Wedding traditions are well-known acts that most brides choose to incorporate into their wedding! But where do some of these traditions originate and what do they mean? From wearing white to tossing a bride’s bouquet or rice as the couple leaves, wedding traditions are unique and vary in their historical significance. Here, at The Bridal Cottage, one of our favorite traditions is that of the bouquet toss!
The tradition of the bouquet toss has been around since the 14th century! This tradition originated in medieval Europe, particularly France, and involved the single women attending the wedding ceremony ripping off pieces of the bride's dress! Can you believe that?
This act was meant to bring luck to anyone that held a piece of the bride’s gown. At that time, bridal gowns didn't have any sentimental value to the bride, but the pieces were sacred to guests. However, through time, wedding gowns have become considered more precious. It is now tradition to keep them intact (except, of course, brides that choose to “trash the dress”). To break the tradition of chasing the bride to rip off pieces of her gown, brides began throwing other objects as a distraction.
It was at that time that it became common for the bride to throw her garter to guests. In turn, the garters would be ripped and distributed to wedding attendees. Unfortunately, then over excited wedding guests would try to take the garter from the bride. That was when the groom began to toss the garter himself.
Brides began throwing the bouquet because flowers were perishable and didn't matter to the bride if she kept them. Flowers also symbolize fertility, so the female attendees would catch the bouquet in hopes of beginning their new life and expanding their family.
The wedding tradition of the bouquet toss has maintained its historical form. However, the modern bride may choose to do a different variation of this tradition. It is not uncommon for a bride to have a bouquet that can be taken apart so that she may hand individual flowers to her guests. Some couples may give the bouquet and garter to their parents in honor of their marriage. Perhaps one of our favorite things that brides are choosing to do with their bouquet is that of honoring the longest married couple. In Korea, a bouquet can be made with lollipops in which guests will pass the bouquet to one another and each take a lollipop from the bouquet.
However you decide to incorporate this tradition into your ceremony, do it your own create way! There’s really no right or wrong way to toss the bouquet, so have fun with it!