The History Of The Bouquet Tossing Tradition
Tossing the bridal bouquet is an ancient tradition, going several centuries back, and originating in France. The tradition outgrew of a concept in the 1300s. It was thought to be good luck to possess just a little fragment of the bride’s clothing. The bride wasn’t treated very well in those years. The wedding guests would paw at her wedding dress just to tear off the pieces. Even though brides didn’t think that they would be wearing their wedding gowns ever again, they didn’t like the destruction of their dresses. They came up with something pretty unique and, instead started the wedding tradition of throwing clothing articles, like the garter, to the wedding guests.
Other historians talk about the garter as being a symbol of the virginal girdle. When the groom took off the garter, he was basically showing publicly that the bride was going to lose her virginal status. In medieval times, it was a tradition that the wedding guests would follow the newlywed couple to their bedroom chamber, once the ceremony was over. In adhering to this practice, guests became increasingly rowdy, and some even tried to take the dress off the bride. In order to keep some of the other men back, the groom tossed the bride’s garter as a way to distract the guests.
The wedding tradition of throwing the garter survived, and it became even more focused. People started to think that whoever “caught” or “won” the bride’s garter was lucky. Men believed that giving the garter to their own beloved would guarantee her loyalty. It was the best man’s duty to “steal” it, tear it up into tiny little pieces, and pass it out to the wedding guests. This idea was strongly adhered to, and sometimes guests were injured trying to get the garter. Some wedding attendees would get drunk, start to get disruptive and impatient and would then try to rip the garter off.
There are a lot of different theories about how bouquet tossing came about. The tradition evolved, and eventually the bouquet came to be tossed instead of the garter.
Some modern brides think that tossing the bouquet, even though it is a very esteemed tradition, is sort of tacky and embarrassing. Tossing the bouquet can single out the single women, and they will sometimes get dragged to the floor in the rush for the bouquet. One way of keeping with the tradition is to have all the female attendants, and not just the unmarried ones, take part in the bouquet toss.
Whichever version the newlyweds choose, the garter or bouquet toss, it is best done right after the cake is cut. This will allow the caterer to cut and serve the wedding cake while guests are getting entertained. A lot of couples are doing away with these traditions altogether, while some just do what they have known and want to replicate.
It’s hard to break old traditions, but bridal couples should be mindful that fashioning new rituals is acceptable.