That’s Amore: My Epic Fail of Bouquet Toss

An hour had passed into our reception, and it was time to do the bouquet and garter tosses. In Japan, the garter-toss tradition doesn’t exist. Moreover, the bouquet isn’t usually tossed but “pulled.” A typical bouquet-pull involves dozens of ribbons seemingly attached to a bouquet. All the single women gather in a group, pick up a ribbon, and pull at the same time. It’s revealed that only one ribbon is actually attached to the bouquet, and the holder of that ribbon is awarded the bouquet.


A typical Japanese bouquet pull / Image via Photography by Luce

We wanted to show our guests what a typical American reception would look like, so we decided to do a bouquet toss and a garter toss. To be honest, we were worried about how the garter toss would be done since the men at the reception might find the idea of trying to catch a woman’s undergarment embarrassing and uncomfortable. We explained the traditions to our wedding planner and emcee, and they came up with the clever idea of having the men catch the bouquet and the women catch the garter. We loved the idea!

When it was time for the bouquet toss the emcee called all of the single men to the floor, and I got ready to toss the bouquet. I’d been very nervous about the bouquet toss and not throwing it far enough for everyone to catch. I actually had nightmares of people being disappointed in me because my bouquet toss was so weak. I decided early on that I would throw it as hard as I could. When it was time for the moment of  truth, I threw the bouquet over my shoulder with a mighty toss and heard a crash! My bouquet had hit the chandelier right above me.


My awful bouquet toss into the chandelier / Personal Photo

The bouquet basically fell apart upon impact. I was mortified! The men were all great sports and dived for the remnants of the bouquet. Everyone was roaring with laughter, and I couldn’t help but laugh either. I was so glad I hadn’t broken the chandelier!


I think this photo says it all: My mortification and the mad dash to catch the bouquet.


My friend Bob was the victorious winner and caught my mangled bouquet.

After that it was time for the garter toss, which went much more smoothly. Mr. G discreetly got my garter and shot it into the group of waiting girls. There was a bit of a hustle, and my friend Dani, who had emailed me earlier asking me to aim the bouquet at her, caught the garter.


Mr. G getting off the garter


I was so ecstatic that my friend Dani caught it! She was too!


The winners pose together.

All my nervousness and worries about having a bad bouquet toss totally came true. But you know what? I’m glad it turned out horribly. I will always have a funny story to tell about my wedding.

Are you nervous about tossing your bouquet? Already married brides, how did your bouquet toss go?

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Photography by Teppei Kawakami

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Mrs. Gondola

Wedding Date:
December 1969
Going to the Chapel?
Classifieds: January 21, 2014
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  1. milkcow Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 215 posts, Helper bee @ 9:53 am

    I’m so glad all the guys got into it even though the bouquet got stuck! I think it makes for a fun story and a good memory for everyone who hadn’t experienced the tradition before :)

  2. pyramid Member
    Mrs. Pyramid 104 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:00 am

    Aw your poor beautiful bouquet! At least you didn’t throw it too weakly!

  3. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:15 am

    I LOVE that you switched who caught what. :) The second photo is priceless!

  4. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:33 am

    LOL that is too funny! It makes for a great memory and funny story. I love that your friend Dani is holding up the peace signs in her picture too!

  5. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 10:33 am

    Sounds like a great way to make it fun for your guests! (And, yeah, I had to re-do my bouquet toss at my first wedding because I hit the ceiling, so I feel your pain, there.)

  6. Member
    cosmo_gmr 488 posts, Helper bee @ 11:40 am

    That was awesome!
    I was an awful bouquet tosser as well. I hit one of the ceiling drapes and I was supposed to tease the people with the toss and I didn’t… Anyway, we did laugh!

  7. Member
    miss.qwerty 206 posts, Helper bee @ 6:10 pm

    I love your switch – it’s a clever and fun twist on the tradition!

  8. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 65 posts, Worker bee @ 1:51 am

    See, I don’t actually know yet if we’re doing a bouquet toss, but I’d probably end up hitting the chandelier too! I have to say, the picture of all the guys scrambling to get it is tooooooo funny. You’re right, it is a great story!

    Sort of off-topic, but you can really tell in all your pictures that everyone was having an awesome time at your reception – looks like the Gondolas know how to throw a party :)

  9. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:15 am

    @Miss Milk Cow: Yes! I hope it makes a happy memory for them, but I dont think any of my Japanese guests will ever do a bouquet toss after seeing mine. Haha!

    @Miss Pyramid: I always knew I was strong woman. Just not that strong! lol

    @Miss Wellies: The second photo is my absolute favorite. I love the faces of the people laughing in the back.

    @Blonde17Jess: Dani has lived in Japan as long as I have. This is what Japan does to you– it makes you do peace signs!

    @Mrs. Road Trip: I’m so glad I am not the only one!!

    @cosmo_gmr: Another bad bouquet tosser! Yay! We should start a group or something!

    @miss.qwerty: Thank you! My wedding planner is amazing– he had so many good ideas.

    @Miss Filly: Awww, thank you so much Miss Filly. I really hoped our guests had a good time. Yes, I love that photo. Do you see the guy sprawled out on the floor?

  10. airplane Member
    Mrs. Airplane 395 posts, Helper bee @ 6:32 am

    I love your reaction photo! Priceless.

  11. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 8:49 am

    Oh my gosh, your face is priceless!! Love it!

    I didn’t do a bouquet toss or even wear a garter and I don’t think one single person asked me about it all night!

  12. Member
    kellis 54 posts, Worker bee @ 10:45 am

    The picture of the bouquet grab is AMAZING! Priceless… I love your face. Sorry your nightmares came true but at least it’s a funny and endearing story now, right???

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Sepiatoned, Guest @ 12:36 pm

    We also did a non-traditional spin on the bouquet toss…but it went great.

    So we had all single folks come out for just a bouquet toss…no garter at all. The emcee also announced that there was a 25$ visa card to go into the winner’s wedding fund LOL.

    So the toss went off great. But the pics were even better. Everyone, guys and gals both all looked like they were wild animals…waiting for the toss. So hilarious to see the best man, arms outstretched, and mouth open in a roar LOL.

    So, our MOH caught the bouquet and our second MOH caught a flower that fell from the bouquet. And…before the end of the year the MOH who caught the bouquet was married…and the second MOH who caught the single flower was engaged! So cool!!!

  14. Member
    MrsAlice 242 posts, Helper bee @ 1:35 pm

    Funny story..

    My DJ warned me about not throwing the bouquet into the bowl shaped light…and I’m a terrible thrower. So…in it went! I really tried not to!

    My husband and his best man know how bad of a thrower I am. “I don’t throw..I chuck!” The best man said to my groom, “10 bucks it hits the light!”

    But that made my flower girl catch the bouquet, who I was hoping did! If I hadn’t hit the light though, it would have been a good throw. Girls would have been fighting for it!

    I’m just glad it didn’t get stuck up there!

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Anna, Guest @ 7:26 am

    Sooo funny!!!! I am having such a hard time figuring out how I want to do my bouquet toss. I want to do the traditional over the shoulder and add a cute little note, buuuuuut I also want to fake everyone out and turn around and hand each of the single ladies a small little bouquet and give them a hug, buuuuuut I also want to throw loose flowers so they are showered with roses. I love all those ideas so much!!!!!!

  16. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:04 am

    That photo is so priceless. My DJ actually reminded me not to hit the chandelier when I tossed my bouquet, otherwise I might have failed too.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Karavcs, Guest @ 7:05 pm

    I did the same thing. The bouquet flew straight up into the draping on the ceiling. It landed just behind me and the girls made no effort to dive so I had a second throw, which basically bee-lined into one of my bridesmaids’ arms :)

  18. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:41 pm

    @Sepiatoned: I love the gift card idea! and your bouquet was obviously magical- how cool is that?!

    @Anna: Have you heard about the breakaway bouquet tradition?

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Jealous! I wish I had gotten a reminder!

  19. phonebooth Member
    Mrs. Phone Booth 57 posts, Worker bee @ 7:09 pm

    The guys catching the bouquet is awesome!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Anna, Guest @ 9:27 pm

    @Mrs. Gondola that’s neat too…thanks for throwing another idea in the mix lol

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    FaeMao76, Guest @ 10:30 am

    My bouquet toss was just fine. I used a pretty paper flower bouquet I purchased from Etsy. It was my fiancé’s garter toss that was all effed up. He had to throw it 3 times! He whipped it off my leg & catapulted it back before the emcee could announce it. So nobody was ready & it hit the floor. Then he threw it again & I guess it didn’t matter if the guys weren’t ready because he threw it a little off to the side & nobody went for it. I got up, picked it up & handed it to my husband & motioned the direction he should throw it. FINALLY, it worked. I was a little exasperated but it was pretty funny. We all laughed about it and there are some silly pictures, which I like.

  22. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:45 am

    @FaeMao76:Wow, did he toss it like three times? How funny!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    FaeMao76, Guest @ 8:20 pm

    @Mrs. Gondola: Yeah…he had already had a couple of drinks. That may have had something to do with it…lol.

  24. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:05 pm

    @FaeMao76: Haha, now it all makes sense!

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