Another Refinery29 staffer recently told me the story of when a bride — who had made her the maid of honor even though they hadn't spoken in years — insisted she try to catch the bouquet at her wedding along with all the single ladies despite the fact that she was in a domestic partnership. Apparently, her committed relationship "didn't count" when it came to the obligatory bouquet toss, and in the eyes of the Wedding Gods she was single. She hid in the bathroom until the throwing of the expensive flowers was over.
Her number-one reason? It's mean. "When else in your real life do you gather all of your single friends in a clump and ask them to fight for a golden ticket toward finding love? It’s plain old awkward, embarrassing, and mean for your single pals, especially if almost everyone at your wedding is already married and you only have two or three people on the dance floor trying to catch the bouquet."
The bouquet toss is said to have originated centuries ago in England as a way for the bride to pass her good fortune along to others. The guests would try to touch her and rip away parts of her clothing and flowers to get their hands on some good luck, and the bride would toss her bouquet in order to distract them and then run away. Of course, the lady who caught the bouquet was said to be the next one in line to get married.
Glantz is right — let's please do away with the toss. It's not just that it's mean. It's demeaning to make a bunch of women clamor for "love" (see: The Bachelor, but at least in that case, there's a more-or-less equivalent in the Bachelorette) in front of an audience. And it hurts people like my friend in the domestic partnership when their "friends" ask them to do things that make them uncomfortable. So who actually wins here?