Planning a wedding comes with having to make about a million decisions — from the colors to the dress to the venue to the wedding bouquet toss. More and more brides are choosing to break with older wedding traditions, and alternatives to throwing the wedding bouquet have become increasingly popular. No longer is it just a given that you’ll toss that bad boy into a group of rabid single friends. Many brides are doing away with the custom and going with a different route altogether. Your wedding is your special day, so why not make it your own?
In my opinion, the bouquet toss is an outdated wedding tradition anyway, along with the sort of icky and not totally PG garter toss, and having to wear white. It may seem like it’s all in good fun, until you’ve been on the receiving end of it. It’s never a good feeling to be singled out at someone’s wedding simply because you’re single — it fuels the connotation that being single is bad, and that you should get married as soon as possible. It also breeds some competition and stress among the bridesmaids and other single, female guests, which is not the vibe you want to have at your nuptials, am I right?
And I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, considering the number of brides who have chosen to forgo this former reception standard. So just skip it all together — there are plenty of other things that happen at weddings, y’all — or you could replace it with a more inclusive, empowering event instead. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same!
1. Use a break away bouquet
For a while, brides have been having two bouquets made — one to keep, and one to throw — but a "breakaway bouquet" is a little different. The trick with the breakaway is that it looks like a solid bouquet, but will separate out once it's thrown, allowing everyone to get a piece. Some brides have it arranged so that it breaks into a number of smaller bouquets, or just turns into a free-for-all of individual flowers. Either way, everyone has a better chance to snag a flower or two.
2. Have a girls-only dance
Instead of doing a bouquet toss, invite all the ladies in the room, whether single, taken, or married, and have a girls-only dance party. Pick a fun, female positive song like Beyonce's "Who Run the World (Girls)," or the Spice Girl's "If You Wanna Be My Lover." That way, you're celebrating all of the women in your life. And if you're forgoing the garter toss as well, have your hubby host a guys-only dance next!
3. Do the anniversary dance
Instead of singling out all your single friends, turn the spotlight on the couples. Ask that anyone in a relationship (some people just do married couples, so it's up to you) join the bride and groom on the dance floor for a couple's dance. Pick a fun or sentimental song, and have the DJ/MC start counting up after a while, asking any couples who have been together for two years, five years, 10 years, and so on to stay on the floor until only a single couple remains. Give your bouquet to that couple — it will most likely be your adorable grandparents or grandparents-in-law!
4. Have a flower ceremony
If you're having a small, intimate wedding, you could have a sort of flower ceremony instead of tossing your bouquet. Have the DJ or MC call all your friends to the floor, and proceed to hand each of them a flower from your bouquet. You can tell them things you love about them, your favorite story involving them, or just thank them for coming. Everyone will walk away with a flower and a smile.
5. Honor lost loved ones
There are a lot of ways to remember those we've lost during the ceremony and reception, and you can also use the bouquet to do so. After the ceremony, place the bouquet in a special vase by some pictures of your deceased friends or family, or have a sign listing the names of those who are no longer with you. Your bouquet will serve as a reminder that you're thinking of them on your wedding day.
6. Throw something from your wedding theme
I have a lot of geeky friends, so I know that I'll be going to a few geek-themed weddings in the next couple of years. Instead of throwing the bouquet, toss something tied to your theme — for example, throw Super Mario-inspired chocolate coins if you're a bride who loves video games, or plastic snowflakes for a winter wonderland wedding. And get everyone in on the action, not just the single ladies.
7. Split the bouquet
You can have the bouquet or a second bouquet split into a few pieces to give to the important women in your life. For instance, you can have it split twice to give to your mother and mother-in-law, or split a few times to give to your grandmother, a special aunt, or even an important teacher. That way, there is no scrambling, and you'll be honoring the women who've made you the woman you are today.
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