We have all been to a wedding and know the deal. At some point, the disc jockey yells, “will all the single ladies come out on the dance floor?” Next, the DJ plays something like, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” and eventually, the bride throws her flowers back to a bunch of crazed daisey-hungry women who fight over them.
As matrimonial legend goes, this ceremonial tossing of the flowers is symbolic. It promises to bring good fortune to the one lucky unmarried woman who catches the flowers. The magic of the flowers passes on to the catcher and suggests that she, will in fact, be the next lucky pretty bride to marry and live a long happy life, just as the bride before her.
As Ron Popeil always said… “But wait. There’s more!” To the victor go the spoils. That means, if you are an old maid hoping to catch the magic flowers so that you too, can get married soon, you do so with a price.
The lucky flower-catcher also has to take part in receiving the garter that the single male counterpart caught. And usally, when I have a say in it, this is not a quick drive-by moment in passing. Like many DJs love to do, this event is an embarassing ordeal albeit in jest, and quite often a sultry exhibition set to music.
You have seen this before, I am sure. And when done properly, it is often a fun moment that really makes everyone laugh. Except, however, for the the two involved! (LOL!) But how can you do organize this fun, time honored-activity, so that it comes off exactly how you want it to? Plan… Plan… Plan!
STEPS TO ACHEIVING A SUCCESSFUL BOUQUET-GARTER SEGMENT
BOUQUET SELECTION – Buy local! When you order from a national chain, they act essentially as a middle man. Therefore, you pay more for less flowers. If your wedding is in Albany, look for a reputable floral shop like http://www.centralfloristofalbany.com/, or head on out to a nice farmer’s market.
INCREASE AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - One big thing to think about is the question, “who is my target audience?” As the leader of this activity, I have noticed that quite often there is very good crowd participation. Usually your wedding guests are all about jumping in there for a good time, especially when booze is a factor. However, there have also been many times, when you get the “meh” response and people do not move to the floor.
You know your crowd better than anyone, afterall, you invited everybody there except the wedding-crashers. If you predict a dull bouquet segment in looking at the roster of single volunteers to participate, and this is not what you want, there is hope.
If you really want to have everyone lining up for bridal bouquet & garter toss, and pray for a super picture, there is only one answer. BRIBE THEM.
It may even be funny and add to the moment to have that dead air silence, until the bribe is made. Have your wedding disc jockey hold up a prize that you have provided for people to participate. It is amazing what people will do for $20, or a bottle of cheap wine. (If you don’t belive me, ask my first prom date.)
After the proper group-appropriate bride-bribe, your bouquet-garter participant base will grow, and you will have great pictures and memories for years to come!
NOT ENOUGH SINGLES ON HAND - What if it seems everyone is married or has a significant other? If you feel that not enough of your guests are single and yothis will affect te amount of participants shown in that must-have bridal bouquet shot, fear not. Change the rules.
Many people throw away the single requirement, these days, and have the DJ request anyone to come particiapte. What I like to do is include all the single people and, “…or people who PRETEND they are single on a Saturday night.”
ELIMINATE THE KID FACTOR - Kids can blow the whole thing. Whenever there is some kind of contest, regardless of the prize, you know that children will want to take part. If you have invited couples and permitted children attending your reception, you may want a back plan. You won’t want them to partake in this activity, no matter how fun it may be to see them holding the flowers in a picture for the photgrapher. Nobody ever thinks about it when the cute little girl goes to catch the flowers in the bouquet toss line. It is AFTER the garter is removed and caught that the realization sets in.
I have seen a number of flower tosses where an unsuspecting little girl has caught the flowers, and an older man catches the garter. What happens next? As I DJ, I call this a “Deliverance Banjo Scene” in the making, or locally, “an outback Ravena, NY” moment. Tradition dictates that the old man then has to put the garter on a young girl’s leg. We were first shooting for a fun picture that all the bride’s friends will remember forever. Now, can you say, “creepy moment we want to forget?”
THE BRIDAL BEAR TOSS - One thing you can do to hold over the kiddies not participating in the bouquet toss is the classic “bait & switch.”
To avoid the backwoods moment and keep the flower fun on the adult-side of up-and-up, you can have your DJ announce that all children under 16 are from not alowed to participate. But instead of just cutting them out altogether, before the actual wedding bouquet, you can always toss something else just for the kids. You could toss a stuffed wedding animal in bridal dress, or a teddy bear or even a special smaller bouquet of flowers just for this segment.
This family-friendly alternative will not only keep the kiddies happy, but also creates an additional photo opportunity!