Osceola County Historical Society Blog

Historical Wedding Traditions –Tossing the Bouquet

Posted by Miranda Herbert Ferrara on Mar 8, 2018 9:00:00 AM

With the opening of our 1800s Replica Historic Church which is now available for Weddings and Vow Renewals, we wanted to take a look into many common wedding traditions still performed.

 Have you ever wondered why the Bride wears a white dress? Or why we eat a tiered wedding cake? Or why the Bride tosses her bouquet? Or why we host a bridal shower?

 Where did these traditions come from? Why do we do them?

 Join us for a multi-part mini-series as we uncover the history behind many common Wedding Traditions!


How many times have you gone to a wedding and just before the bride leaves, she throws her bouquet?

Jackie Kennedy.png

 The unmarried females at the wedding gather around the bride to try to catch her bouquet.  The bride

then turns her back on the group, and tosses the bouquet over her shoulder. The idea is that Fate (or Chance or Karma) will guide the bouquet into the hands of the next female to be married.

Sometimes the bride has a particular person she wants to catch the bouquet and does all she can to assure that happens. Sometimes the bouquet lands in multiple hands and a tussle ensues. Sometimes the bouquet hits the ceiling of the hall and lands in the best man’s lap. Sometimes the toddler flower girl ends up with a bouquet bigger than she is.

 Regardless of the outcome, the bouquet toss is a part of the ceremony to be remembered for years.

Where does this tradition come from?

 Hundreds of years ago, it was considered to be extraordinary good luck for a woman to be married. It was a special blessing for the woman that she would not spend her life as single.

 Because of that, others wanted to be part of the bride’s blessing by touching the bride or even better, ripping off a part of her dress or veil as a keepsake. With all the guests pawing at her and trying to rip her clothing, it became very hard for the bride and groom to leave the party to begin their married life together.  Brides began to throw their bouquets to the crowds as a distraction so she and her groom could leave with their clothes intact.

 The bouquet became the symbol of the blessing and good luck of marriage, and guests felt that the having flowers touched by the bride was as good a keepsake as a part of the dress.

 Likewise, the custom of tossing the garter also stems from needing a distraction to keep the guests from following the couple into their honeymoon chamber.

  Have a question about a wedding or party tradition that you want answered? Are you interested in renting the many venues managed by the Osceola County Historical Society for weddings, meetings, parties or events?

E-mail Maggie Ferrara: maggie@osceolahistory.org or visit www.osceolahistory.org/event-venue-rentals for more information.


Making Your Story – History!




 Erickson, Alexa. “How Did the Wedding Bouquet Toss Tradition Get Started Anyway?” Readers Digest, https://www.rd.com/culture/bouquet-toss-tradition/

 Mikkelson, Barbara. “Bridal Bouquet: A discussion of the lore and superstitions surrounding the bridal bouquet.” https://www.snopes.com/weddings/customs/bouquet.asp.

 Scott, Ellen. “This is why brides throw bouquets at weddings.” Metro. http://metro.co.uk/2016/04/29/this-is-why-brides-throw-bouquets-at-weddings-5849952.

Photo Courtesy: 

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Toni Frissell Collection, LC-F9-04-5309-12-36.


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Topics: History, Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, Venue Rentals, 1800s Historic Replica Church, Wedding Traditions

About this Blog

The Osceola County Historical Society is focused on preserving Osceola County’s rich, cultural history while sharing it with others. This blog is perfect for just that. 

Remember, here you can find information on:

  • Osceola County History
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