At my Las Vegas wedding reception, I realized that while I’d planned for many elements, like table décor and which strangers would sit with which other strangers, I had neglected various important aspects. So I may have shoved cake in my groom’s beard accidentally. I may have discovered I wasn’t quite sure how to react as my groom’s lips were making their way up my leg, in public, for the garter removal. And I may have chucked the bouquet so hard that all the single ladies had to duck lest their fake eyelashes be bashed off their faces.

Whoo! Wait! Where's the bouquet?

Ah, yes, the sweet bouquet toss. One moment, I was performing my best Beyoncé impression along with a gathering group of girls. Next, my groom swooped in for a passionate kiss. Completely disoriented with love, I turned from the crowd and launched my bouquet into the air. Then, I spun to watch my flowers soar on a collision course with my guests’ faces. This was not the smooth trajectory I had been hoping for.

Fortunately, one of my bridesmaids had been well-trained in the art of crisis management. When the bouquet landed on the floor behind the large group of girls, she scooped it up promptly and hoisted the floral arrangement victoriously.

If you want your bridesmaids to show their mettle, then consider hurling your bouquet with all your might. However, if you’d rather spare the single ladies from heart attacks, then take these tips to heart at your upcoming Las Vegas wedding reception.

How to prepare:

  • Practice tossing something (like a pen, sandal, or stuffed animal) behind you in private. Do this until you feel comfortable with how far and how fast the object travels.
  • Speak with one trustworthy single bridesmaid, sister, or close friend. Ask her to please snag the bouquet if no one else jumps for it.
  • Take note of your reception venue. Adjust your toss to avoid any obstacles, such as a low-hanging chandelier.
  • Remember this is a bouquet toss. The goal is to toss, not hurl, your flowers.

While practicing will help you aim your bouquet on your wedding day, it’s still not a guarantee that everything will go according to plan. Take it from me—sometimes you simply become caught up in the moment. Fortunately, you can recognize when this happens and take two seconds to prepare yourself for the inevitable.

Signs of trouble:

  • The groomsmen’s mouths are gaping, their fists are clenched, and they’re shouting like it’s the Super Bowl and the winning pass is about to be completed.
  • You’re bent so far back post-toss that you look like you’re dodging an invisible limbo stick.
  • Your crowd of single women demonstrates duck-and-cover techniques that would make your paintball team proud.

In these instances, there’s only one thing to do: Laugh.  Laugh at yourself and the situation. This keeps the mood light and makes your guests giggle. Whether your bouquet is caught perfectly or those flowers fall into the punch bowl, aim to preserve the celebratory spirit. Smile, and enjoy every wedding moment!

Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2010

Photograph credit: Jamison Frady of Quiet Art Photography © 2010  (Used by permission.)