Like many traditions, the bouquet and garter toss are slowly being replaced by more all-inclusive wedding reception activities. In the last five years, we have noted a decline in these long-standing traditions and estimate the frequency of bouquet and garter tosses to be approximately 50 percent.
Whether you choose to include these traditions or "toss" them is completely up to you. Singling out the singles with bouquet and garter rituals isn't as relevant today, when many wait longer to marry and some choose to remain single. A Bride and Groom may prefer to spend their party moments visiting with beloved guests and dancing to the music instead.
Whatever you decide, a professional DJ can share their experiences and help you plan your reception activities. The bouquet and garter toss dates back to the 14th century, when it was customary for the groom to remove the bride's garter and throw it toward the single men in attendance. Legend said that whoever caught the garter would be the next to marry. At the often rowdy party following the wedding, a few drunk and impatient men would occasionally try to remove the Bride's garter before the Groom had his opportunity. At those times, we can only hope the Groom intervened and rescued his Bride from the boisterous crowd. In light of this, perhaps seeing who would marry next by having the Bride toss her bridal bouquet toward the single women was less troublesome!
Pros of hosting a bouquet and garter toss
Cons of hosting a bouquet and garter toss
Try putting a new spin on the bouquet and garter toss
Enjoy an Anniversary Dance. This fun variation on the usual theme is a suspenseful event that invites married couples of all ages to be part of an "elimination" dance that ends with a nice surprise. All married couples are invited to the dance floor for the first song. Those married less than 6 months are asked to step down for the next dance. Those married less than a year are asked to bow out, followed by those married 3 years, 5 years, and so on, until the last couple on the dance floor is the one that has been married the longest - which is sometimes 50 or 60 years! The DJ will congratulate the couple and encourage a round of applause. If appropriate, sometimes the couple will offer some sage advice for the newlyweds. In return for their words of wisdom, the Bride and Groom occasionally offer the couple the Bride's bouquet.
Depending on your guests, the bouquet and garter toss can be a fun event. However, you will find that hardly anyone will miss it if you choose to skip them. It's totally up to you; it is YOUR wedding reception!