She’s the one in a frock, kneepads and a helmet.
In a story that has AFL recruitment coaches everywhere scrambling to study the wedding videos in super slow-motion, Utah woman Jamie Jackson is boasting 46 marks of the bridal bouquet.
The petite athlete, who is known as “The Bouquet Slayer”, will soon be immortalised in the Guinness Book Of Records for The Most Wedding Bouquets Caught.
The former wedding planner-turned- trainer says she first felt the hunger at her cousin’s 1996 wedding.
“After that wedding, I just knew that I could do it again.”
She did, and now it’s a full-blown obsession. She’s aiming to reach 50 catches before she retires, or gets married, whatever comes first.
The bouquet toss has divided opinion, it’s been called humiliating bullshit, and insulting, but Jackson doesn’t let the haters get her down. She just sees an opportunity to get her name in the record books, and add to her trophy cabinet full of dead flowers.
Her secret? Like every top athlete it’s preparation, training, focus and a game plan.
“At every wedding I get invited to, I just have to have that bouquet,” she says. “I plot out my strategy as soon as I get there.”
“Position, position, position,” she says.”You have to be in the front if you want the best chance of catching the bouquet. Because usually when the bride tosses it, she throws it straight up and it will hit a ceiling or a chandelier then go straight down.”
The dimunitive Jackson is agile and says going barefoot also helps, “especially if I feel like it’s going to get aggressive out there and I’ll need a good grip.”
Friends say she is a “force to be reckoned with” and she has turned the ritual into an “art form”.
In a darker moment, she was accused of crashing a wedding to add to her loot, something she vehemently denies. She is not Lance Armstrong, people. She may have knocked over small children in the crush, she may have tussled with other guests. But cheat? NEVER.
Tradition states if you catch the bouquet at a wedding, you’re next to be married. But Jackson is still single, which could just be strategic. As she says, “if I were married, I’d have to give up my favourite sport.”
There is no word yet on a sporting endorsement, but THAT is something we’d love to see.
In the meantime she’s waiting on official word from the Guinness World Book of Serious Judges and Stuff. But no doubt she’ll be coming up roses.