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.
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?
Photography by Teppei Kawakami
Miss a recap?
- We have our rehearsal dinner.
- We set up the venue.
- We do our first look and family photos.
- The sushi at cocktail hour was great.
- We blatantly copy the internet.
- Our boss gives a speech.
- We say Kampai!
- We cut the cake.
- A quick guide to Japanese wedding receptions.