Origin of bouquet & garter toss at weddings

Two exciting traditions that take place at the wedding reception are the throwing of the bride’s garter and the tossing of the bridal bouquet. Tradition has it that the single lady and guy that catch the bouquet and garter will be the next in line to marry. But how did this all originally come about?

The tossing of the bridal bouquet is a custom that has its roots in England and was believed to be a way for the bride to pass along her good fortune to others. Bridal guests would try and tear away pieces of the bride’s clothing and flowers in order to obtain this fortune. In attempt to get away from this tearing of her gown, the bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd. As tradition says, the single lady who catches the bouquet has received the bride’s fortune and will be next in line to marry.


Some brides chose to have a different bouquet designed especially for tossing. This way the woman who catches it will be able to preserve this precious keepsake forever. If you do decide to have a different bouquet designed you might want to consider using silk flowers. Although fresh flowers are beautiful, they sadly do not last forever. On the other hand, quality silk flowers do last if cared for properly.

Bridal garters are also one of the oldest traditions and still continue to remain a significant part of bridal attire. Although unpopular in this part of the world, they are thought to bring luck and fortune to the happy couple. Back in the 14th century England, wedding guests believed that owning a piece of the brides wedding dress would bring them good luck. The bride’s dress was literally torn. In order to keep the dress intact, they began throwing bridal garters to the male guests. The men often times would become too rowdy and attempt to remove the garter from the bride themselves. It eventually became custom for the groom to remove the bridal garter from his brides leg and throw it himself. The lucky man who catches the garter when it is thrown is said to be the next in line to marry. It also was a chance for the single men to share in the good fortune of the groom.


Garter toss

Throwing the garter and tossing the bouquet are both fun traditions that can become a part of your wedding reception; however there is no need to feel as though you have to include them. The beauty of your wedding is that it is unique and your own. It is up to you to decide what traditions to include and those you would prefer to skip.

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There are so many great wedding traditions out there, whether they are special cultural traditions, the simple exchanging of the wedding rings, or the fun act of throwing/tossing the garter and bouquet, that it is up to you to decide which traditions you feel will create your perfect wedding.

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