The priest at a wedding will always say the purpose of the ceremony is for the couple to make their vows in public. In essence they’re making a promise to friends and family as well. I get that. I also get that for the couple’s loved ones the ceremony is a celebration slash official “handing over” of both bride and groom. I say the wedding ceremony is done to remind and encourage people about the virtues of holy matrimony. The wedding is marriage’s big day to recruit new members and to rejuvenate those already hitched.
Most comedians and sitcoms focus on the daily grind that is marriage. For the most part marriage is painted in a so-so light. For someone choosing, it’s hard for stability to look more appealing than adventure and even those with stability seem to crave spontaneity. So this institution, although healthy for the human soul, is a long long haul and thus needs a tremendous send off party. And it needs to be majestic to reverse, in one afternoon, all the notions of marriage fed to us on a daily basis. A tall order but the concept of love is powerful. Thus nearly every wedding I have attended made love and the union of love seem not only good and necessary but also intoxicating and inspirational.
I say all that to say this, Let’s eliminate the bouquet toss! The whole thing completely derails the romance train. It’s like you’re on a train from Paris to Cannes with breath taking scenary but then you somehow stop in Barstow, CA for a few minutes. It’s jarring I tell ya. The wedding is a beacon of love and hope in all its splendor while the bouquet/garter belt toss is a microcosm of actual dating in the real world. A score of women tussle like they’re in a Rugby scrum to get an unproven promissary note that their big day will be next. Then, a handful of guys reluctantly stand around and make absolutely no effort to catch the garter belt that would suggest they might be next. I have been to six weddings where the garter belt literally hit the floor and the guy nearest to it had to begrudgingly pick it up like a late night shift in a canning factory.
I recently went to a wedding where the bride had caught the bouquet at the wedding where she met the groom. It works! A ready made Hollywood tale. This fact also raised the bouquet stakes. The increase in the collective belief in the power of the bouquet took a little air out of the room and left a vacuum filled with tension and competitveness. One girl dove for the bouquet like it was the superbowl and the ball was fumbled on the one yard line. (an analogy that speaks volumes to the male value system 🙂 So basically, the next woman to get married is the one with the best linebacker skills? We’re also leaving the whole thing in jeopardy of the “fix”. That’s when the bride basically lobs it to a friend.
If the wedding ceremony absolutely needs a “to be continued” compenent, let’s make it truly random and computerize it. That way, no single men can sit out the garter belt toss and women don’t have to choose between being a spinster or a competitor in a high heeled mosh pit.
The wedding is like a first kiss. The bouquet toss is realizing the other person has their eyes open. So adios to the toss and if we could not do the cha-cha dance that would be much appreciated as well.