The traditional bouquet toss has been around for many years (centuries, in fact). While this is great for engaged couples who want to include classic traditions in their wedding day, it leaves those who’d prefer a more modern celebration at a crossroads. Do you stick it out and do the toss? Do you cut it altogether? For the modern bride or groom who isn’t a fan of the customary activity, but still wants a similarly exciting game or meaningful moment, there are plenty of bouquet toss alternatives. Below we explore four different options that are worthy of taking their place on your big day.
Rather than let fate (or an eager group of participating guests) decide which wedding guest gets the bride’s bouquet, decide to pass it on to a particular couple or individual.
One beloved, but not quite as popular, wedding game you can put on, in this case, is the anniversary dance. This is a dance in which the dejay (or whoever is addressing the crowd throughout the night) will call all of the married couples to the dance floor. Throughout the dance, they’ll call out several years, with couples stepping off the dance floor if the number exceeds the number of years they’ve been married. The goal is to find the couple who has been married the longest. This couple then receives your bouquet.
This gives you a nice opportunity to get some photos together and congratulate them or ask for their best marriage advice. On the other hand, if you have an engaged and soon-to-be-married couple in attendance, you can choose to pass your bouquet on to them as a way of wishing them good luck.
Similarly, you might want to consider picking a special individual and giving them your bouquet as a thank you. Maybe they weren’t a part of the wedding party, but were a great help throughout your engagement and wedding day? Perhaps you have a wedding guest who serves in the military that you’d like to thank? Opting out of the bouquet toss and instead of taking a moment to honor someone—or a couple of people—is sure to be a meaningful and unforgettable bouquet toss alternative.
There are many ways you can honor lost loved ones throughout your wedding, from reserved seats to dedicated toasts—and even a couple of ways that involve your wedding bouquet. After your wedding celebration, put your bouquet in a beautiful vase and place it atop a memorial table. Alongside your flowers, place photographs of friends and family members who are no longer with you or a sign listing each of their names. Your bouquet will serve as a reminder that you’re thinking of them throughout this important occasion.
Another touching way to honor loved ones who have passed is to take your bouquet to their cemetery or burial site. Though you may not be able to do this on your wedding day, you can make a special trip in the days following, which will allow you to dedicate more time to the memorial. Placing your bouquet at someone’s grave or in a spot that was important to them is a moving form of remembrance and stunning use of your wedding flowers.
If you’re all for a game but aren’t fond of the idea of tossing your bouquet, replace the toss with another game of chance. For example, have all of your non-married guests—or whoever you’d like to participate—take a key out of a bag or bowl at the beginning of your reception. Then, at the time you’d usually have the bouquet toss (post-cake cutting, in most cases), have those participating lineup and try to use their key to unlock a glass box holding a bouquet. Whoever’s key unlocks it gets to take it home.
Swapping out the bouquet toss for a game you find more your wedding style is a great alternative if you still want to involve your guests in an exciting activity. It’s also a chance to give away something that isn’t your bouquet—say a gift card or small cash prize.
Most cut flowers have a lifespan of seven to 12 days. Rather than tossing your bridal bouquet—either to a guest or into the trash at the end of the night—brighten the lives of those in your community by donating your bouquet and other floral decorations. After collecting your florals, organizations like Repeat Roses and Random Acts of Flowers deliver them to patients in nursing homes, hospices, cancer treatment centers, mental health facilities, and homeless shelters. Such companies make sure your wedding flowers go to good use and provide as much joy and purpose as possible while they’re still alive and beautiful. If you’re having trouble finding one in your area, consider contacting shelters, hospitals, and similar locations near you directly.
While the wedding bouquet toss is a wedding tradition, it’s in no way strictly enforced. Tailor the activity to you and your guests or swap it out for a fun alternative that makes you happy. When it comes to these kinds of games, your wedding only needs to be as traditional as you’d like it to be.