Whether in films or real life, every wedding has this one ritual where the bride throws her wedding bouquet.
The bride usually stands on the left of her groom with her back to her bridesmaids, friends, and relatives before tossing the bouquet into the air.
But what is the significance of the bouquet toss?
Specifically, why do brides throw their wedding bouquets?
Tossing a bouquet brings good luck to anyone who catches it. Some people take this tradition as only a trivial matter, but some believe that this ritual brings luck into their life. For single ladies, it can be a token of luck in their ongoing search to find their life partner. The hope is that they might be the next to get married.
No matter how you interpret it, the bouquet toss has its history and tradition. First and foremost, we’ll take a look at the history of wedding bouquets.
The History of Wedding Bouquets
We all can agree that flowers are synonymous with femininity and symbolize beauty, fertility, and romance.
Throughout human civilization, a bouquet has been a part of weddings. In many cultures and religions, you wouldn’t see marriages without a bridal bouquet and flower decorations.
The act of a bride carrying a wedding bouquet started thousand years ago during the early days of ancient Greece and Rome.
Ancient Rome and Egypt
Back then, the first bridal bouquets were flower garlands. These garlands were worn by both the bride and the groom.
According to their belief, these flowers symbolized happiness, fertility, loyalty, and a new beginning for the married couple.
Some flowers also carried their own meaning. For instance, rosemary represented loyalty; dill symbolized lust; wheat represented fertility; basil, thistle, and thyme represented protection.
They also used spices and fragrant herbs during the ceremony to deter bad luck and evil spirits.
During the middle ages, English people started to get more creative when making wedding bouquets. They used colorful, fragrant flowers and herbs.
Both the bride and the groom would eat dill to promote sexual enticement.
What’s more interesting is that these fragrant flowers and herbs could mask body odor, creating a more attractive appeal for the bride.
Fast forward to the Victorian era, and the flower garlands were already out of style.
Instead, people used colorful, fragrant flowers without incorporating any herbs into the bouquet. These included roses, marigolds, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, and many more.
Some flowers had specific meanings. For instance, white lilies symbolized virginity, camellias represented admiration, and ivy symbolized loyalty.
During this era, couples also sent flowers to their lovers to communicate their love and commitment to each other.
When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she carried a bouquet of posies and myrtle and wore orange blossoms in her hair.
Although those old beliefs don’t apply to today’s culture, you can’t go to a wedding without seeing the bride with a flower bouquet in their hands.
Today, a wedding bouquet is one of the must-have accessories for a bride.
The Tradition of Throwing the Wedding Bouquet
Historically, the tradition of throwing a wedding bouquet started in the Middle Ages, particularly in Medieval Europe, where the brides threw the bouquet to distract the crowd.
This is because, during the wedding, the bride was considered to be the luckiest person. So the crowd would try to touch or grab a bit of the bride’s dress for luck.
Therefore, to escape this situation, the bride usually threw the bouquet as a replacement and a successful diversion tactic to avoid awkward situations.
When Does a Bride Throw the Bouquet?
It is totally up to the bride to decide when to toss her bridal bouquet. It can happen before and after the toast, dinner, or once the dance is over.
However, the most suitable time would be when the wedding’s solemnization and all the essential parts are finished, usually after the cake cutting. This is when the crowd can focus on the toss, especially all the single ladies.
Tossing a bouquet might seem awkward if you only invite close friends and relatives. A small crowd of ladies might be too shy to come forward in front of everyone and try to catch the bouquet.
Before the toss, the bride will take a position on the dance floor, stairs, or a small stage.
Then, the DJ or any person in charge will call the single ladies out to gather for the toss. Finally, the person who catches the bouquet will take a photo with the bride or the married couple.
What Does It Mean When a Girl Catches the Bouquet?
For some people, a bouquet toss is another fun way to make the reception seem more cheerful. But to some others, it carries a significant meaning.
When a girl catches the bouquet, it usually symbolizes good luck. The one lucky enough to grab the bouquet may be the next to walk down the aisle.
How Much Does a Wedding Bouquet Cost?
Depending on your budget and preference, a wedding bouquet could go as low as $60 for one bouquet or up to $1,000.
There are other factors to consider when the florists set the price for each type of flower.
Price factors include availability, where the flowers come from, the floral arrangement, and add-on requests that you can include within the package.
For each season, certain flowers are more readily available.
- Cymbidium orchids
- Purple alstroemeria
The bouquet toss is a fun way for the brides to connect with the crowd. During this ritual, the bride is the center of attention as the groom happily stands beside her and appreciates the beautiful day they both share.
If you’re planning to hold a reception, the types of flowers you choose for the bouquet is totally up to you. Although we still practice the tradition today, you have the options to do it your way. After all, it is your wedding!