May: Modern alternatives to bouquet and garter tosses

May kicks off my favorite time of year: It’s a season of visual splendor with the flurry of beautiful brides and dashing grooms celebrating their love here at the Grand Prospect Hall.

We host thousands of wedding celebrations, yet each one is truly unique. The variety of vibrant colors, religious customs, and cultural traditions is spectacular – and the personalized, distinctive touches each bride thoughtfully places creates some of the most unforgettable moments for guests. Increasingly, brides are personalizing their reception by modifying former traditions, particularly the bouquet and garter toss.

Let’s start with the bouquet. Many brides preserve their gorgeous bouquet by having it pressed in a frame to hang in their new home. Accordingly, they get an additional “throw away” bouquet typically used for the “toss.” A popular alternative to tossing to single ladies is to toss a throw away “breakaway” bouquet, which is a large bouquet comprised of many smaller bouquets. The bride unties the ribbon as she tosses it so many receive a bouquet. This is intended to be inclusive of all female guests, married and single.

There are fun toss-free alternatives, too, such as giving your throwaway bouquet to a soon-to-marry bride or a couple celebrating an anniversary. But the most popular we see is the “anniversary dance.” This is an engaging alternative where all married couples are asked to the dance floor. Couples are asked to leave the floor until the longest married couple remains and gets the bouquet. And sometimes the bouquet is omitted altogether:

Nonetheless, some brides and grooms insist upon enjoying the traditional bouquet and garter toss, which dates back to about the 14th century, England. The bouquet toss symbolized good luck in love. Also, guests felt lucky to get a piece of the bride’s clothing. To preserve her dress, the bride tossed her garter, but drunk brazen male guests tried getting it themselves, so the practice evolved into the groom getting the garter to toss to the men, thus protecting his bride while continuing the tradition of luck!

Whatever your choice, creating a new tradition or staying true to the past, your guests will certainly have a great, memorable time! 


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