Thursday, August 7, 2008

Antiquated Traditions: Garter and Bouquet Toss

In The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions, Jenn Thompson dissects some of our most tried-and-true American wedding traditions.

This one is truly - and appropriately - horrifying.

Garter and Bouquet Toss

This pair of rituals has long been the scourge of the modern wedding guest. What could possibly be more humiliating than being forced out to the center of a parquet dance floor while a wedding DJ advertises your lack of a boyfriend and then being expected to further demonstrate your desperation by diving for flying flowers? Wait…. Yup, we can top that. How about grasping in the air for a lacy piece of undergarment that until moments ago resided uncomfortably close to the crotch of your buddy’s wife? At any other point in time, that would make you a total perv, so why is it acceptable at a wedding? Well, hold on to your scruples boys and girls, because the history behind these customs is downright dirty.
It used to be that after the bride and groom said, “I do,” they were to go immediately into a nearby room and “close the deal” and consummate the marriage. Obviously, to really make it official, there would need to be witnesses, which basically led to hordes of wedding guests crowding around the bed, pushing and shoving to get a good view and hopefully to get their hands on a lucky piece of the bride’s dress as it was ripped from her body. Sometimes the greedy guests helped get the process going by grabbing at the bride’s dress as she walked by, hoping for a few threads of good fortune. In time, it seems, people realized that this was all a bit, well… creepy, and it was decided that for modesty’s sake the bride could toss her bouquet as a diversion as she made her getaway and the groom could simply remove an item of the bride’s undergarments and then toss it back outside to the waiting throngs to prove that he was about to, uh, get ‘er done.
In short... HELL NO. Although I must give props to my oldest friend in the world Allie, who not only led a bouquet toss at her wedding but called out on the mike, "Young feminists to the dancefloor!" before doing so. I love you, Allie. :-)

At our deal, no bouquet or garter tosses whatsoever. No implications that anyone should be desperate to get married, or ever get married if they're not inclined. No massive eye-rolling among my girlfriends. None of our single guy friends/Trevor's young cousins symbolically putting their heads up my dress. Any questions?


Heather said...

Yes! This is the best news ever! I absolutely loathe the bouquet toss. Thanks for leaving this out :)

Allie said...

Recall that Zack said, "all the single douchebags come to the floor." It's no wonder our lives are so angst-ridden. How are douchebags and feminists ever going to see eye to eye?