The tossing of the bouquet and garter are two traditions that have solidified themselves in modern wedding culture. They have survived the test of time and add a fun twist to any wedding reception. Though the two traditions are considered fun and carefree parts of today’s events, the history behind them is quite astounding.

Tossing of the Bouquet

Originating in 14th century England, the tossing of the bouquet occurred after the wedding ceremony. Guests in attendance would try to rip off pieces of the bride’s dress or bridal bouquet as these were thought to bestow good luck and fortune to those who got one. Due to the harassing, sometimes harsh nature, brides began the tradition of tossing their bouquets in one direction in order to leave in the other direction. Throughout time, this tradition has morphed into the carefree bouquet toss we now celebrate. Today the bouquet is still thought to represent good luck and fortune and the idea of “passing” that from the bride to an unwed woman has also become part of the tradition. Though sometimes old meets new when single ladies of today act as rambunctious as attendees of the past by trying to catch the luck of the bouquet for themselves!

Tossing of the Garter


Tossing the garter is said to have originated in France and England many centuries ago. The history of tossing the garter also is steeped in the tradition of dealing with the overly eager wedding guests.  At modern weddings, the removing and tossing of the garter is now the privilege of the groom at the reception. He tosses the garter to the unmarried male guests at the wedding.  It is thought that catching the garter will bring you good luck and in, some cases, indicate that you will be married next.


Both traditions have come a long way from where they originated and are a lot more light-hearted and fun in current times. As with all wedding traditions, neither of these are required on your special day, and if you do decide to incorporate them, there are many different ways you can tailor them to your taste, liking, and guests to make your wedding day special.