Wedding season can sometimes be rough for a 20-something single.
Sooner or later at the reception you know they’re going to do a bouquet and/or garter toss. And you know they’re going to call all the unmarried people to gather in a mob. And then you have to fight each other for an object flying through the air.
Traditions are funny.
This weekend I caught my first bouquet ever. Well, that’s not entirely true. I didn’t catch it…I picked it up.
The MC called all the single ladies to the center of the room. My table whooped and hollered, stating “That’s you!” in case I didn’t remember. I stood up, pushed in my chair and walked towards the back of a pack of girls. I heard my table say, “You better catch it!” behind me. Yeah….no pressure.
I found my place in the center back of the group. In my limited wedding experience, the bride usually gives the bouquet a small toss and it lands somewhere near the front. I’ve seen little girls catch, or get handed the bouquet, I’ve seen a grandma catch the bouquet and I’ve also seen aggressive girls run and snatch it in the air. None of these three descriptions described me, so I thought I was safe.
I stood in the back and I heard the groom urging everyone to move closer to the bride. She can’t throw that far? Wrong, definitely wrong. (We cheered in college together. Of course that girl has muscle!) The bride turns her back to the crowd and launches the bouquet up and over the heads and reach of hands of almost everyone in the group. Everyone that is except for me.
If I would have reached my hands up at all I would have caught it—but I didn’t. I stood there with my arms glued to my sides. I was just so surprised to see a bouquet that close to me. The bouquet arced up and down. Its downward path barely missed my head. It didn’t even seem to be falling that fast. It was like a slow motion movie scene.
I spun around and stared at the bouquet laying only two feet from me. I paused, expecting a mad rush of girls to go after it, but no one moved. Silence.
I stared at it for an awkwardly long couple of seconds, expressionless. I noticed a little girl beside me. I expected her to lunge for it, but she didn’t. We exchanged glances and it was clear to me she wasn’t moving.
After an embarrassingly long amount of time my instincts kicked in. I took a step forward and picked up the bouquet. I felt like I was in a scene from some romantic comedy. Now where was the mysterious tall, dark and handsome man from the crowd that I hadn’t noticed beforehand?
I stood there staring at the foreign object in my hands. I broke into a forced grin, hoping I could conceal how strange I felt at that particular moment. I started laughing and hugged my friend bride. We laughed more together and got a couple pictures taken. I returned to my table triumphantly embarrassed. “That was the most non-aggressive bouquet toss I’ve ever seen,” I heard someone say.
No matter to me! I still can’t believe I caught (picked up) a bouquet at a wedding. And I’m still not sure what to do with it.