won’t be many single ladies at my wedding.
    I had a similar experience this weekend; I had always said no to the typical corny dance songs: electric slide, hokey pokey, ymca etc. Then over Easter we were playing w my 4 yo niece and someone put on a cd w those songs and we had a blast dancing to them. So maybe I’m changing my mind? So confused!

  13. I hate the bouquet toss, and the garter toss, and the spectacle that they both are. If you are going to do it, make it a total free-for-all with everyone, not just women, as others have said. But there is something just so totally creepy and strange about the bouquet toss (and don’t get me started on the garter toss) that I can’t totally articulate, but it was the first thing I X’ed off my list of wedding traditions.

    • The garter toss, for me, is so clearly awful/cheesy that it laps back around to being ironically awesome. The bouquet toss is what I’m way more iffy on, but I’m not sure you can have the one without the other (although after that genius poll answer we’re considering it).

  14. I was single (or in tortured relationships) for the entirety of my twenties, so I HATE the bouquet toss. EVEN when you as the bride intend for people to only do it if they want to, it doesn’t work out that way because other people will push you to get up for the toss.

    I think if you want to do a toss, I think the tossing to everyone for a prize is a nice idea.

    But the ABSOLUTE worst is when the person who catches the garter is told to slide the garter up the leg of the woman who catches the bouquet. (This is sometimes accompanied by the DJ egging the dude on saying that the higher the dude goes up the leg, the more decades of marital happiness the couple will have.)

    • Oh god, that part we are going to skip. That didn’t happen when Collin and I caught the garter and bouquet respectively at Carrie’s wedding, partly because Collin was kind of grossed out by holding what was technically his sister’s underwear. But I did keep it and put it in my memory box, and we’re totally going to reuse it because garters are stupidly expensive for a piece of elastic and lace.

  15. We will totally be tossing a bouquet. I’m flinging that sucker, and hard. We thought about sweeter, more sentimental alternatives (give it to the longest married couple! aw!), but my affection for throwing things and winning at party games won out.
    BUT: I was on a sports team in college. I have a crew of 7-10 former teammates of various relationship statuses that are interested in nothing more than WINNING. WINNING NOW. Catching something that other people are trying to catch = winning. If you throw anything at all (bouquet, volleyball, kitten) into this crowd, someone’s getting tackled. My bridesmaids are also of the belief that it is their personal duty to do as many cheesetastic wedding things as they possibly can, so they will be in that hullabaloo, too. Basically, we’ve already got a crowd of pretty enthusiastic participants.
    Still, we’re trying to manage the level of awkward that comes seeping out: Our D.J. is not allowed to call for “all the single ladies,” or single any non-participating ladies/gents out, the groomsmen get to play, too, and there will absolutely be some awesome 80s rock jam playing. We will not be doing the awful dance thing after, or the creepy garter-wedging, because it makes my skin crawl.

    The point, I guess is this: enthusiasm and silliness is what makes a bouquet (or a garter) toss fun. Sometimes, though, you need to have at least a few people who you know are going to be dedicated to the silliness—when a couple of people are excited just for the sake of the toss (Winning! Because you caught something that was flying through the air!), instead of The Very Important Meaning of Bouquets, it makes it easier for others to jump in on the fun without getting judged for being all man-trappy and wedding-trigger-happy. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet that enthusiasm and silliness might be something that your particular wedding guests have in spades, so it could be a ton of fun. Whether you tap into that sense fun by having a core group of friends who are already into it, by calling everyone out to the floor who wants to catch itinstead of singling out the “single ladies,” or by tying some lotto scratchers onto the thing so that everyone wants to fight for it, I think there’s a great opportunity here for a hilarious and awesomely good time.

    Also: someone gets to win. I love winning.

  16. I hope you do the bouquet toss because it will be the first wedding I’ve been to as a married woman who can sit comfortably in her seat, next to her husband, without any guilt or pressure to get up and catch the damn thing.

  17. I don’t like the bouquet toss. At the last wedding I attended, I sat dreading it until I realized they were skipping it (yay!) My dislike of the tradition is mostly that I think women look stupid when they’re all desperately fighting over a bouquet. But also that I am shy and never like participating in these kinds of things.

  18. a volleyball!?! such an amazing idea. you can get crafty + draw a face on it like Castaway too!

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