In 14th century France, it was considered lucky to catch the bride’s garter.
Everyone fought so hard for it that occasionally someone got hurt in the scuffle for the garter at the end of the ceremony. In order to prevent a mad rush and scramble, the bride began to throw the garter to the people.
Tossing the garter led to the custom of “stocking throwing” until brides decided against a custom they considered undignified and embarrassing.
Instead, they threw their bouquets, a custom still done today.
Tradition holds that the person who catches the bouquet may be the next bride. The bride should toss the bouquet over her shoulder to the gathered group of unwed women and turn to see the results.
Occasionally a special smaller bouquet is provided for this custom in order that the bride may keep her bridal bouquet.
Today, the groom removes and throws the garter to all the unmarried men and the bride tosses her bouquet to all single women.
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