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  • Writer's pictureLizzie Lumley

Bouquet and Garter Toss

Wedding traditions - which ones to keep and which ones to stop. That is a completely personal choice. We as your Florida day of wedding planner are happy to assist with advice and suggestions.

Let's start out by pretending that we don't know anything about this topic so first let's define bouquet and garter:

According to the Dictionary:

Wedding Garter: An accessory that a bride will wear on her wedding day, secretly hidden beneath the folds of her wedding gown. It is worn on either leg, just above the knee

Wedding Bouquet: A collection of flowers gathered and tied with a ribbon for the bride to carry during ceremony and for photos

Photo by Let's Party DJ and So Flo Photography | Florals by Dalsimer Atlas

How did this become a tradition?


The wedding garter does not have a happy tradition story - it's actually turns us off to the tradition more. According to Roberts Centre's research, This tradition originated in England and France. Guests would try to obtain a piece of the bride's dress for good luck, which often left the bride nervous and tense throughout the entire ceremony in anticipation of her dress being ripped to shreds by the eager mob of wedding guests.


Again, according to Roberts Centre's research, The custom of flower bouquets has its origin in ancient times. Women carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. It was also believed to be preventive measure in contracting the plague. In modern days it is generally accepted that the bride chooses a flower arrangement that she likes or matches her wedding theme.

What is the progression of events during the reception?

We usually suggest doing the bridal bouquet and garter toss right after the cake has been cut that way you are only interrupting the dance party once. However, when we work on your custom wedding timeline, we can adjust the traditional events to work the best for the timing. The bouquet toss comes first. The DJ or Band Leader is the MC for this and they invite all the singles ladies up (cue Beyonce). Then we turn the bride around and the MC does a fun countdown and the toss happens. Nail scratching, fighting, bouquet getting ripped out of peoples hands - we've seen it all! But luckily most are pretty civil. After that the bride takes a photo with the catcher and waits until the garter toss happens. If there is no garter toss, then the festivities start up again.

Now it is time for the garter toss, we, palm beach day of planners, grab a chair and place it in the middle of the dance floor. That is where the bride is seated. Then cue the music (think magic mike) then the groom comes over and puts his head/body underneath the wedding dress to retrieve the garter which is on the bride's leg using his teeth only. Once the garter is off, then the guys do a garter toss - similar to the bouquet toss, the MC will announce for all the single guys to assemble. Then the groom tosses the garter and whoever catches it then puts the garter back on the woman who caught the bouquet as traditional goes , the higher the garter goes the more luck will be brought to the couple.

Does the bride really toss her bouquet?

No, the bride throws something called a Toss Bouquet. The florist usually includes it for free as part of their package. We place the toss bouquet usually on the cake table to store until the bride is ready to do the bouquet toss.

Our Advice:

If you do not have at least 5-10 single (which means not married) women coming to your wedding, please consider skipping this tradition. It is so cringe worthy when you see the DJ/Band Leader trying to get people to come to the dance floor to participate. It would be more fun to just keep your dance party going then to stop everything at a screeching halt to have no one participate.

Garter Toss- man this is a tough one for us. We dislike the garter toss - not because of trying to coordinate it, but honestly because of these two things. (1) Groom going under the brides dress using his teeth to get the garter off - they do this in front of Grandma and aunts and uncles. It is super cringe worthy as I have been to many and have planned many weddings that have done this - yes it can be hilarious but most of the time it's like I must stop watching. (2) The tradition where the garter catcher puts the garter back on the girl who caught the bouquet - in this day and age, a woman might not to have a stranger slipping a garter up her leg as far as possible. Also it is another cringe worthy moment when the woman who caught the bouquet has a date at the wedding and they weren't the ones to catch the garter, then her date has to watch some random guy touch his girlfriend. Not pretty. Most of the time in this case the garter catcher will just give the garter to the date to have him/her do the job. That is why we don't like the garter toss. This is a completely personal opinion, so if the garter toss is something you want to do, then do it. We will help you coordinate it no problem.


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