I’d like to begin by saying that I enjoy weddings. I mean by this that I enjoy the ceremony. I love the vows, and the processional, I love the unity whatever…you’re combining to symbolize your oneness. I think watching two people join their lives together forever is magical and inspiring and romantic. Okay?
That being said, I abhor receptions.
Receptions are the enemy of the introvert. It’s hard to have a good conversation at a reception. It’s hard to avoid people you want to avoid, and it’s hard to give good excuses for not getting on the dance floor. And it is almost impossible to flee a bouquet toss.
The bouquet toss is far and away my least-favorite wedding activity. This beats out even the garter toss which I find mortifying for the bride, but since she’s sitting in the middle of the room with her husband’s head up her dress, it would seem she wanted it that way. After all it’s her day.
I’ve spent years trying to avoid bouquet tosses. List of escape attempts:
- Long bathroom break
- Leave the reception early
- Steal a wedding ring for my own left hand
- Hold a drink (this backfired)
- Avoid eye contact and remain seated
- Shove face with cake
- Be too busy “helping” to take part
- Laugh maniacally
- Look “married”
Perhaps this sounds childish to you. Like little girls who believe in cooties. But I can think of few things more humiliating than corralling single women into the middle of the room and forcing them, in dresses and heels, to compete with each other — using hand/eye coordination — for the prize of a pack of flowers that will symbolically indicate they will never have to participate in this group humiliation again.
I don’t know why women keep making other women do this. Married women, explain this. Is it a wedding hazing thing? Like…it’s fine that I’m doing it because I had to do it and it’s all in good fun? Is that the thought? If so, you do realize that not all women whom you force to the floor will get married, correct? And there is still no known way to leave a cleared floor empty-handed with all eyes on you in a classy, confident way.
Maybe with a moonwalk.
It’s important to me that you understand I don’t hate marriage. I don’t hate the institution, I don’t hate the people in the institution, and I think romantic love is a wonderful blessing.
What I do despise and what I will always seek to remedy are situations where women who are not married are made to look ridiculous, made laughable or pitiable.
We all like signs. We like to think that catching a bouquet does mean marriage is on the horizon. And a lot of women do want to be married. But their odds are not as great as the odds of catching a bouquet at wedding, after wedding, after wedding.
This is a perception vs. reality debate. I perceive it as hurtful and others perceive it as fun. I have a friend who goes out every wedding season to WIN the bouquet toss and she’s very good at this. It’s impressive.
However, frequently for single women it is a reminder that someone else beat them to the punch. And they came out, they gave the requisite shower gifts and wedding gift, they ate cake and they danced, they pushed aside thoughts of their dream wedding, and how by now they thought they’d be married, and they smile and celebrate. And then they are thrown into the middle of the floor for the amusement of others and forced to attempt to catch allergens from a bride who on a good day while facing forward can’t toss a beer to a friend at a barbecue.
Or if you’re me. I came, I smiled, I hugged (I HUGGED), I smiled more, I small-talked, I smiled (dear God, make it stop), I got hugged (HUGGED) and then you said “maybe you’ll be next!” And you never even asked me if I wanted to be next. You just assumed. You just saw me in a dress and no ring and went “she wants that bouquet”.
I carry two flasks to weddings.