Bouquet toss for LDS wedding receptions
Photo Courtesy of Amelia Lyon Photography

The bride tossing the bouquet at the wedding reception to her single female guests is a tradition that is centuries old. Here’s how to plan yours, along with some alternatives to the bouquet toss if you want to do something a little different.

How to Do a Traditional Wedding Bouquet Toss

The bouquet toss is usually done just after the cake cutting, about 45 minutes from the end of the reception. There is a lot of flexibility here, though, and you can break up the dancing or socializing anytime you want with the bouquet toss. No matter when you do it, your DJ should make an announcement beforehand to alert everyone to what is about to happen.

In the traditional bouquet toss, the unmarried reception guests crowd together 15 or 20 feet from the bride, who turns her back to them and tosses the bouquet over her shoulder without looking. The woman or girl who catches the bouquet is, tradition says, the next to be wed.

Generally, a smaller and more inexpensive “toss bouquet” is used in place of the full-size bridal bouquet.

Bouquet toss for LDS wedding receptions
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Have your photographer ready and waiting for this part of the reception. The bouquet toss happens in the blink of an eye and your photographer only has one chance to capture it on film. A shot of the bouquet in the air is priceless photojournalism.

Consider Opening It Up to All Female Guests.

If singling out the single will make some of your guests uncomfortable or resentful, switch it up and invite all female guests (not just the unmarried ones) to participate in the bouquet toss. You want the bouquet toss to be a festive part of the event and a good experience for everyone in attendance.

Bouquet toss for LDS wedding receptions
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If you ask for all your female guests to come forward for the bouquet toss, you’ll probably get a bigger and more enthusiastic crowd. Instead of saying that the one to catch the bouquet will be the next to get married, you can say that catching the bouquet brings good luck.

Alternatives to the Wedding Bouquet Toss

Maybe the whole bouquet toss thing isn’t for you, but have you considered any alternatives? Some of these ideas are particularly meaningful and might be more appropriate for your wedding reception:

bouquet toss for LDS wedding receptions
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Generations dance – all married couples are invited to the dance floor, and as the song plays those who have been married less than a year, 5 years, 10 years, and so on are asked to sit down. The longest-married couple finishes out the dance and is presented with the toss bouquet at the end.

♥ Blindfolded bride – while the bride is blindfolded, all the female guests form a circle around her. They walk around the bride until she calls out “stop” and hands the bouquet to the woman in front of her.

♥ Give to your mothers – have two small toss bouquets prepared and present them to your mother and new mother-in-law.

♥ Give to an engaged friend – if you have a guest at your reception who is planning her own wedding soon, consider giving her the toss bouquet as a gesture of good luck and best wishes.

♥ Give everyone a flower – if your wedding reception is relatively small, you could have a single stemmed flower for every female guest and hand them out in place of a bouquet toss.

Use tradition as a starting point for planning your own LDS bouquet toss, but don’t feel tied to any particular way of doing things. Consider the guests at your wedding reception and do what makes the most sense for you. When it’s done right, a bouquet toss or one of its alternatives is a lot of fun!

Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
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