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Blue and White Wedding BouquetWhen it comes to wedding traditions, one of the most enduring has been the tossing of the bouquet to single women at the reception. Typically a bride tosses a floral arrangement behind her among eligible single women and whoever catches it will be the next to be married. While this might have been a fun and harmless activity at weddings over the years, it may be a bit old-fashioned if not inappropriate for today’s weddings, especially since some don’t have brides or even bouquets. Here are alternatives to consider for your nuptials.

Understanding the History

Before you look for an alternative, it might be helpful to know the history of this tradition. In ancient England, the bride’s dress and accessories were thought to bring good luck. Attendees would rip off parts of the bride’s outfit after the ceremony. This activity, unsurprisingly, was sometimes violent and harassing, especially given some crowds, and some newlyweds would toss a bouquet in one direction to make a quick escape in the other. Although this tradition became a mostly carefree reception game over the years, sometimes participants can be a bit too enthusiastic.

1. Honoring Longevity

One fun alternative is an anniversary dance. Invite other married partners to join you and your new spouse on the dance floor. One by one, eliminate couples based on the number of years married. Eventually, one couple should remain as having the longest marriage in the building. Honor these people with the bouquet instead. It’s another way to show appreciation to your invitees while also celebrating love, which is sort of the point of it all, right?

2. Acknowledging Another Couple

While the celebration is about you and your partner, consider reserving the bouquet for a dear friend in attendance who is also engaged to be married. Perhaps one of your siblings or that of your spouse is next on the list to tie the knot. You can present your flowers to this person instead and include a toast, if appropriate. It’s all about you and your new life partner, but you get to decide together what your reception will be.

3. Breaking Away

A breakaway bouquet is a larger floral arrangement that is made up of several smaller ones. When you toss a set of breakaway florals, they separate, providing several flowers for several single friends, irrespective of gender. You can even acknowledge these special people by simply giving each a flower, which not only symbolizes your newly solemnized union but also appreciation and best wishes for future wedded bliss.

4. Giving Back

Although the idea of a bride being given to a groom by her father is old-fashioned, it might be nice to honor your and your partner’s mothers by presenting them with parts of the bouquet. If appropriate, what’s a better way of showing appreciation to two of the people most responsible for your existence? This is also an opportunity to thank them for their example of love and commitment. If a mother or mother-in-law isn’t quite right, you can extend similar appreciation to grandmothers, aunts, big sisters, or anyone you really want to honor and uplift.

5. Ditching the Flowers

You don’t have to give flowers to anyone else on your big day, single or married. You don’t even have to have a bouquet. Ditching the idea of tossing anything at the reception is entirely up to you. The important thing is that you married the love of your life in the presence of the ones who are nearest and dearest.

Wedding traditions have interesting origins. It’s up to you to adopt them, adapt them, or come up with entirely new ones of your own. Your wedding and reception are what you make them, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to incorporate any customs that don’t bring you and your partner joy.   

Category: Wedding Materials

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