Parading all the single women at your wedding onto the dance floor and asking them to fight each other over some flowers is a time-honored wedding tradition. Or is it?

According to The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study, the bouquet toss decreased in popularity from 54% in 2016 to 45% in 2018.

Experts attribute much of the decline to couples choosing to include personalized activities during their wedding over more traditional events (In The Knot’s 2019 study, 55% of couples said it was important their wedding was a true reflection of their relationship.). Additionally, the garter toss, which often accompanies the bouquet toss, is on the decline, with only 33% of to-be-weds planning on incorporating the garter toss into their wedding in 2018, down from 41% in 2016.

The bottom line is many couples choose to create their own traditions rather than incorporate old ones.

Per tradition, the DJ usually calls all unmarried women to the dance floor to participate in the bouquet toss. The bride typically uses a smaller toss-away bouquet so she doesn’t have to give away her real one, although some use their traditional bouquet. Once the ladies assemble, the bride turns around and tosses the arrangement over her head. The lucky gal who catches the bouquet is said to be the next to get married. 

The bouquet toss has a similar history to the garter toss. It began the medieval belief that obtaining a piece of a bride’s wedding gown would bring good luck, according to Brides.com. This led many women to literally rip a bride’s dress to shreds to possess a piece of the precious fabric. 

Eventually, brides began wearing a bridal garter to supply guests with a piece of the dress without damaging it. Tradition also evolved to tossing the bouquet to pass along a bride’s “luck.” bride, who was clearly lucky in love, passed her luck onto a single woman with hopes that she would soon marry, according to a Reader’s Digest article.

Bottom line: It’s YOUR wedding. If you enjoy the bouquet toss, go for it! But if not, don’t feel pressured to include it for the sake of “tradition.” If you do choose to participate, check out or song recommendations in our blog, “Top 10 Bouquet and Garter Toss Songs.”

And to learn more about how brides are “bucking tradition,” read our blogs on the garter toss and whether white is always right.

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