But that doesn't explain the wedding bouquet toss. Do you know why it's done? It began as a symbol of sharing the good luck of marriage. It has become something of an ugly spectacle -- especially when interpreted as a competition between desperate single women, who are so needy for a man that they'd fight over that good luck symbol. (Whereas men, who are more rational, would never fight over anything purely symbolic. We're too busy fighting over stuff that matters, like football and parking spaces.)
I could do without the bouquet toss. I cannot remember witnessing a bouquet toss in any of the weddings I've attended over the years, but it shows up on a regular basis in movies. Given that we've had a film based around a wedding singer and a wedding planner, I wonder when someone's going to build a rom com around the wedding bouquet. (Tina Fey, if you want to borrow my idea, go ahead.) Everyone else, read more to see my list of some movies that attempt to use the bouquet toss for a momentary angle, albeit often a bad one.
- "Clueless" -- The best film to use a toss badly. Like many of the films, the toss comes at the end, when we're at the happily ever after stage of the movie. Ms. Geist marries Mr. Hall and a bet takes place over which guy's gal will get it. The fight is on. Sadly, if you look on YouTube, this kind of bouquet battle takes place all too often in real life.
- "27 Dresses" - The bouquet is heading straight for Ms. Always A Bridesmaid (Katherine Heigl) when an over-eager claque of would-be brides crashes in and knocks her unconscious. She wakes up with Mr. Right (James Marsden), though they're at odds for most of the movie.
- "Love, Wedding, Marriage" -- When the featured couple gets married, the bouquet winds up in a man's hands, the groom's pal, Gerber. It's a weak attempt at throwing variety into the old chestnut, and looks even weaker after Gerber gets married in haste.
- "Bride Wars" -- The marital martial madness begins after two pals, played by Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, both go for -- and wind up with -- the bouquet at another woman's wedding.
- "Muriel's Wedding" -- Here's another one that opens with the bouquet toss. In this case, oddball Muriel (the great Toni Collette) catches the bouquet, much to the consternation of other women who think she's undeserving. Great use of Abba in this movie, by the way long before "Mamma Mia." (Another wedding oriented film.)
- "Fantastic 4" -- After Reed Richards and Sue Storm wed, they're off to rescue some other part of the world. But wait! "I have to throw the bouquet," Storm says. She tosses it high and it looks like it's going to fall to her playboy brother's girlfriend. Not if the he, the Human Torch, has anything to say about it. "Sorry," he says, as flaming stems fall to the ground. "Reflex."
- "Mannequin" -- This has to be the most anemic bouquet toss ever. When Emmy (Kim Cattrall), the Galatea of commerce, weds her creator -- a store window decorator, she tosses the flowers barely higher than her head. They are caught by the flamboyant Hollywood Montrose, the store's lead window dresser.
- "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" -- Connor is a photographer who, as his brother's wedding approaches, is haunted by his past love affairs. It's a twist on Dickens. (Scrooge, not Oliver Twist.) When his sister-in-law tosses the bouquet, it is nailed to the wall by a flying arrow, shot by a minor character who showed up earlier, in Connor's photo shoot.
- "Addams Family Values" -- When the bouquet is tossed here, it's caught by young Wednesday. (Christina Ricci) "Now you have to get married," she's told. "It's not binding," she responds. (Movie makers: You're not bound to use bouquet tosses in wedding scenes, either.
- "Shrek" -- Another fun film that ends up with the old chestnut. Fiona tosses the bouquet and it's caught by her protector Dragon, who apparently has eyes for Shrek's pal, Donkey. Though I haven't seen the sequel, apparently Dragon and Donkey are married in it.
- "Monster-in-Law" -- When Charlie the bride (J-Lo) finally tosses the bouquet, who should catch it but Viola (Jane Fonda), the groom's much married mom, who's been giving Charlie grief all along.