Where Did The Bouquet and Garter Toss Come From?

Wedding History 101:

Where Did The Bouquet and Garter Toss Come From?

Written By Murphy Park

The tossing of the Bouquet and Garter is a very fun, and very common tradition at weddings. The bachelor and bachelorette that catch the prize are thought to be next in line for marriage, as tradition suggests. But where did this interesting routine come from? It's a part of most wedding receptions, yet we don't know the origin or true significance of the tradition, and just how serious it's superstitious roots are.

Garter Toss: The Garter is one of the oldest traditions in weddings, and is still an important garment in wedding day attire. It's worn by the bride and is thought to bring the bride and groom good luck. In 14th Century England wedding guests believed it was good luck to take a piece of the bride's wedding dress. And by “take” I mean TEAR a piece of her dress for keepsake. In order to keep them at a safe distance the bride began throwing it to the men, but even that wasn't enough. The men would get drunk and try and remove the garter themselves, so the tradition became for the groom to remove the Garter and toss it himself. The winner of course was thought to be the next to marry. Today's Garter toss is a lot less aggressive thankfully, but the sentiment and tradition lives on.

Bouquet Toss: The Bouquet Toss also has a slightly scary origin. Women attending weddings in 14th century England would also attempt to take pieces of the bride's dress for keepsake. The thought being that it would also bring them good fortune. They would also grab at the bride's flowers, tearing off pedals and eventually ruining the bouquet. To save her dress AND her bouquet, the bride began tossing the bouquet in order to keep a safe distance from the guests. The gal that caught the bouquet was thought to be lucky in love. Later bride's began to use a second bouquet just for the toss in order to preserve their own bouquet.

The bouquet and garter toss are fun and common wedding traditions, but that doesn't mean you have to do it. This is your wedding, and the beauty of your wedding is that it is unique and your own. There are many fun wedding traditions, and you can decide which ones to include. If you do want to be traditional, then the bouquet and garter toss are a great addition to the reception. Although it's roots may be a bit aggressive, the sentiment of the bouquet and garter toss are pure. Everyone just wants love, and they'll fight tooth and nail to get it! : )

Adrian Cavlan