Let’s paint a picture for you. It’s the end of your wedding night, you’ve cried, laughed, ate, and had a phenomenal time; it was everything you ever wanted your wedding to be. Then, just as you are about to leave, ALL of your single guests attack you!
Why you might ask? Well, back in the Middle Ages, single wedding guests would attack the bride at the end of the night to get a small piece of her dress or bouquet in hopes that it would bring them good luck in their love life. Not the most romantic and loving tradition, right?
Fast forward centuries later where this aggressive ritual evolved into two specific pieces of the bride’s attire that would be given out to two guests for good luck, saving from the bride from attack: the garter and the bouquet. Isn’t that so much more romantic, with its spontaneity of who will be next to walk down the aisle?
The garter does have another meaning, other than the luck it brings to the man who catches it. In addition to that original tradition, after the brides dress ripping, a crowd would stand outside the room and “encourage” the happy couple. This evolved into the bride's garter being used as a symbol of the consummation of the marriage; if it came off of the bride, it was proof that the marriage had been consummated. A little risque, don’t you think?
Now while this tradition is all fun and games, with the outrageous stunts pulled by the groom and the embarrassment of the bride when she misses the group of single ladies, there is one thing to consider when deciding if you are going to partake in this tradition: what’s the crowd like? If you are having a small wedding and with only three unmarried guests, a bouquet/garter toss could get really awkward. On the flip side, you could be the first of your friend group to get married and have lots of eager singles wanting to catch that lucky object. You have to do what’s right for your wedding. It’s a tradition, not a law. Many couples are opting to skip this tradition because they want to have more unstructured time during the reception to allow for events to unfold naturally. The garter/bouquet toss has an unsavoury history, but now it’s for merriment and an expression of the couple’s creativity. So, who’s going to be next after your wedding?
XO In Bloom