Having a Bouquet and Garter Toss? Here's the Best Time to Do Them

Get the timing of your toss just right.
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 Jun 06, 2018

Anyone planning to include a bouquet or garter toss in their wedding reception timeline is in exactly the right place. We know this particular wedding tradition sometimes gets a bad rap. Not everyone is into it, and that's cool—so definitely skip it if it's not your thing. But for all you couples in the mood to do some garter and bouquet tossing, here's when to fit this fun activity into your reception.

The Final Hour

Couples typically toss the bouquet and garter during the second half of the reception. That's when most guests are on their feet and letting loose on the dance floor and the meal and toasts are finished. And since this tradition is rooted in the superstition that those who catch either the garter or the bouquet will marry next, doing it at the end of the night is fun way to symbolically pass the torch to the next potential lovebirds. Also remember the garter toss could get a little rowdy. If you think that might happen at your reception, plan this bit for after young kids and grandparents have gone to bed. Need a more concrete sense of timing? If you're having a four-hour seated reception from 8 p.m. to midnight, aim to toss those bad boys around 11 p.m. after the cake's been cut and the party is full of energy.

Right Away

Feeling nontraditional? While this might not work as well for the garter toss (to each their own though!), why not hand off your bouquet right out of the gate? After you make your reception entrance—or even your ceremony exit if you come outside to greet a cheering crowd of guests—call any toss participants front and center to catch your bridal blooms. It's a little different and will get everyone in the party mood. Plus, if you only booked your photographer to shoot the first hour of two of the reception, you'll ensure they get this moment on camera.

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