Bouquet and Garter Toss at Wedding Receptions WRPS – 9

Bouquet and Garter Toss at Wedding Receptions WRPS – 9

Bouquet and Garter Toss at Wedding Receptions

Hello my name is Jack Barros, professional wedding DJ and author of Modern Wedding Ceremony 101. An eBook on American wedding ceremonies available free to you on my website

Welcome to the ninth edition of the Wedding Reception Planning Series, a set of articles designed to provide you the information you need to plan the wedding reception of your dreams.

.In this article we will discuss the tradition of the Bouquet and Garter Toss at Wedding Receptions. We will be talking about where the bouquet and garter come form, what is done in a traditional toss along with other options for you if you prefer not to toss the bouquet and garter.

The bouquet toss tradition comes from England. It was said that the brides dress and flowers were good luck. So women would try to get their share of good fortune by ripping pieces of the brides dress and flowers! She would then toss the flowers to give herself a chance to escape.

The custom of the garter toss, stems from the tradition of having family and friends witness the consummation of the marriage and that having any article of under garments was good luck. To stop crazed onlookers from snatching it themselves, the groom started tossing the garter

The bouquet used in the toss at a wedding reception is usually not the bouquet the bride uses during the ceremony and introductions. Your florist will usually provide you with a smaller bouquet specifically designed for the toss.

There are a couple of reasons for using a second bouquet. One is sentimental in that you may not want to throw away your wedding bouquet. The second reason is accident prevention. Many times the flower bouquets today are beautiful creations using many gorgeous flowers and floral ingredients that add up to being fairly heavy and the could possibly injure someone in the toss.

The bouquet toss evolved from the bedroom to the wedding reception.  Typically, the bride will toss her bouquet into a group of single women and then the groom would remove the garter from his bride’s leg and toss it into a group of single men. I found a hidden challenge in performing the bouquet and garter toss in this manner.

What I discovered is that if a less than attractive women or girl caught the bouquet, then the already hesitant single guys would not catch the garter. At one unfortunate wedding, I had the groom toss the garter twice and still no guys caught the garter.

Quickly I picked up the garter and having a bridesmaid take over for me at the DJ table, I made a show of putting the garter on the girl. The circumstances were right for this to work out and we avoided further embarrassment. I had seen this happen one time to many and devised a plan to keep that from ever happening again.

Now I will start the tradition by having the groom remove the garter from the bride and toss it to the single guys before I have the bride toss her bouquet. The single ladies are less likely to be as petty as the men were in the past.

An option for those of you that do not want to do the wedding Bouquet and Garter Toss is to do an anniversary dance. An anniversary dance is where your Emcee brings all married couple on to the dance floor including the bride and groom.

Then as the couples are dancing the Emcee would ask couples to leave the dance floor by the amount of years they have been married. An example here; First to go, anyone other than the bride and groom that have been married less than a year are still newlyweds. A nice round of applause please as they leave the dance floor.

Your Emcee would continue to eliminate couples until there is only the bride and groom and the longest married couple in the room.

You would then present your bouquet to the longest married couple. This is also a great chance for your

Emcee to get words of wisdom from the longest married couple to the newlyweds. The anniversary dances reinforce marriage in our society.

You could revive an old tradition of auctioning off the bouquet and garter. Help pay for the wedding. Some brides will only toss the bouquet, while many other couples will not do either the bouquet or garter toss.

Will you be doing the bouquet and garter toss at your wedding reception? You now have a better understanding of where the tradition comes from, how it was done here in America traditionally and also some alternative ways of tossing your wedding bouquet and garter.

Thanks for joining me for this edition of the wedding reception planning series. In the next and final edition of the wedding reception planning series we will be discussing your last dance of the wedding reception.

Until we meet again, keep on dancing and Have a Great Day!


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Wedding DJ Jack ‘Jacky B’ Barros

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Boston, Worcester, Newport Wedding DJ

Wedding receptions, wedding introductions, wedding toasts, wedding blessing, wedding DJ



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