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Tradition Tuesday: Bouquet + Garter Toss

"All the Single Ladies, now put your hands up!" You know time it is when Single Ladies by Beyonce comes on at a wedding. Women are either running to the bathroom to hide and skip the festivities or running to the dance floor in hopes of being the lucky lady to catch the bride's bouquet. It is time for the Bouquet toss, and shortly after the garter toss. But, why do brides toss the bouquet and grooms the garter?

The bridal bouquet dates back to the Ancient Greeks. Brides would carry herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits, and flowers were introduced to mask the odor. The tossing of the bouquet stems back to superstitions. It was considered good luck to touch the bride, and often even rip pieces of dress and veil. The bride's privacy was invaded entirely on her wedding day due to all the women crowding her to rip pieces of her dress in hopes of good fortune. The bride was considered lucky because she was getting married, so the majority of women tormenting her were single women hoping for romance in their future. Bride's began throwing their bouquet so the women would chase after and fight over her bouquet, and for the bride to be free from the crowding women.

However, in medieval times, the tossing of the bouquet was meant not only a time to distract the women, but also perfect getaway for the bride and groom to run off to their bedchamber. It was common for the bride and groom not to wait for the honeymoon to consummate their marriage. The bride and groom would often make their marriage "official" shortly after the ceremony. The tossing of the garter originated from this tradition. The groom would toss the garter outside of the bedchamber to wedding guests that would eagerly wait for proof.

The origin of this tradition, I think, is bizarre. I couldn't imagine brides being always crowded on their wedding day today. AND I definitely couldn't imagine a bride and groom escaping the reception (especially without second-lining).

Weddings have been around for ages, and to see how they evolved from their origin to the present day is why I started Tradition Tuesdays. If there is a particular tradition, you think I should highlight, please let me know!

Today is a great day to have a great day!

Xoxo, Ashleigh

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