Traditions & customs are a big point of discussion for most couples as they outline their wedding day. Often times, family & friends have opinions to contribute on the subject and this can lead to a couple making decisions to include or not include specific elements that they might not want to.

We definitely think there's something to be said for tradition- we love our family's holiday traditions and understand the beauty of participating in a custom that has been passed down from generation to generation.  Tradition has its place in our lives and special meaning to certain people so we don't believe you should bunk it all- unless of course, that's what you feel in your heart you want to do! But we definitely don't think couples should do something for the "sake of" tradition. 

In a series of posts this week, we're talking about the origin of some of these traditions as well as some of the elements of a wedding that our couples often reconsider or forgo altogether. 

#1 - The Bouquet & Garter Toss

The Tradition

The bouquet toss and garter toss traditions are said to have originated in Europe in the 14th Century when touching the bride was considered good luck. Guests would try to tear a piece of the bride's dress as a lucky charm. In order to save herself from literally having her dress ripped off of her, bride's started throwing their bouquets into the crowd to deter them. They would then make a getaway to the wedding chamber with their new husband. Once safely inside, the groom would toss the garter out of the chamber door. 

This progressed over time to the modern-day bouquet & garter toss where it's seen as good luck, and potentially puts you as the next to wed, if you catch the bouquet or garter. 

romantic wild organic wedding bouquet

The Alternative

The bouquet and garter tosses are probably the traditions we see the least at weddings we plan and manage. It's honestly quite rare for us to put a bouquet and garter toss on a wedding day timeline. 

There are some alternatives to this tradition a couple could consider:

- Give the bouquet, or other flower arrangements, to special guests of honor such as grandparents, parents or guests who have special meaning in the couple's life. You could also honor the couple who has been married the longest or the next couple planning to get married in attendance at the wedding.  

- For small weddings, host a flower ceremony: Take a special bouquet, walk around to each guest, hand each one a flower and say something special or simply thank them for being in attendance. 

- Use a wedding bouquet to honor loved ones who have passed: Put your bouquet in a vase at the reception surrounded by photos of friends and family who have passed to serve as a reminder of them.

- Skip it altogether - No one will even notice! 

Did you miss the other posts in this series of Wedding Traditions Reconsidered?
Check them out here:

#2 - Favors
#3 - Cake
#4 - Waiting to See Each Other Until the Ceremony
#5 - Wearing a Veil  
#6 - TheWedding Party

About Sincerely Pete

Sincerely Pete is a full service wedding planning and design company in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA with over 13 years of experience. We believe in a personal, curated & customized approach to each wedding couple we work with taking their values & personalities into account and keeping the relationship as the focus of the wedding. We plan Washington DC weddings, Virginia weddings, Maryland weddings and destination weddings all over the world. 

Contact us today for more information!