Capitol Nontradition: Bouquet & Garter Toss Alternatives

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  • September 20, 2013

The more client meetings I have as a wedding coordinator, the more I hear “we don’t want to do that traditional bouquet toss/garter toss stuff”. Personally, that is music to my ears – I for one am not a big fan of doing traditional things, for the sake of tradition. I’d much prefer couples choose meaningful events to happen throughout their wedding day. Plus, as one photographer so eloquently put it, “wedding guest reactions to garter toss are almost always 100% awkward & uncomfortable”. So yeah.

So for today’s post we thought we’d share some ideas and inspiration around some bouquet/garter toss alternatives! These are just suggestions to get your mind going – because as I just stated, you should mostly pick something that works/means something to YOU/your partner/your family and not just do one of these because you saw it on a blog ;)

See what I did there?

Bouquet & Garter Toss Alternatives

1. Throwing something OTHER than a bouquet/garter

So this one involves still tossing SOMETHING to a myriad of your guests, but maybe not your precious bouquet, or that garter you just fetched from under a dress. Take a page out of Emily Porter’s book and throw and angry bird:

[Emily & Bobby’s Wedding | Image: Ken Kienow]

Or possibly a gamer-themed “Companion Cube”, like  Jenn did. I mostly loved Jenn’s throwing choice because she shared, “I threw a Companion Cube from the video game Portal 2. It was “for LOVE”, so all women, single and married, would be blessed with more love in their lives.”

[Jenn & Brent’s Video Game Infused Wedding | Image: Nancy Anderson Photography]

2. The Anniversary Dance

Instead of forcing your single friends to fight for your bouquet, try honoring the couple that’s been married the longest at your wedding! It’s called the “Anniversary Dance” and it requires your DJ or Band to call all the married couples to the floor. A song plays & then the MC calls out years, and asks that if you have been together shorter than that time frame, you leave the dance floor. You are then left with the couple that has been married the longest. We did this at our wedding – and it was a huge success! I was also pretty impressed to find out that my Aunt & Uncle had been married over 40 years!

[My parents dancing at my wedding | Image: Live It Out Photography]

3. Bouquet Passing & Honoring

At my cousin-in-law’s (is that a thing?) wedding, the bride decided to pass her bouquet to the lady at the wedding that was next in line to get married. I’ve seen this a few other times before and I really like it – it’s a great way to recognize the next wedding instead of just embarrassing your single friends.

bouquet alternatives

And then there is Allison & Jay that decided to pass/honor their grandmother with the bride’s bouquet! Alison shares, “There are certain wedding traditions that just didn’t really make sense to us so we either opted out entirely or changed them to suit us. We didn’t do a garter toss at all but when it came to the bouquet I just thought that giving it to someone to honor them would have more meaning than tossing it at one of our two single lady friends. :)

My grandparents have now been married for 64 years and their relationship has always been an inspiration to me. They still hold hands when they walk together. I wore my grandmother’s wedding ring during the ceremony and afterwards when I gave it back she told me there were “63 years of love in that ring.” So for the bouquet I presented it to my grandmother and talked a little but about how much of an inspiration they were and then the DJ played their wedding song: “Believe” by Perry Como.

[Allison & Jay’s Wedding | Image: Leo Druker Photography]

And Heidi & Jason passed the bouquet to their grandparents as well – in honor of their 65th wedding anniversary! So, basically an anniversary dance, without the dance. ;)

bouquet toss alternatives

[Amber Wilkie Photography]

4. And last but not least, you could always just do the Dollar Dance!

Recent bride, Jennifer shared, “Instead of doing the garter/bouquet toss, we did a money dance. I know it sounds so corny and outdated, but it was awesome. Everyone was really into doing it with us and we were given enough money to pay for all our meals on our honeymoon:) Basically the best man and maid of honor wear aprons and collect money when someone comes up to dance with the bride or the groom as long as one really fun and fast song still plays. Its supposed to be a race to make the most money of course and its a lot of fun.

bouquet toss alternatives

[Image: Eric Shaughnessy]

OK Romancers – that rounds up what we found – but I KNOW we missed other equally awesome ideas! Please share any rad ones you might have and we will work to keep this post updated as they come in! Happy Friday!

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