Wedding Guest Slammed for Sabotaging Bride's Bouquet Toss: 'Audible Gasp'

Internet users have blasted a wedding guest for making a scene after the ceremony by ruining the bride's bouquet toss and preventing anyone from being able to catch the flowers.

The Reddit user u/iWorkWithPlanes explained that while attending their girlfriend's sister's wedding in January, it felt right to "lift the mood" somehow. However, the poster's method of doing so didn't go down well with the other guests.

The post explains: "When it came time for the bouquet toss, Maggie [an alias for the poster's girlfriend] was one of the ladies in the group to try and catch it. I thought I had an opportunity to be funny and lift the mood, so I stood behind Maggie and slapped the flowers to the ground before she could catch them."

The action was intended as a joke, as the poster claims they "had no bad intentions," but the reaction was far from positive.

Wedding website The Knot carried out a survey in 2022 that found only 37 percent of couples had a bouquet toss, a decrease from the years before. However, it appears that from the reaction to this ruined moment that the tradition means a lot for those who choose to do it still.

Bride Throws Her Wedding Bouquet
Stock images show a bride throwing her bouquet at a wedding. A wedding guest has been slammed for ruining the bouquet toss at a family wedding. Rawpixel/Getty Images

"After I slapped the bouquet to the floor, there was an audible gasp from everyone around, followed by an awkward silence. I was a little embarrassed but I laughed anyway to try to non-verbally show everyone that it was a joke. Nobody laughed," the post continues.

If the poster was hoping that the atmosphere would improve and the disruption would be forgotten, that certainly wasn't the case on the day. They explain that during the reception nobody spoke to them, and there were some "sideways glances" before they were eventually asked to leave.

It may be understandable for many if people feel aggrieved by such behavior, as the bouquet toss is steeped in tradition, a light-hearted moment many brides and guests often look forward to.

Newsweek spoke to etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts about the longstanding tradition.

She said: "Wedding bouquet etiquette is an English tradition dating back to the 1800s. It was considered good luck for a lady not only to touch the bride's gown, but rip off pieces to touch the luck so they could be the next one betrothed.

"In order for the bride not to be overrun, she would throw her bouquet into the crowd instead. In modern etiquette it's simply a fun way for a bride to toss her bouquet into a group of single women, and the catcher would be the next to walk down the aisle."

A Duplicate Bouquet for the Toss

Grotts added that in some cultures it is more than a tradition and is even a superstition. However, some brides might not want to give away their flowers, or perhaps something goes wrong at the toss, so Grotts has a suggestion for how brides can still successfully throw the bouquet.

"It's possible that the bride won't have a pitcher's arm, or that the bride wants to preserve her bouquet, in which case she can have a duplicate made just to toss."

Reddit users were less than amused by the poster's behavior at the wedding, and with more than 6,000 votes, most people believe that u/iWorkWithPlanes was in the wrong.

One of the comments reads: "It's a tradition that not many people take to heart. It's not an automatic you must be married thing. You made an unnecessary scene and damaged your relationship with your girlfriend and her family. You ruined a possibly cute moment for no reason."

Another person pointed out that their antics ruined a memorable photo opportunity: "The brides normally prize the photographs from the wedding. The bouquet is one of those moments that was lost."

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Update 02/15/23, 8:37 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include new pictures.