28 answers

Would You Expect an Engaged Woman to Participate in Bouquet Toss?

One of my friends was at the wedding reception of her future mother-in-law to be during the bouquet toss. Thinking that she isn't "single" she did not go to the dance floor until the bride/future MIL made her (his family knew well before the wedding). My friend feels like her FMIL does not acknowledge her relationship with her fiance.

She asked me if I thought it was inappropriate, and I thought it was - but then again I'm a bit weird (and of course in this situation, biased). I haven't asked for advice on here before, but I've read many a fantastic piece of advice, so I ask for your wisdom. What do you all think?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the responses - and for posting them so quickly; they really did give me other views on this situation - I tried looking for the answer to this on etiquette websites with no success.

I've talked to my friend about it, and she gave me a bit more insight into her situation, which helped me figure out what she was truly miffed about. It turns out that the bouquet toss was the icing on the cake and just wasn't sure if she was justified in listing it among her problems that evening; FMIL always had something for her son to do the minute he sat next to my friend, and overall had a nasty attitude about my friend's presence (even asking her son why he was marrying her, in front of my friend) until the bride needed help boxing up food, packing presents in the car, all that end of the night stuff. I think my friend was most embarrassed about the toss, though, since she was the only engaged person dragged onto the floor, when there were several engaged women sitting near her at the time who did not participate, and this happened in front of ~400 people. (One poster did ask if he participated in the garter toss, and the answer is no.) I think had not all this other stuff happened she would not have been upset about the bouquet toss.

I reminded her that's its probably best to know her FMIL's feelings now than be totally floored at or after the wedding, and urged her to talk to her fiance, who wasn't too thrilled about his mom's behavior, about how to handle the situation (her FMIL's feelings) before it blows up at exactly the wrong time.

Featured Answers

I think people see the bouquet toss in the different ways.
1) For all women to fight over
2) For all unmarried women to fight over
3) For all uncommitted women to fight over

Her FMIL seems to be in group number 2. I wouldn't put any relevance on it.

Half the fun in these things is dragging all the hold outs to the floor. Although I hate the bouquet and garter tosses, they are tradition. It's cute when all that is on the floor are little girls, but its just not that much fun. No one expects that the person who catches the bouquet will truly be the next to get married; rather we expect that the bride will throw it to a friend she would like to see married soon. If that is the case, I'd consider it an honor!

Yes. Who catches the bouquet is supposed to be who gets _married_ next. Not who gets into a committed relationship next. I know one woman who has been in engaged for something like 8 years. Just because you are engaged, does not mean you are getting married. So, you could even take it that the FMIL is looking forward to the upcoming nuptials.

More Answers

Good Morning L.;

My husband and I attended a few weddings before we got married (while we were engaged), he would always push me to go to the bouquet toss, even though I didn't think I should. He said to me, it's all in fun and technically, you are still single. So when the time came for the garter toss, I in turn had him go for that. The line goes both ways...

My only question is, did the FMIL also have her son participate in the gater toss, if not, then yes, she was out of bounds.

Have a great day!
T.

All the weddings I have gone to have the understanding if you are not offically married you can go up to catch the bouquet. This may be a Michigan thing though. You could tell your friend, maybe the FMIL wanted your friend and her son to catch the two items (bouquet and garter) so they will be the next to get married.

Absolutely. I did and everyone else I've ever seen that was engaged did. Catching the bouquet just means you are going to be the next one to get married. You aren't married until you say your vows, so you are technically still single even if you have a fiance. Catching a bouquet would be most appropriate for an engaged woman and pretty much seals the deal for the big day!

Wow, I just read the rest of your story. And I thought I had MIL problems. If she really loves the guy I guess she can't put up with his Mom, but MIL problems never go away. It is like changing a man...not possible.

i would have to say that i think it's fine if she went up for the bouquet toss. she isn't officially married yet, and it is supposed to be a fun way for the still single women to poke fun at themselves. but if she doesn't feel like she needed to be up there she didn't have to go. or just to appease her family she could stand there and not try to catch it. but if she feels that her family doesn't acknowledge her engagement, she needs to voice her feelings. that way it is out in the open and her family will be more careful in similar situations in the future. i hope this helps put a new perspective on things.

I think people see the bouquet toss in the different ways.
1) For all women to fight over
2) For all unmarried women to fight over
3) For all uncommitted women to fight over

Her FMIL seems to be in group number 2. I wouldn't put any relevance on it.

I would of course expect an engaged womanto activly try to catch the bouquet. The one who caught mine was my husband's engaged cousin and she was the next to be married in the group and delivered a week before I did. As long as she is NOT married she has the right to be there with the single girls. Being engaged does NOT mean she's married yet. Anything can and does happen. I know a girl who was engaged and dumped him at the alter.

I do not think it is inapproriate. Some people look at it as the "next person to get married" is the one who should really catch it. Do they have a date set yet? I would not look at this as if she is not acknowledging the engagement unless other things have been done or said.
FYI: We had so few single women at our wedding years ago that we had to have married ones 'fill in' for the photo op!!! What great expressions were captured of some of the 'married actresses'

I think it's totally normal. In our family, if you aren't married your single when it comes to the toss. That doesn't mean we don't acknowledge the relationship is part of the "fun". We totally expect it and I come from a huge family, so it's not because there's not people out there. Each person has taken their turn. Most of them have been the one to catch the bouquet (so that they catch the last one before they are married).

Half the fun in these things is dragging all the hold outs to the floor. Although I hate the bouquet and garter tosses, they are tradition. It's cute when all that is on the floor are little girls, but its just not that much fun. No one expects that the person who catches the bouquet will truly be the next to get married; rather we expect that the bride will throw it to a friend she would like to see married soon. If that is the case, I'd consider it an honor!

The bouquet toss is a simple tradition. All unmarried women are expected to participate. If anything, your friend should take this as a compliment from her mother-in-law to be. Obviously, her future mother-in-law knows that her son is engaged to her and if the supposed tradition is true and she catches the bouquet she will be the next to be married (assumingly to her son since they are engaged). She should not be offended in any way. Funny thing is, I participated in the bouquet toss at a friend's wedding when I was in a long term relationship and had no intention of getting married (just wasn't important to us at the time). I caught the bouquet (not evening trying - it just came right to me). I was the next to get married of our friends! I'm not superstitious. I just thought this was funny and interesting :) Your friend should remember this is all in good fun and participating in the bouquet toss is a courtesy to the bride and groom in celebration of their joyous day. I am sure her mother-in-law just wanted her to be participate in the tradition.

I agree. You are SINGLE until you say I do and get your certificate signed. It doesn't sound her future MIL is in the wrong.

M.

L.,

Maybe I'm just reading between the lines by your post, but it sounds to me as if the family was making a statement by forcing her to participate in the bouquet toss? If so, then yes, they were totally out of bounds. And infantile.

Why do people wait until the actual wedding - or funeral or hospitalization - or any other major event to make their case. If they are against this engagement, they shouldn't haul out their feelings during such a public arena as a wedding reception. Sheesh.

Your friend should now be duly informed of the kind of antics she can be in store for her own wedding - let alone the rest of her life with this man. She can either play their game and fight back or she can rise above the pettyness and be an adult. I'm glad she did the shrug and got up for the bouquet even though I think she was right to sit it out. It was the graceful thing to do.

I hope her fiance was supportive and agrees that his mom was out of line.

You want the 2 cents in the bag, or you want to cary it?

Good luck,
J.

I think it's fine for an engaged woman to participate... the tradition is all about wedding timing, right? She still has a wedding coming up, so it works. On the other hand, I think it's rude to make someone participate in something that they don't want to.

I wouldn't read into it that her FMIL doesn't accept the relationship. In fact it sounds like she wanted your friend to participate and feel included, though the way she showed it is a bit controlling. If I didn't want to acknowledge a relationship, I wouldn't make sure that the person was front and center in any of my wedding photos!

I think you should tell her that people view being "single" differently, so she shouldn't take offense to it. If she were asking me, I would say "who cares? It's just a fun little tradition." Even totally single people sometimes don't jump up there to try and catch it. It's just a fun thing. Unfortunately, I think people too many times are way too serious.

Agreed...until you say "I Do" you are expected to go catch the bouquet....

I never went out for a bouquet toss when I was engaged either. That's not what they're for. I think it was unfair of her FMIL to drag her out. But I'm kind of guessing she was only thinking it would be fun. FMIL should have just let sleeping dogs lie though, and just tossed the bouquet without making an uncomfortable (for your friend) display of dragging her out there.

L., I agree with you! Being single should be just that. Someone who is engaged or with the same person for years shouldnt be forced into participate. And anyways it should be the persons choice if they want to participate. I have been to many recepitions where men and women are cat called until the finally walk up to position and I dont belive thats fair. Take Care C.

L.,
With all due respect, could your friend possiably be over analizing sp?her mil's intentions?
I'm guessing there must be turmoil between the two of them if she feels offended by this.
As stated before the bouquet toss generally symbolizes who will be married next, I think it's best to not sweat the small stuff and what doesn't matter just doesn't matter. Standing up on the floor to catch a boquet is something so piddly to make a fuss over and won't affect your friends life any....save that fight with mil for something much bigger :)
S.

This is how I feel. She is not married. yes she is dating and engaged but still not married. If the FMIL asked her to go to floor that is her decision. I went to a wedding long time ago right before I got married just a few months before mine and they dragged me on the floor. I guess it depends on the bride if she wants you in there or not. Anyway that is just how I feel.

I would absolutely want my future daughter-in-law to get out there and catch that bouquet!!! That is the fun of it and she probably IS the next one to get married. I don't have any sons, but my daughter is getting married in May and she (and her fiancee)just participated in a bouquet toss a month ago... I think this girl is just reading too much into it!! HAVE FUN!!

Yes, I would expect an engaged woman to participate in bouquet toss because even though she's engaged and more often than not, that leads to marriage, she isn't married YET. If it were my wedding, I'd want all single women to participate, and she is.

Now that being said, I would totally understand if she didn't want to participate, or not want to considering who she's engaged to, and wouldn't have forced the issue if it had been my wedding.

I don't think she should read anything into the FMIL's insistance that she participate in the festivities. FMIL was trying to enjoy her wedding day.

I think different people have different feelings toward the whole custom. My best friend got married a year before me, I was engaged, and she threw it to me intentiionally. I think if your friend is worried, she should say something to her MIL, but she should not read too much into it. Or maybe she suspects other things and this is just the iciing on the cake?
I guess any way you look at it, no one should be forced to do it.

Since whoever catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next person to get married, engaged women are included. The bouquet toss is for all women who are not yet married, whether they are in a relationship or not.

Yes. Who catches the bouquet is supposed to be who gets _married_ next. Not who gets into a committed relationship next. I know one woman who has been in engaged for something like 8 years. Just because you are engaged, does not mean you are getting married. So, you could even take it that the FMIL is looking forward to the upcoming nuptials.

Until she gets married she’s technically single, and the bouquet its suppose to tell who will marry next, not who will get a new boyfriend.
Most importantly, it was a party where people where having fun and her future mother in law wanted to share that with her. She can over analyze every detail and if she wants she will find many things that in her perception mean she’s not accepted, but if she learns not to take things too personal, she’ll be much happier and will integrate with her in-laws (and everyone else) much better.
Good luck!

No, an engaged woman is strictly not considered single. Old fashioned ideals but so is the bouquet toss.

Let's face it, just because you catch the bouquet does not mean you will be the next to get married, even though that is what the superstition says. But, if you are engaged, you can still catch the bouquet. Of course, if they have already set the date, it is a little meaningless. I doubt the FMIL meant harm- actually she probably just wanted to include her in the festivities.

bouquet toss is for unmarried women. It's okay to participate. sometimes, they just want more women on the floor for a better picture. Just because you're on the floor, doesnt' mean you have to try hard to catch it.

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