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Reception Ideas

bouquet and garter toss

I really want to do both the bouquet and garter toss at our reception but i know many guests are not into it. In order to make it more interesting I'd read somewhere where another couple did it where it it was for all instead of the unmarried and gave away a gift to who ever caught them. I like the idea but not sure if my guests would. We are already doing wedding favors, candy bar, and photo booth so all guests will be given something to take home.

If you were a guest, what would you think of catching a bouquet for an additional "prize"?

Re: bouquet and garter toss

  • You're right that many guests are not "in to" the traditional bouquet and garter toss, but there's nothing in the etiquette rules that says you can't do one, so if you want to do it I say go for it.  Just please don't have your groom reach up your dress in public to grab the garter or make whoever catches them dance together--that's super tacky.

    I like the idea of throwing the bouquet/garter to whoever wants to participate so that singled guests aren't singled out.  I don't think you need a huge "prize" for catching it since you already have so many favors for guests already.  I've heard of some brides attaching scratch tickets to their bouquet--maybe you could do something like that if your guests are into it?
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I like the idea of including everyone. There's nothing worse than being dragged out to the dance floor to catch the bouquet because you're single. One bride went so far as to have the DJ call my name until I came out. 
    I don't know that I'd particiapte though for a prize. I'd probably still skip it. 

    Personally, I think the garter toss is icky. 

    banana468
  • I was thinking I would attach a 10 dollar gift card to like Starbucks to each. Nothing extravagant but just a bonus to participate.
    SP29
  • I think that's fine...like PP said it's not against etiquette, and I agree that having everyone participate is better than just single ladies, since you already were thinking that it's fine. And the $10 gift card is an easy idea but if you didn't want to include them I still think you'd be okay because you've already got so much going home with the guests anyway. An extra prize wouldn't sway my participation; people who want to do it will and people who don't, won't.

  • I know it wont sway anyone. I didnt know if it might appear weird or tacky. I thought of the gift card as a "thanks for humoring me while i ask you to participate in a slightly silly tradition". I am trying to make sure that all are entertained and engaged.
  • I know it wont sway anyone. I didnt know if it might appear weird or tacky. I thought of the gift card as a "thanks for humoring me while i ask you to participate in a slightly silly tradition". I am trying to make sure that all are entertained and engaged.
    I don't think that's possible.   Opinions are pretty divided on the garter and bouquet toss.   Example: I don't love the bouquet toss unless it's for 8 yo girls and I loathe the garter toss.   I haven't seen one done yet that didn't gross me out.   I'm no prude but I don't think there's ever an occasion to take your wife's undergarments off in  public.

    And your guests probably aren't all going to pay attention to it.   Some just talk among each other and won't look.   It's just what happens. 
    charlotte989875
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    If you want to include the gift card, then do so. I still wouldn't be interested, but for those who are, it's a nice treat.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited November 2015
    I really want to do both the bouquet and garter toss at our reception but i know many guests are not into it. In order to make it more interesting I'd read somewhere where another couple did it where it it was for all instead of the unmarried and gave away a gift to who ever caught them. I like the idea but not sure if my guests would. We are already doing wedding favors, candy bar, and photo booth so all guests will be given something to take home. If you were a guest, what would you think of catching a bouquet for an additional "prize"?
    If your guests are not into it, I'd skip it altogether, because regardless of what else you offer as an additional "prize," anyone who does participate who doesn't really want to is going to feel pressured and will be privately side-eying you.

    Do something else that appeals to everyone or the majority of your guests instead.  The reception doesn't have to have every moment scripted.
  • If you think it's a fun tradition, I suggest you simply do it traditionally in a fun way.  Those that want to participate will - for you and tradition - and those that want to skip it will - regardless of tradition OR "reward/prize".  Announce it, invite participation (but agree not singling people out)have some fun music, take a picture, toss bouquet ... repeat idea with garter.  Then, move on.  If it's fun for you, then enjoy it.  (Seriously, it should take that long to worry people who aren't "into it".)  
  • We had a small wedding 40 people and of that like 3 single women. I didn't want to single them out but I really wanted to do the bouquet toss because I got to throw it out of a tower. So we did what you are suggesting and just opened the floor to everyone and gave a $25 gift card to Olive Garden to the person who caught the bouquet. Pretty much everyone decided to participate. It was fun for me and lasted less than 5 minutes for everyone else. We skipped the garter toss but if you want to do go for it.

    When I posted about it a few months before my wedding I got a lot of replies saying I should skip it and that I was being silly and one saying I was being rude to guests for forcing them to participate in this tradition... Well I had fun and I didn't force any of my guests, I'm glad I didn't skip it! So OP if you want to do these traditions go for it and I think including everyone is a great way to not single people out.
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    JediElizabeth
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    Daughter did the bouquet toss.  Keep in mind that she is 6 feet tall without shoes.  That bouquet went sailing way over the heads of the bridesmaids and single ladies and landed, plop, into the lap of the astonished, elderly, head of the Chinese side of the family.  It was a hoot!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    kimmiinthemittenJediElizabethspockforprez
  • We expanded our bouquet and garter toss to include everyone, and gave out a gift card to those who won. 

    We did manage a decent turnout (I know lots of people who hate them) because we opened it to everyone, but there were still around half the guests who didn't participate. 


  • Bouquet toss is fine I guess, I stopped going up for them once I was out of my early teens. But whatever, inviting everyone instead of just the single ladies sounds much better.

    Garter toss....now I've never actually seen one of these things in the wild. Am I right in saying that the groom sticks his head up your dress and takes it off with his teeth in front of everyone at your reception? Then he throws it to the crowd (of guys?), and whomever catches it has to put it on someone else like a bridesmaid or something in front of all the other guests. This is what we're talking about, correct?
                 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    When I was 17 I was "forced" into participating in a bouquet toss at my cousin's wedding.   I ended up with the bouquet.  Not because I tried, but it just ended up falling into my hands, but not before my foot was spiked TWICE by 2 different women's shoes.     My foot was all bloody and bruised for weeks after.

    So, yeah I'm not a fan of tosses and didn't have one myself.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • lyndausvi said:

    When I was 17 I was "forced" into participating in a bouquet toss at my cousin's wedding.   I ended up with the bouquet.  Not because I tried, but it just ended up falling into my hands, but not before my foot was spiked TWICE by 2 different women's shoes.     My foot was all bloody and bruised for weeks after.

    So, yeah I'm not a fan of tosses and didn't have one myself.

    I was almost forced into participating at my husband's family friend's wedding a few years back (before we were engaged). I've posted about this bride before (my most common post is how they never sent thank you cards, but there were myriad issues I have with this couple). The bride went to each and every table and tried to literally drag anyone she could to the dance floor. She grabbed my arm and I said "sorry, gotta use the bathroom" and got as far from her as I possibly could until it was over. She specifically threw it at one bridesmaid because she had some crush or something, I don't even remember, but it made me so uncomfortable and hate the bouquet toss even more than I already did.
  • Bouquet toss is fine I guess, I stopped going up for them once I was out of my early teens. But whatever, inviting everyone instead of just the single ladies sounds much better. Garter toss....now I've never actually seen one of these things in the wild. Am I right in saying that the groom sticks his head up your dress and takes it off with his teeth in front of everyone at your reception? Then he throws it to the crowd (of guys?), and whomever catches it has to put it on someone else like a bridesmaid or something in front of all the other guests. This is what we're talking about, correct?
    This is what my brother and SIL did at their wedding. The participants seemed to get a kick out of it and the guy was very respectful. Most of the guests weren't paying attention anyways.

    I know some of my friends who have done both, but they just took a pic with the guests who caught them; there was no putting the garter back on the female guest.

    So there are plenty of ways to do the garter and bouquet toss without putting a guest in an awkward situation they'd rather not be in
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