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The Wedding Bouquet Toss: What it Means (and What to Avoid)

Published Tuesday, Apr. 5th, 2022

All about the bouquet toss! Symbolism, how-to tips, and what *not* to do



We love a fun wedding tradition that gets friends and family members involved, like tossing a wedding bouquet! 


Related: Asking a Friend or Family Member to Officiate Your Wedding? Read This First...

‘Tossing the bouquet’ is said to have originated with brides in ancient England. In those days, a bride would toss her wedding bouquet over her shoulder into the waiting arms of a group of eligible maidens. It was thought that the girl or young woman who caught it would be the next to marry, and things could get very competitive.


The bouquet itself was special too – made from an assortment of seasonal flowers and herbs believed to have magical properties. 


Related: Flower Meanings and Symbolism : What Does Your Wedding Bouquet Say?


Close up photo of a woman's wedding bouquet, with an assortment of pink flowers, including orchids and roses

In addition to looking and smelling lovely,

types of flowers each have their own unique symbolism and meaning.



These carefully selected arrangements were steeped in Pagan wedding lore and ancient witchcraft, and symbolized fertility and blessings and protection for a fruitful and successful union. 


Modern wedding traditions have (thankfully) become less gendered and all around more inclusive than weddings of the past. This means that a modern bouquet toss often includes couples and wedding guests of all genders. Grooms can get in on a bouquet toss, too! 


Related: The 5 Most Patriarchal Wedding Ceremony Traditions (& Their Modern Alternatives)


But choose this wedding tradition at your own risk… 


But choose this tradition at your own risk… Especially if you have terrible aim! Avoid tossing the bouquet in rooms with low ceilings, ceiling fans, or overhead lights. 


Otherwise, the magic moment might end up being unforgettable for an entirely different reason… 





Looking for perfect bouquet toss songs? 


Use this inspiration to add music to your wedding ceremony: 






Looking for alternatives to the bouquet toss? 


Try one of these ideas instead:




Illustration of two people clasping a wedding bouquet, illustrated by Jessica Levey

Illustration by Jessica Levey


From "5 Strange and Delightful Wedding Traditions From The Past"




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