While the two of you are making decisions about your wedding reception, why not plan some special wedding reception games for the bouquet toss and garter removal? You can do something a little different than you’ve seen at other weddings and create another wonderful wedding memory in the process.
Do you know how the traditional toss of the garter began? Most sources believe this came about in the fourteenth century. The bride and groom were subject to the whims of family and friends who attended their weddings, and since bridal clothing was believed to be lucky the guests would jockey for position to rip off pieces.
At some point an apprehensive but enterprising bride or groom came up with the idea of tossing them an article of clothing and making their getaway while the guests fought over that scrap. The garter, tied daintily around the bride’s leg, became the obvious choice for this sport.
Another source claims the garter toss evolved from an English game called “flinging the stocking.” Once the couple retired to their wedding bed, guests would sneak back and try to steal a stocking and fling it back at the happy couple. Whoever got the best “hit” won the game.
As rowdy as that sounds, the bridal bouquet has a somewhat less sophisticated origin. Back in those good old days when guests were tackling newly-weds to rip off their clothes, indoor plumbing had not yet been invented. Sweet-smelling flowers were used to mask the odour of anyone who hadn’t had their occasional bath. The bouquets contained various herbs that guaranteed good luck. Once the wedding celebration was over, the bride tossed her bouquet to pass her luck on to someone else.
There are many ways you can go about the garter and bouquet tosses. The most traditional method is for the groom to remove the garter from the bride’s leg. This symbolises the groom’s plans to consummate the marriage. Great songs to play for this include:
- The Stripper by David Rose Orchestra.
- You Can Leave Your Hat On by Joe Cocker or Tom Jones.
- Hot Stuff by Donna Summer.
- You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate.
The eligible males line up, and these are perfect to play while they are gathering round, and while the groom tosses the garter:
- I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred.
- Macho Man by The Village People.
- Wild Thing by The Troggs.
- Bad Boys by Inner Circle.
Next it’s the women’s turn. While the eligible ladies assemble, and during the toss, you can play one of these songs:
- Lady Marmalade (Voulez-Vous Couchez Avec Moi) by Christina Aguilera and others.
- Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer.
- Single Ladies by Beyonce
- It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls.
There are ways to put your own variation on these traditions. Some couples like to take it to the next step, and have the guy who caught the garter place it on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet, but whether this works depend on the people involved. Other couples like to decide ahead of time who they will toss to, and have their intended recipients lined up for the catch.
Yet others decide to avoid the toss altogether. The reason for this is that more and more people live together without planning marriage. You can announce, or have your DJ / Band leader announce, that the man who catches the garter is going to experience the time of his life. You can announce that the woman who catches the bouquet is going to find true romance.
On the Spot Poems
On the spot games are the best wedding reception games because they put the bride and groom on the spot in many different circumstances. One fun game to play is to give each guest a piece of paper and a writing utensil.
On the top of each piece of paper should be the beginning of a poem starting out with words like ‘Sally and Jim are now husband and wife…’ The guests will each write a few lines and add to the sentence to create a poem.
This can be a group effort so an entire table of people can create one poem about the couple or individuals. The best option is to have the entire table write the poem so you are not reading poems all night long. When everyone is finished the poems will be read to the bride and groom in front of the crowd. This is a lot of fun and amusing for many people.
Switching the shoes is another one of the best on the spot wedding reception games that you might want to play – but only if the time is right. This game requires the bride and the groom to stand in front of the crowd.
The bride will give the groom one of her shoes and the groom will give the bride one of his. You will choose someone to ask many questions to the bride and groom about things that will occur while they are together. Some of the questions may be about who is going to take out the trash or who will do the shopping. This is a fun game and the guests get a kick out of the answers.
When you organize and play wedding reception games the point is to make the joke on the bride and groom and keep the centre of attention on the happily married couple also. These are interactive games that all of the guests will play and have a really good time poking fun at the bride and groom and their life together.
On the spot games are the best to play because it puts the bride and groom in awkward and funny situations that they have to answer questions or do something funny. You must organize games to play because it is tradition and creates a memorable experience for the guests and the bride and groom. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures when you play the games.
More and more people are including wedding reception games, and this can be one of them. People love trivia contests. Write out questions about yourselves ahead of time, what high school each of you attended, where you went on your first date, where did the proposal take place, what was your first job and whoever scores the highest points wins.
Another practice gaining popularity is a garter auction. The best man passes a hat for guest’s donations. Whoever puts in the last donation by the time the song ends, or within a specified time period, wins the garter. The money can go to the bride and groom or it can go to a charity, especially if someone in the family passed away shortly before the wedding. The same can be done with the bouquet.
For each of the respective tosses, you can have the ladies or men form a circle around the bride or groom. Then the bride or groom is blindfolded and spun around and has to give the prize to someone in the circle while wearing the blindfold.
For a boisterous crowd, you can make a relay race out of it. The men have to line up. One man sits in a chair with the garter on his leg. The first man in line runs up to him and removes the garter, puts it on himself, and then he sits in the chair. Then the second man in line runs up, removes the garter, puts it on himself, and sits in the chair. Whoever has the garter when the timer goes off gets to keep it.
The ladies can decide who wins by guessing how many ribbons or marbles are in a jar. The best guess gets the bouquet.
No matter how you decide to do this at your wedding, it is a way to make your guests feel very much included in your wedding memories.
Wedding reception games can add a whole new dimension to your event. Just be certain that someone takes lots of photos!