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Destination I Do
Monday, June 1, 2009

Why You Should Skip Throwing the Garter & Bouquet

Words by Jennifer Stein
Image by Josh Andrus

Traditions are important. When it comes to wedding traditions, there are some which are more important than others. Stomping on the glass, cutting the cake, having your father walk you down the aisle - are all things that make us swoon as we get closer to the alter.

But there are some, and a few of you may not agree with me, that can be tossed (excuse the pun).

The bouquet and garter toss, are the ones I am referring to.

Now, 25 or 30 years ago, this was all the rage - but in today's wedding events - things have changed a little. Couples are waiting longer and longer to tie the knot, therefore the average age of a bride is 28 and the groom is 32. Along with 30-something couples, comes 30-something singles.

Not everyone in their 30's or 40's is interested in being pointed out as single. It may seem like fun to the bride and groom to pick a special song and whoop it up on the dance floor because it's considered "tradition," but all it does is make the single women in the group wish they were invisible and the men dart for the restroom.

When I have attended weddings in the past where this tradition is kept and there are a large amount of people between the ages of 10 and 25, it's a great deal of fun. So I'm not saying scrap this idea altogether, I'm simply saying - check your guest list. If you have only a handful of singles who are between 28-40, skip it. They will feel like fools and your idea of the large group shoving each other and laughing to catch the bouquet or garter is going to end up being a bust.

If you need an alternate idea because you are certain you need to give away your bouquet - do an anniversary dance. Request that your DJ or band ask all couples to get on the dance floor for a romantic song. They can begin eliminating couples depending on how long they've been together. The couple who has been together the longest, wins! Then hand over your bouquet and a bottle of champagne to the lucky couple. It's classy and it's a great way to get the older couples out on the dance floor. You won't embarrass anyone and your single friends will feel grateful you didn't make them a spectacle.

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