Tossing the bouquet is a wedding staple and a tradition that goes back centuries. But what does it mean when you catch the bouquet, exactly? To determine that, we need to take a short trip through history and learn a bit about the origin of the bouquet toss.
If you’ve gone to even a few wedding receptions, you may already have a good idea of what the bouquet toss is. But let’s refresh our recollection before we learn a bit more about this tradition.
What is a bouquet toss at a wedding?
The bouquet toss is when the married bride or groom stands with their back to all their single or unmarried guests and tosses them the bouquet. The bouquet will land on one of the lucky unmarried guests and they’ll be able to take a lovely keepsake home.
Another thing they take with them is the hope or illusion that they will be the next one to get married; if that’s even something they want. But where does this idea come from? And what does it all mean? Well, let’s take a deeper look into this wedding tradition.
The History behind tossing the wedding bouquet:
The tradition of the bouquet toss goes back to the 1800s in England. No one knows the exact year this happened for the first time, but we do know it stems from a different tradition.
According to the history books, touching the bride on her wedding day was considered a way to give her friends good luck finding a husband. So, once the ceremony ended, single women would run to the bride and touch her, hoping they would get married next.
Things got a bit crazy from there, with some people going so far as to rip pieces of the bride’s dress or the bouquet to take something with them. Back then, getting married was extremely important. For many women, it meant that they could achieve a better social status, lead a better life, and even get out of poverty.
As such, getting married was a big expectation for most women in society. So women had a huge responsibility on their shoulders and they needed all the luck they could get to achieve their goal. Because things used to get too intense, brides started tossing their bouquets to distract people and escape the crowd.
As time went on, the tossing of the bouquet became more intentional and the unmarried guest who would be able to catch it would have the luck they needed. This is how a new tradition was born.
The bouquet tossing in modern times:
Now, many things have changed since the 1800s. We have experienced an amazing amount of progress and people no longer have to get married for anything other than love.
That means that the tossing of the bouquet has also changed. What was once a highly stressful and sometimes violent thing brides had to endure, is now something fun you do at weddings with your unmarried guests or friends.
The bouquet toss often takes place towards the end of the wedding reception, after the meal, toasts, dancing, and cutting the cake. As tradition dictates, the only guests who have a chance at catching the bouquet are the single and unmarried ones. However, if they don’t want to participate, that’s okay.
The DJ will call all the single or unmarried guests so they can gather around on the dance floor. Then, the bride or groom will stand with their back to the guests and toss the bouquet.
What does it mean to catch the bridal bouquet?
Though the tradition has changed into a fun game, it still has the same meaning. Catching the bouquet means you’ll have good luck and fortune, which is why some people take it very seriously.
If you do catch it, it could mean that you’ll be the next one to marry, who knows. However, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, you make your own luck.
If getting married is something that you want to do and you’ve been going steady with your partner, you get to decide when that happens together. There’s no need to rush into anything.
Also, if you’re single and ready to mingle then you’re the one who decides if you want to go out there, meet new people, form a serious relationship, or even go on any dates. Remember you don’t want to let family or friends pressure you into getting married, no matter your age or circumstances!
In the end, whether or not you catch the bouquet shouldn’t define your future. But, you can always do it for fun or just to spite the other guests jumping for it, when you don’t even need it that much!
Remember, the bouquet toss is a lighthearted and fun wedding tradition, and we can welcome the good luck that it represents, but don’t feel bad or discouraged if what you want for your love life doesn’t come true within the year.
True love takes time and catching a bridal bouquet shouldn’t put any pressure on you or your relationship, if you’re in one. Just embrace the good fortune it represents and take your pretty flowers home!