The Garter and Bouquet Toss are infamous and time-honored traditions at weddings. Unfortunately, the reaction to this tradition from guests can be an unpredictable mixed bag.

We got our experts together to cook up some fresh twists to help rejuvenate this wedding ritual, so old customs can be tailor-fit to you as a couple on your big day!


15 Ways to Spice Up Your Bouquet or Garter Toss!


Consolation Prizes

-Kids Prizes: Weddings with lots of children might want to encourage a separate kids-toss with fun prizes so the adult toss can be ore traditional. This way, everyone feels included, and nobody accidentally gets stepped on during the excitement!

-Cash Incentive (AKA Singles for the Singles): Placing a bit of money on the bouquet, or with garter, before the toss can add a little motivation for your guests to claim the prize! Gift cards are a fun alternative as well and could encourage future romantic dates for the lucky winner.

-Bottle of Booze: Winning a bottle of something nice to accompany the bouquet or garter might also promote a little more interest from guests!



New Methods: Fresh perspective on old fun!

-Hot Potato: (Similar to musical chairs, but with fewer chances for accidental injuries.) While a song plays in the background, guests can pass the garter or bouquet around in a circle until the music stops. The one left holding the prize is the lucky winner!

-Box of Treasure: Have guests pick a key out of a mixed pile to unlock a box or birdcage with the award.

-Ribbon Pull: An old European version of this tradition. Many false ribbons are held in the Bride’s hands above her head, with one secret winner tied around the bouquet. Everyone pulls at the same time, and the winning ribbon pulls the prize!

-Toss the Boutonniere: If you still want to throw something to the single men, but you don’t want the scandal of the garter toss, then toss the boutonniere – but take the pins out first!

-Football/Three Flies Up: Easier to throw and catch, especially concerning the garter, a football can be an easy alternative. This saves the integrity of the bouquet and modesty of the Bride.


Pranks: For couples who love to laugh together.

– Blindfolded “Quick Switch”: Groomsmen dress up as the Bride.

-Magic Trick: Pull random items from beneath the dress stashed out of sight behind the Bride.

-Breakaway Bouquet: Throw a “Breakaway Bouquet” made of separated flowers, so everyone in the crowd gets one!

-Gender-Bend: Surprise unsuspecting guests by swapping outfits, and reverse the garter retrieval! See who “wears the pants” in the relationship. *wink wink*



Or, toss the tradition entirely.

-Anniversary Dance: Honor the longest-married couple by giving them the bouquet.

-Cake Pull: Many variations of this technique exist, but it is popular in Southern traditions and similar to a “King Cake” from Mardi Gras celebrations. Small charms placed in a cake or cupcakes for participants indicate different types of prizes, such as good fortune in money or love. By either pulling a ribbon to extract the charm or eating the cake, guests can see what they’ve won. Be sure to warn guests before they take a bite!

-Pass The Torch: Give the Bouquet to the next Bride-to-Be with a wedding coming up. The ribbon or other decoration from that bouquet can be for “something borrowed” on her wedding day.


Have fun with the tradition and make it fit your personality however you see best!

Guests will be delighted by any efforts to keep it alive in your special way.


Photos thanks to True Photography


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