I didn’t toss the bouquet at my wedding. By the time I tied the knot, pretty much all my close friends were already married. There were only a few single women at our wedding, and having been a single gal at many a wedding before, I refused to drag the single ladies out on the dance floor and torture them with the whole spectacle of diving for a bouquet. Tossing the bouquet just wasn’t for me. Traditional I am not. However, it is certainly a long-held wedding tradition, and for the first installment of our Wedding Encyclopedia posts, I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the history behind the tossing of the bouquet.
The tradition of tossing the bouquet is believed to have begun as far back as the 14th century in Western Europe. Believing that brides were lucky people, wedding guests were anxious to get close to the bride in hopes that her luck would rub off on them. In fact, they somehow thought that taking a piece of cloth or ribbon from her wedding dress would bring them some of the same luck. Groups of guests would chase around the bride trying to tear off pieces of her dress that they could take home with them thinking that having such a keepsake would surely bring them luck. Ummm… what?! Can you imagine your wedding guests tearing themselves off a piece of your wedding gown?!? No thank you.
Obviously, brides weren’t so keen on the idea of being chased around their wedding receptions and having their clothes destroyed, so in an attempt to save themselves (and their clothing), brides began tossing their bouquet into the crowd in an attempt to distract the guests. This gave the bride enough time to get away without harm. Like the brides clothing, the bouquet soon became a symbol of good fortune, and any unmarried woman who caught the bouquet was said to be the luckiest and hence, the next to marry.
So, what do you think? Are you planning to (or did you) toss the bouquet at your wedding? Or did you prefer to just have your guests rip off pieces of your gown?