6 Alternatives to the Garter and Bouquet Toss

You definitely don't need to include these traditions if they're not your style.
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.
Updated Jul 17, 2020

Not into the tradition of tossing a bouquet or garter into a sea of single guests at your wedding reception? Good news: You can absolutely replace or skip these traditions. So many couples are throwing away the rule book when it comes to wedding traditions—or at least putting their own twist on the classics—to make their day as personalized as possible. And according to our 2017 Real Weddings Study, the garter and bouquet toss are becoming less popular. There are a few valid reasons you might feel inclined to stay away from them. Maybe the activities simply make you uncomfortable, or you'd rather just spend that time on the dance floor. But if you like the idea of replacing the garter and bouquet toss with another fun activity, here are a few options that might make more sense for you and your guests.

1. Bouquet Presentation

Hand your bouquet over to a special friend or relative, or break your buds it into smaller bouquets and spread them between a few beloved wedding guests.

2. Anniversary Dance

Opt for an anniversary dance where all the married couples join the newlyweds on the dance floor as the band or DJ plays a song and eliminates couples depending on the amount of time they've been married. Present your stems to the last couple remaining on the dance floor who've been married the longest.

3. Breakaway Bouquet

Toss the bouquet to all of your female guests (or to whoever wants to participate)—not just the single ones. A breakaway bouquet comprises several mini bouquets or single flowers loosely tied together. It'll be a fun surprise for everyone when you throw your arrangement and it separates into a few pretty pieces for the group.

4. Pass the Torch

Instead of presenting the bouquet to someone who's been married the longest, present it to a couple getting married soon to bring them luck and wish them congratulations.

5. Toss Only

When it comes to the garter toss, you might only feel awkward about the whole fishing for it under the bride's dress situation (you wouldn't be the first). Abbreviate this tradition so it works for you—toss a garter no one's been wearing to your guests without making your parents and grandparents cringe.

6. Nix It Altogether

Trust us when we say this: No one will miss the garter or bouquet toss if you choose to skip them. Who wants to stop the dance party midway through "Uptown Funk" anyway? When it comes to wedding reception traditions, today's couples are forgoing these two more often than more popular ones like cutting the cake and a first newlywed dance. If something doesn't feel like you, there's no reason you should include it.

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