Wediquette Wednesday: Do I have to do a bouquet toss at my wedding reception?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)

Question: My fiancé and I have spent a lot of time and effort into personalizing our wedding-related celebrations. There are certain traditions that don’t resonate with one or both of us, so we’ve either omitted them or changed them to suit our personalities and values. One of the traditions I don’t love is the bouquet toss. First and foremost, marriage isn’t for everyone. Then of course there are some folks for whom their single status is currently a source of pain and loneliness. Finally, we have so many friends, family members and colleagues with lovely, non-traditional partnerships that would technically be considered ‘single’. It feels awkward at best and insensitive at worst to shine a spotlight on the single women and call them up — or worse pressure them — to participate in a tradition that I personally find quite antiquated. Do I have to do a bouquet toss at my wedding reception?

Answer: These are all good points and speak to the thoughtfulness you have for your guests. The good news is you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to at your wedding. If the bouquet toss isn’t for you — toss it out. I’ve been to many weddings that omitted the bouquet toss and no one seemed to notice. If anyone asks, simply share with them that you decided to forego it. You don’t even have to offer a reason. This is a day for you and your spouse-to-be to let your tastes, preferences and personalities shine through and celebrate in a way that has meaning for you as a couple. Embrace the traditions that feel right for you, get rid of the ones that don’t and create new ones wherever your heart desires.

Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Email

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