Monday, November 23, 2009

A Bouquet/Garter Toss Alternative

The bouquet toss way back when must have started off as an innocent tradition. The bride tossed her bouquet to all the single ladies at her big event, and hopefully the girl caught it would be the next single lady to get a ring on it. Totally harmless and cute.

I don't know where from there the whole garter toss thing came into fruition. The whole idea reminds me of an idea a bunch of guys came up with while drunk at a bachelor party. "Hey, it's not fair she gets to toss something... let's figure out something we can toss!". And the best they could come up with (because of their dirty, intoxicated minds) was to take the garter off the bride and toss it. Did anyone ever think what the father of the bride would think about it? Never mind the FOB is usually trying to get over the fact his little girl is now all grown up, now he has his new son-in-law reaching his hand up her dress in front of all their family and friends to remove the garter and toss it to a bunch of men. Eeek!

Fast forward to around when my wedding was. I knew, no matter what I wanted nothing to do with the garter toss. After working in catering for so many years I've seen it go bad way more often than go well. Not to say I didn't trust my husband would do it tastefully, it does overall kind of bring out the worst in men in attendance at weddings (i.e. hooting and hollering, etc).

What really surprised me though was when my bridesmaids came to me and asked me not to include the bouquet toss.

Why would they ask me that? I personally had no aversion to the bouquet toss, though at weddings I usually would never participate myself. After they explained it to me it all made sense. What single woman would want to be publicly singled out and paraded in front of a large group of people who would then know they were single? Especially in this day and age where it's well known how hard it is for working professional women to find a man in NYC (hello Sex and the City!). It's like an announcement to everyone that they've failed at relationships to date and therefore their last hope is to catch the bouquet and meet their perfect mate! Yuck!

So my challenge then was to try to come up with a solution to still maintain the tradition of giving away my bouquet without putting my girls on the spot. What I decided to do instead was an Anniversary Dance.

All the married couples are invited to the dance floor to dance to a song of your choice (mind was "In My Life" by the Beatles). Then little by little, the DJ asks how long the couples have been married (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc) and those couples leave the dance floor. The last couple standing who has been married the longest would then get the bouquet.

I loved this idea because instead of honoring future marriages (which may or may not happen for that bridesmaid, LOL) it instead honored a long standing marriage, which my husband and I of course imagine for ourselves. I also liked how this honored marriage as a whole, and wasn't a boy vs. girl thing as the bouquet/garter toss often implies.

What are your thoughts on the bouquet/garter toss?

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