Tossing the bouquet

I've not been to a wedding since I was a small child so I have no idea if this is the -done thing' any more, and wondered what everyone else thought about it. I hated the whole idea of tossing the bouquet - for a couple of reasons really. I loved my bouquet far too much to throw it - such a dreadful waste! Also, I just find it a bit demeaning and outdated - to me it implies that all the single women there are desperate to get married, as though they couldn't possibly be happy being single or unmarried. I know I'm reading far too much into it, and I know loads of people enjoy it and it's just a bit of fun, and that's great if it works for them, but it's just not for me. What does everyone else think?


  • my beautiful bouquet is not being hurtled throughthe air to be dropped on the floor, kicked and fought over. It's far to beautiful and expensive for that. It's going to grace my xmas dinner table (wedding is 23rd dec.)
  • I didnt have a bouquet - so thus didnt throw anything!!

    Dont think I would have if I did have one though - I hate the images you see of girls fighting over the bouquet - are women still desperate for a sign that they are the next to be married - is that girls are supposed to strive for in life? Grow up, get married, have kids? Some want that, sure - but to me I dont like the fighting and competition that comes from the need to get the bouquet.

    on the other hand - it is a bit of fun!
  • i didn't throw my bouquet as i juts loved it far too much to throw it away - it was a beautiful mix of roses and peonies and was rather expensicve that, like Emmsy, I didn't want it torn to pieces. So i have kept it and it's in a silver shoe box wrapped up in tissue paper with MrJules buttonhole tucked into the ribbon around the stems too! I know it'll never look as gorgeous as it once did but i'm too sentimental to throw it away!

    For those who haven't thrown them, what have you done with them?
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Yes that's what it implies to me too Mrs RB - that the pinnacle of a woman's life is finding a good husband! It's like a Jane Austen novel (although I do love Jane Austen!)
  • My mum is dead and my bouquet will find its way to her grave the day after the wedding. I know other people who've done this and I thought it would be a nice thing to do.
  • dg8da01dg8da01 Posts: 208
    Most weddings I've been to have had this "ritual", but it's never turned into a rugby scrum... I've seen men, married ladies and children in the group of people trying to catch it, and it's never turned nasty. I don't reckon people see it as meaning they'll get married next, any more than any of the other symbolisms of weddings retain their meaning now (probably just as well!). I think it's just a fun, semi-competitive thing, and the catcher gets to take home something pretty at the end of it, or give it to someone else to take home!

    I tossed my bouquet (very well, if I say so myself - had visions of it getting caught in the curtains or something) for several reasons. 1) it was going a bit limp by the end of the day even kept in water, and would have died when we were on honeymoon, so I wanted someone else to have the benefit of its short, smelly life; 2) it was very cheap, as we made it ourselves; 3) it made a convenient point in the evening for us to say "right, we're leaving now", and to say 'bye to people.

    The girl who caught it (perfectly - not a petal out of place...) was dead chuffed, and is still single and happy.

    I like the idea of it being donated to grandparents etc who weren't able to be at the wedding, but this wouldn't have worked for us, given distances and logistics involved. Also, I didn't want to preserve it as I think flowers have a naturally limited life, and even given the sentimental value of them being carried on my wedding day, it would still have been nicely arranged bouquet of dead flowers...I'm happy to have memories and photos of it, to be honest.

  • leafyukleafyuk Posts: 2,182
    I can see why people wouldn't be keen on this, and about 50% of the weddings I've been to haven't done it. Although I agree that the traditonal "next to be married" thing is rather demeaning, the bouquet toss seems to be done just for fun these days - in fact, the best ways I've seen it done were 1) when it was thrown to ALL the female guests, as a kind of "which lucky woman gets this beautiful bouquet to take home" rather than "which single woman will be married next" thing, and 2) when the bride threw it to all the MALE guests and said whoever caught it could give it to the woman of his choice. It was FANTASTIC - all these guys acting like they weren't fussed, then suddenly getting all competitive and jostling each other. I've never seen girls jump so high or with such determination! And to see men doing that for a bunch of flowers! Loved it. Thinking of doing it that way at my own wedding, actually!

    P.S. I am thinking of doing what several friends have done - getting the florist to make a cheaper replica of my bouquet, and I'll throw that one. The real one I will take to my grandmother the next day. She is nearly 100 and won't be able to attend the ceremony or reception. I love her to bits and we share a passion for flowers, so she's just gotta be the one who gets it! It's the only way I get to share a special bit of the day with just her, and let her know how special she is.
  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    I feel the same way as you do about this, Claire and Mrs RB.

    Even if I'd thrown my bouquet (and I loved it far, far too much to even think about it) without any intention of it being a "next-to-be-married" competition, I can think of one friend in particular who would have beat the living daylights out of everyone there in order to get it. And, like you, I find that a bit demeaning.

    Also like you I think "yes, but it's just a bit of fun, and I'm just choosing to see it like that because I'm awkward".

    (I do wonder why it is that some traditions I intuitively find outdated or patronising or whatever and others I don't. I objected to the idea of changing my name because I didn't like the fact that it originated in being someone's property (partly), and yet I never even thought twice about my dad giving me away, which has exactly the same connotations. Hmmm.)

    For some reason I have it in my head that the bouquet toss is an American thing - is that true, or did I just make it up?

    Also - we had buckets of woodland flowers as our table centrepieces, so we distributed them around instead of the bouquet - some went on graves, some went to special peeps. Everyone who got a bucket was well chuffed with it :\)

    [Modified by: Mrs Banana Jam on November 20, 2007 05:10 PM]
  • mrsj36mrsj36 Posts: 2,340
    I think my bouquet is going to be far too expensive and heavy to toss. I will probably knock someone out! I intend to give it to my mum after. Maybe my bridesmaids could chuck theirs instead of I could steal one to chuck. I think it's more of a 'who gets to keep it' scenario than who gets married next though the 2 weddings I've been to where they chucked it, the brides took the bouquet back as they wanted to keep it so not sure what the point was!x
  • I really like the idea of tossing my Bouquet

    I caught the bouquet at my Sister's wedding in June and then we set a date!!!!!

    I am saving my magazines and accessories and the wedding count down timer to give to the lucky lady who catches my bouquet!!!!

  • AishaukAishauk Posts: 203
    I'm with you s2bmrsjohns! I thought it might be a bit of fun.... Nearly all of my friends are married and i thought it would be nice for someone to take it home - none of my friends threw theirs and i think it would just be a giggle rather than a tussle!! But i'm not sure if i'll remember at the end of the night- we'll see how much champers i've had by then!
  • Hmmm I had planned on it but am actually re-thinking now! It does kind of assume that others are desperate to get married doesn't it? I don't want to be sanctimonious! Maybe I will just keep it in my hotel room with me until I leave on the Tuesday!
  • MollukMolluk Posts: 243
    I threatened my (happily) single friends that if they didn't behave I'd throw the bouquet at them,!
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Oh I hope I haven't put you off it scottishbride! If it's something you want to do then you should go ahead with it - I know that no-one actually takes it seriously as an "oh you poor single girls let me see which one of you will get married next" sort of gesture, and it's just a bit of fun. It's just something that I instinctively feel uncomfortable about, and I know that I'm just being awkward!

    The whole tradition thing is interesting, and I presume that the traditions that we are happy with are the ones that are of a personal significance to us, and therefore the ones that we see the best in, e.g. Mrs Jam, you wouldn't have even considered not walking down the aisle with your dad because he is so important to you. It didn't mean you saw yourself as property being passed from one man to another; rather it was indicative of how important your parents are to you and the special role they play in your life. The same reasoning could be applied to how you feel about changing your name - it's losing your parents' name and taking the name of people that you don't feel as close to, which is why it isn't something that you are instinctively ecstatic about.

    And then there are traditions that have no real personal significance, like tossing the bouquet - we automatically see the worst in it because it isn't of much importance or benefit to us, so we discard it.

    I don't know - I think I'm just waffling now and probably not making any sense!
  • I've only been to one wedding where the bouquet was tossed, and it was a ???????let's watch and laugh as all the poor single and unmarried girls try to catch it??????? moment. It wasn't meant to be catty as that sounds, and I know the bride would have been horrified if she'd known how uncomfortable it made us - it was meant to be fun for everyone - but it's certainly put me off tossing mine!

    I think part of the problem, though, was that it was completely unexpected. I'd never seen it done before and I don't think the rest of us who were trying to catch it had, either. All the unmarried women - whether they were single or not - were suddenly marched out of the marquee and lined up. Everyone else crowded into the entrance and watched and laughed as the bride threw it over her head to us. Nobody even tried to catch it!

    So I'd say, if you want to toss your bouquet, go for it - but make sure people know what's expected beforehand, or you might end up just embarrassing your unmarried friends! My cousin would have been mortified if she'd know, so I'd never mention it to her.

    Joy xx
  • hi Claire - no you didn't put me off personally, I just think that having read the comments and therefore thought of it from others point of view, rather than just from the point of view of "sticking to a tradition", I don't think I will do it anymore! It has made me think differently about it, which is surely the point of these discussions. Its great that we can all gain new perspectives about these things!

    [Modified by: scottishbride on November 21, 2007 10:55 AM]
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    That's good scottishbride - I'm glad! I know what you mean - sometimes you don't really think too much about something until you read a discussion about it, and then it does make you think differently - it's good to hear different perspectives!
  • Hi,

    I've seen quite a few of you are online so thought I'd drop you a line. I have been trailing through this website and have, finally, started to feel as if people are on the same kind of wavelength to me. While I wouldn't say my wedding is going to be massively unconventional I would like to think it is very 'us' and not the 'just add water' unremarkable weddings that seem to be so popular. I am very much of the mindset that something so special should be an expression of yourselves and be memorable for being just that too. Of course, you don't have to go mad, just use some imagination.

    Claire07, I have had a nosey and had a look at your pics and read your report. Your wedding looked fab, and congratulations!

  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Awww thank you CHWhiteley that's very kind of you! And welcome to 'Weird Brides' as we like to call it! Glad you have found us!
  • Jadis_NTJadis_NT Posts: 515
    Well I shall be tossing my boquet. I have always enjoyed it as a bit of fun at other peoples weddings if it has been done, and there will be a couple of engaged people, single people, and been living together for so long it's about time people - I think they'll enter in to the spirit of it.

    Also it means somone gets to enjoy it. I'm off on honeymoon for a fortnight, so it'll be dead by the time I get back & I don't want to preserve it - they never look the same no matter what you do, so I might take a single flower and press it, but I don't want the whole boquet presserved but slowly falling apart - I think that would be depressing more than anything else.

    And hello Whiteley!
  • I haven't attended many weddings in my day (only 4), but I have to say that the bride has thrown the bouquet every time, and I always found it fun!

    I never really thought about the whole "demeaning" aspect to it, probably because I've never taken it that seriously, although maybe because, deep down, I've always thought that marriage is something wonderful and, while I've never been "desperate" to be next, there was always something exciting about knowing you might be next.

    I think that the whole idea (and insult in itself) of "poor single girls waiting to be asked" is generally widespread, and not something that just surfaces when a bride throws her bouquet. As soon as I met my H2B, relatives and married friends never stopped pestering me as to when we'd "finally" get engaged (because we waiting a WHOLE 3 YEARS!). While I always knew that we would get engaged at some point, I was perfectly happy in my relationship before he popped the question, too, and I always found it insulting, and often incredibly hurtful, that no-one had faith in either my happiness or my H2B's "noble intentions". That sounds so 19th century, but believe me, I even had an aunt warn me, only a year into our relationship, that H2B might just be "messing me around".

    In my case, I don't even know if I'll be having a bouquet at all. I'm not a flowers person - they just remind me of insects and smell too "outdoors-y". Now that Claire07 has appropriately termed us "weird brides", it's nice that I can say that comfortably!
  • I am the opposite! All the weddings I have been to the bride has never tossed her bouquet! But I am having a separate bouquet made to toss! My actual bouquet is much to beautiful and heavy and I want it to go on my aunts grave as her and I were very close!

    I am not having just single girls up tho - I'm doing the more lighthearted and fun thing - all women on the dancefloor to catch a nice bouquet of flowers!

    I have seen some really nice photographs as well taken as the bride is about to through the bouquet!

    I was thinking of doing this before our first dance after all the evening guests have arrived! Can I ask when people have usually done it??

  • emmacorrollemmacorroll Posts: 2,264
    I had a separate smaller version of my bouquet made up specifically to throw. It was on the cake table during the day as decoration then after we cut the cake, I threw it.

    Have to say it is one of the funniest bits on our wedding DVD. My sister (CBM and in a long-term relationship) and husband's smallest sister (aged 10!!) were the only two girls to come forward to try and catch it.

    We had a bit of a false start because the first time I threw it, it hit one of the beams in the ceiling and came down back on me!!

    When I did actually throw it, it was heading towards hubby's sister when my sister literally threw herself across the room in a kind of rugby player stance to snatch it from mid-air!!! SO FUNNY!!!! There are some great shots of it in guest's photos and the DVD. Was very light-hearted and none of this 'well, she'll be next' stuff was really discussed.

  • Hello fellow 'weirdos'!

    I am not into the whole bouquet tossing business myself. Like many of you, I don't like the idea of the single women clamouring to be the next one to get hitched. I am possibly taking it a little too seriously I know, but never mind! I only have, touch wood, one dead relative but think the idea of it going on their grave (my dad's dad) is far nicer so might opt for that instead.

    I think Mrs C2B that the bouquet is generally thrown after the wedding 'breakfast' (whenever that is). At least it has at the majority of the weddings I have been to.

    How many of you have already got married? I am getting the impression it's quite a few. If you have them, can you send me links to the wedding reports? I am not very busy at work so have been spending my time reading about other people's weddings instead (and then seeing if the photo's match up even vaguely to the picture I had in my head - not often!)

  • Hey CHW - as you can tell I'm a Mrs. You can find my report by doing a search for "Medieval Wonderland" and that should come up as the topic title in real brides. Hope it's some inspiriation to you!

    I would ask you about your wedding but it's the wrong topic - why not post a thread about what your plans are?!

  • I can tell indeed! I'm going to do a search for your wedding now and then will post a new thread about mine (doesn't it take a while as the web ed has to vet it or something?)

    I'm afraid it won't be as unusual as your medieval extravaganza - fab outfits by the way!
  • Just read your report and had a look at those photo's - brilliant! It looks great fun, and yes, you both do look ridiculously happy. I love the one with the cake!

    Right, will try and work out how to start a new thread...

  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Hi CHW - I think the thread you saw about my wedding was the one in this forum, but if you are very bored and want to read the very long report I wrote then you can find it here
  • emmacorrollemmacorroll Posts: 2,264
    Unbelievably I've yet to get round to writing my report!

    You can see my pictures here though & I will try to do the report this weekend as want to get a written record whilst it is still relatively fresh in my mind!

    You will see though that I didn't go down the unconventional/alternative route, I saw this topic on the front page of the forum and replied before realising I probably "shouldn't" be in this bit!!
  • Claire07, I'm not bored but I have already read it - thanks anyway! I have just started a new thread (sorry for droning on about me, me, me - it's the wedding excitement) about traditonal music with a twist and would be interested to hear about your quirky touches to your weddings if you can spare the time...

    EmmaBusytobe I am going to check out your photo's right now...

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