Tips for bridesmaids: Surviving The Bouquet Toss and Garter Placement
As a former bridesmaid myself, I feel for you ladies. You shell out a couple hundred dollars of your hard earned money on a dress you will probably never wear again, and may regret having to wear the first time, you take time off work, travel across the country (and sometimes the world), and all for the honor of trying to not be as pretty as the bride. It is a pretty thankless job which often involves a lot of grunt work and emotional triage. But it is such a huge honor that you accepted all the woes and responsibilities out of love for your friend/relative. Now, there are two big problems in your future we hope to help you overcome with grace.
Problem 1: the bouquet toss
Typically, either you are desperately hoping to catch the bouquet and be the next in line to play bride, or you are desperately hoping to avoid catching that thing at all costs.
Tips for catching it:
1. Stand in front: most brides don’t throw far enough so you may have to dive. Watch out for ten year olds who always get to stand in front because they are short. If your bride is a softball player, this rule does not apply.
2. Just tell the bride you want to catch it and maybe she will turn around and aim it right at you.
3. If all else fails, get your pepper spray ready to beat down any girl that gets between you and being the next bridezilla. (Disclaimer: we don’t think you should do this. It isn’t worth it)
Avoiding the bouquet: This is an art-form frankly, especially if your boyfriend catches the garter and you’ve been together for a while but you just aren’t ready to commit. We have also been to weddings where everyone avoided the bouquet and it just sat like a lump on the floor with no one willing to touch it. Definitely not cool.
How to avoid the bouquet gracefully (i.e. so the bride doesn’t know and feel bad):
1. Stand in the back behind a tall person. Then take off your heels. Short people rarely catch things in this situation.
2. Act like you are really trying for it but make your hands flat so even if you touch the bouquet it will bounce right off your hands and hopefully be caught by someone else more eager than you. You cannot catch things if you refuse to use your thumbs.
3. After deflecting the flowers, look at your hands as if you broke a nail or it bruised your finger and that way you look busy while others take “the prize”.
Problem 2: the garter placing
Ok, this tradition is just plain awkward. Random girl catches the bouquet (often a ten year old girl because they stand in front and brides, as aforementioned, often throw short) and random guy catches the garter. Now guy puts completely useless garter on the leg of the
victim… er… winner of the bouquet…. yay… that’s not awkward at all. Seriously, why has this tradition stuck around? We don’t use those garters for anything!
Anyway, on the off chance that lucky girl is you, here’s our advice:
1. Sit in a chair. Do not, for example, sit on two groomsmen’s knees. A strange man is going to be putting undergarments on your thigh. It is up to you to keep this moment from spiraling out of control. Let’s say you sat on the groomsmen’s knees and they get the bright idea to stand up to help the guy get the garter on your leg. Worse, let’s say they aren’t supporting the top half of you very well and suddenly you find yourself at standing height, lying horizontally while you show the whole wedding party your undies, including the complete stranger who is forcing an elastic band around your thigh.
2. Sit up straight and lean forward. If you lean backwards, you will flash your undies to the entire reception. But, if you lean forward, then you limit the headroom strange garter man has and he will not place the garter too close to your special places. Think defensively ladies!
3. Lift you dress up the leg in question to the height you are comfortable showing. Otherwise he may decide he has to put his head under your skirt so he can see.
If this advice hasn’t made you change your mind about participating in the whole affair, and we hope it won’t, be on the lookout for more Bridesmaid tips in future blogs.