Uncovering The Hidden Culture in Weddings And Relationships

Forget The Bouquet, Single Ladies Need to Catch a Break

In Bridesmaids, couples, feminism, feminist bride, Gay Marriage, girlfriend, Groom, independence, marriage, nuptials, psychology, relationships, The Feminist Bride, Uncategorized, wedding ceremony on April 18, 2010 at 3:35 am

Teresa Tam Photography, http://www.TeresaTamStudio.com

As a frequent single at weddings, catching the bouquet symbolized more than just being next up to the altar. It represented being on a team perceived as less favorable – the singles team. Identifying oneself as such to a wedding crowd is not always fun. It’s like announcing that your batting average in relationships is so low that you’ve resorted to catching a bunch of flowers for good luck in love. It’s no wonder the bouquet toss has fallen out of favor.

Back in the day, marriage was all a woman should hope and dream for. By not marrying, a woman was not living up to her biological and societal destiny, and these unfortunate women were marked with terms like spinster and old maid. While life as a bachelorette is much more acceptable nowadays, the enjoyment of the bouquet toss has swung in the opposite direction. Tiny high heels suddenly become immovable weights and the ladies begrudgingly bring themselves into the singles spotlight.

On the dance floor, the gathered women represent a perfect blend of the mixed messages we receive about relationships and self-confidence. Women are trained to envy the bride, to desire the ring on her finger. The bouquet is just a superstition promising the one who catches it an express lane to the altar, leaving the remainder of the group still single and branded the “losers.” The bouquet reinforces the idea that singlehood is undesirable, and that marriage will allow a woman to feel complete.

There are those, however, who feign interest in catching the bouquet when they, in truth, do not want to be ‘next in line.’ Then why get up to catch it? It’s hard to say no when Great Aunt Ida forces you to go because she wants great, great nieces and nephews, but there’s still an inherent pressure imbued in the event itself to act like a relationship is the ultimate personal goal or to downplay your enjoyment of voluntary singlehood.  At a wedding on Sex and the City, the ladies watched the bouquet fall to their feet, made no effort to catch it and simply walked away. This may not be practical in real life at the risk of offending the bride on her special day, but nonetheless, it was a powerful statement to the change in times and the freedom for women to set their own destiny.

The wedding rulebook appears to be final and official, yet what people seem to misunderstand is that they can play wedding games however they wish. Toss the bouquet if you want, but make sure it celebrates something that doesn’t awkwardly isolate guests or reinforce repressive ideals of the past. The traditional bouquet toss no longer represents current lifestyles and relationship ideas. Forego it all together or consider modernizing it by celebrate being a woman – married, dating and single, reinforcing the idea that a woman should be strong and independent regardless of her status. The modern version of the toss should make these qualities known. Play the game according to your own rules, and make it something women would be proud to be a part of.

Become a facebook fan of The Feminist Bride

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: