3 Things You Should Know About Throwing the Bouquet

When you're at a wedding and the bride is throwing the bouquet, do you line up to catch it, or do you stay away to avoid the carnage? What does it mean? How did it all begin? Here is some background info on this wedding tradition.

1. Its Origin

Set aside any romantic thoughts—the origin of throwing the bouquet is actually one of practicality. According to Reader's Digest, centuries ago, people used to think that touching the bride could bring good fortune in the love department. This often led to unwanted guests huddling around the new bride as they tried to rip her gown off. So as a distraction tactic, the bride opted for tossing the bouquet before running away to a private chamber with the groom.

2. Its Meaning

Since touching the bride could supposedly bring good luck in the romance department, people were happy to lay their hands on any of her accessories. This is why guests naturally associate snatching the bouquet with having good romantic fortune.

3. Its Evolution

What began as a distraction tactic slowly became a tradition for brides to pass their luck to one single lady. As guests no longer chase the bride to grab her gown, the practice became more of a celebration than a vicious fleeing session. And since fate is a large part of the tradition, this explains why brides often have their backs facing the single ladies to add an element of surprise.

Is Throwing the Bouquet Right for Your Wedding?

Knowing all that, should you embrace the throw bouquet?

In a recent piece at Brides, the writer argues that a tradition like this is plain "mean." Not only does it put everyone—single ladies and viewers alike—in an awkward, embarrassing situation, it also destroys the romantic prospects of the friend who actually catches the bouquet.

However, the bouquet toss can be a fun event for your wedding. At the end of the day, it really depends on how you feel about it, and the extent to which you wish to embrace tradition. If you have a friend or family member with an upcoming wedding, you could hand your bouquet off to her to avoid potential bouquet toss drama and wish her luck on her upcoming nuptials.

Ultimately, it depends on what you want, and how you want to do it. There really are no rules!