real life

Catching the bridal bouquet: Insult or opportunity?

Jacqui with the bride







I will premise this story with an admission… Yes, I am competitive and yes I want to get married one day.

I’ve had my fair share of weddings over the past year and due to the frequency of said events, I have made a sport of beating out packs of single ladies to catch the bouquet.
As I said, I want to get engaged and married soon however I am wondering if my success rate is beginning to upset people, make me look a tad desperate and put undue pressure on the love of my life.

The first catch, at my brother’s wedding nearly 12 months ago, saw me beat the only other person truly up for the challenge – my new sister-in-law’s grandmother – who is in her 80’s. Let’s face it, if she truly wanted to be married, she would have entered the bouquet-catching tournament a whole lot earlier.

My rather athletic leap may or may not have also seen my sister-in-law’s three-year-old niece accidentally fall to the floor – she did that on her own, promise.

The next time round was also a bit of a joke, competition-wise.

I rugby tackled a close friend mid-air (it would have made the Wallabies proud) and tried to steal the thing.

We ultimately agreed to split the squished bunch of beautiful white orchids.

Later in the night, we split it again and four of us – all waiting for proposals and keen for them to be soon – wandered around with the now wilting flowers, giving me hope I’m not the only one out there in this dilemma… surely?

The toss

The most recent “classic catch” was just that and came at one of my best friend’s weddings. ‘Single Ladies’ blared from the speakers, the lights went dim and the bar was set as my vertically-challenged friend dragged a chair onto the floor, seeking the best bouquet-grabbing vantage point.

Then, something came over me – the devil on my shoulder said…’Third time lucky’… and it was on!

The time of the toss came and I’m ashamed to admit some playful shoulder nudging… okay charging… ensued.

As though in slow motion, the flowers hit the air, eyes blinded by the light, and even before I think I knew what was really happening I was a streak of yellow shooting through the air.

Arms outstretched, I’d decided it was mine.

Although slightly out of reach, I extended a little further forward and with the flick of my middle finger, I pushed the ascending bunch safely into a position I could clasp tightly with my right hand. There was no knock on, no forward pass.

The video (yes, there’s a video) then shows me walking over to my partner and him shaking his head, with a giant smile on his face.

While he’s no doubt proud of my finesse, I feel he may be tiring of the joke.

With two more weddings coming up in so many weeks, I am honestly thinking of putting myself on the bench and letting the other girls fight it out. I worry that the fun I’m having is being misinterpreted; that people may think I am desperate and crazy.

Jacqui’s boyfriend reacts to the catch

My biggest worry though, is he’s feeling enough pressure from everyone else to pop the question and I shouldn’t be adding to it by what could be perceived as ‘over achieving’ at an activity that forces the issue and results in people badgering him even more relentlessly.

Of course my success rate is, in part, to encourage him.

If he likes it, then he should “put a ring on it” but to be honest, it doesn’t actually worry me when the tradition of being the “next to marry” actually kicks in for him.

I know how lucky I was to find him and how lucky I am to wake up next to him every day, and I know the day he does ask will be the day he’s ready, and it will be our kind of perfect.

Maybe he’s lucky the tradition has moved on from the 14th Century European idea, where brides and all they touched were lucky.

I think he’d be less impressed if I physically chased down the brides – aka our friends – all the while tearing at their dresses, hoping to take home a good luck charm, no matter how tattered.But maybe I would be less interested in that too…

When the time’s time is right I’d like a whole wedding dress, not just a piece of one.

Jacqui is a young news journo working in regional NSW, in her spare time she juggles a gorgeous eight-year-old son, her strapping tradie bloke and the challenges that come with “having it all” at a young age. You can find her @JvanAanholt on Twitter.

Have you ever caught a bouquet? Have you ever tried? Do you think it’s a fun tradition or is it old-fashioned an insulting?