It’s a toss-up

Make sure the bouquet and garter toss go off without a hitch by pre-planning a reception schedule
Mar. 25, 2012 | By: Danielle Diab

You’re near the end of planning the wedding of your dreams and you’re just about to put the finishing touches on everything. You’ve got all the big and important plans down pat, but what about the small things like when the bouquet and garter toss will take place?

It sure sounds like something that you can just plan as you go, but Tracey Manailescu, of The Wedding Planners and co-founder of the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada (WPIC), knows that something so small can result in disaster if not properly planned.

“I prefer the bouquet and garter toss to take place right after the cake cutting. This way, the music does not get stopped in the middle of a great dance session,” says Manailescu.

It’s very important that the MC or DJ is aware of the times that these two tosses will be taking place so that he or she may prepare the crowd without interrupting a good time. You don’t want to be rushing back and forth to make changes, so give the DJ a schedule before the wedding day so he or she has time to prepare.

“The DJ knows when a crowd is in full swing and when changes need to be made,” says Manailescu. “Trust them to do their jobs.”

Your cake cutting usually takes place right after dinner, before the dancing begins for the rest of the night, so it would only be fitting to have your bouquet and garter toss follow.

In certain circumstances, the tosses can take place at the end of the night if the bride and groom are leaving the reception before all the guests for their honeymoon. It makes for a great sendoff.

When it comes to gracefully and tastefully tossing the pieces, just get creative.

“I had a couple who were obsessed with pink (bride) and football (both),” says Manailescu, “they put the garter around a football and threw it out to the single gents.”

When it comes to preventing the garter from landing in grandma’s lap, and the bouquet getting ripped apart by a 6-year-old, Manailescu suggests enlisting the help of family and friends.

“They will be in charge of making sure that only the people who should be on the floor, will be.”

You can also leave it up to the DJ to announce only the single ladies and gentlemen get on the dance floor. Your DJ may have a few tricks up his sleeve that would also get the right message across.

According to Manailescu, you don’t have to have the garter toss if you don’t feel you can do it appropriately, but if you want to make it fun, have the groom pull out a pair of “granny panties” from under the bride’s dress as a joke and toss it to the single men. Another fun idea would be for the groom to reach under the bride’s dress, pull out a ball from his favourite sport and start playing it with his groomsmen in the middle of the dance floor. A football, soccer ball or basketball would probably be the best choices. You are sure to get a laugh out of your guests and the great time can continue on from there.

Tracy Manailescu is one of The Wedding Planners, one of the first wedding coordination companies in Toronto, Ont.

Looking for interesting reception ideas? Find wedding entertainment ideas on, Canada’s Local Marriage Services Directory.