Toss My Bouquet!!

No wedding is complete without an array of beautiful, fragrant flowers. Some brides take more time choosing the flowers for their special day than they do their gowns. The crown jewel of wedding floral arrangements is definitely the brides bouquet.

Centuries ago, bridal bouquets were not as pleasantly aromatic as they are now. Symbolizing the brides fertility and good fortune, they were also designed to ward off evil. To drive away destructive spirits, bouquets were composed of garlic and other herbs. Wanting to take advantage of the brides good fortune, wedding guests often tried to snatch pieces of the brides gown so they could share in her blessings. Rather than have their dresses torn to shreds, brides began tossing their bouquets over their shoulders to the women attending the wedding so that guests could share in their prosperity without destroying the bridal gown.

 As the bouquet tossing tradition evolved, edible items such as dill and mint were added to the floral array which was designed to break apart and be distributed to the wedding guests. The addition of herbs to the bouquet was enhanced by adding assortments of flowers. One of the appeals of flowers, besides their beauty and wonderful smell, was that different flowers were associated with different meetings. In addition to enhancing the charm and elegance of a wedding, each bouquet also told its own story of endless love. This symbol of romantic union was then tossed to an assemblage of unmarried women who vied to catch it and become the next to wed.

Nowadays there are numerous types of bouquets to choose from. Brides may carry formal bouquets that cascade over their hands, informal bouquets with exposed flower stems that the bride clutches, or a simple posy or nosegay bouquet. Between the hundreds of flower types to choose from and the various ways in which to arrange them, bouquet design is entirely customized. With seemingly infinite ways to assemble a bridal bouquet, a number of new traditions for tossing these unique arrangements have also emerged.

Since many single women who attend weddings are not looking to get married or feel uncomfortable competing with one another to catch a floral arrangement, different options of spreading the couples good luck have developed. So that no one feels awkward, sometimes the bride asks all of the women attending a wedding to join in trying to capture the bouquet. In many instances rather than give away one of the most gorgeous symbols of her union, the bride may toss a smaller bouquet which is less opulent than the real one. Or, the bride may have a breakaway bouquet designed which, while appearing to be a single display, is actually a bunch of divided individual bouquets which can be distributed to a number of women instead of just one.

 Another lovely bridal toss tradition which is frequently done is the single flower toss. With this event, many or all of the female guests receive a flower with a special fortune attached in a note to the stem. These single stems can be tossed over the brides shoulder or be hand distributed by her to each female participant. Along these lines, the bride can also designate someone who is of significant importance to her to be the recipient of the bouquet. She may choose her closest family member or maid-of-honor as the beneficiary. Honoring a special couple in attendance, particularly the longest married pair or the couple next in line to wed, is also a new twist on the old custom of bouquet tossing.

There are also a couple of modern methods of bouquet tossing which are less symbolic and a bit livelier. Some brides opt to do a musical chair version of the bouquet toss. In this rendition, the wedding arrangement is passed from woman to woman until the music stops. The woman left holding the bouquet when the music ceases is eliminated each time the music ends until the last woman remains. She becomes the lucky lady who gets to keep the flowers.

Similar to the musical chair version of the bouquet toss, some brides opt to engage in a Finnish tradition. Surrounded by her single female guests, the bride is blindfolded and turned around in circles as music plays. As the music stops, the bouquet is given to the woman standing in front of the bride when she opens her eyes. Another fun way to share the good luck and prosperity of the new marriage, is to toss something other than the wedding bouquet. Some brides toss their wedding favors to the crowd of guests while others toss pieces of candy or small gifts.

As a gorgeous symbol of joy and love, each brides bouquet is uniquely her own. Along with her customized floral arrangement, the bride can also personalize the tradition of the bouquet toss. Whether formal or playful, the bouquet toss is a lovely way to spread the newly married couples good fortune and happiness to those who share their special day.