I haven't been to many weddings in my life, but anytime I'm invited to one I get excited because I (1) love celebrating other people's happy occassions (2) LIVE for a great reception, particularly the
free food and (3) get to put on a dress and be all dressed up with some place to go.
On Saturday, I attended the wedding of one of my dearest girlfriends. It was a fusion of African-American (bride) and Nigerian (groom) traditions. I loved that their two worlds could unite somewhere between eating moi moi and juking to the Cupid Shuffle.
They made their wedding THEIR own, so of course my friend remixed the tossing of her bouquet to make it her own. I normally don't get super giddy about catching the bouquet, but I love raffles and winning prizes, and catching the bouquet kind of reminds me of a raffle without tickets. If I'm gonna be in it, I'm in it to win it.
I figured my height and long arms would serve me well. I strategically placed myself toward the back of the single ladies crowd because my friend works out and I'm pretty sure she has an amazing arm on her. I could go long if she did a super toss, or reach over everyone else's heads if she went short.
None of this was necessary, though. Standing in front of us in her beautiful white wedding gown, a bouquet of red roses in her hand, my friend became very serious before addressing us. She told us that she does not do things conventionally, and after researching the history of brides tossing their bouquet, she decided not to.
Quick interjection: I have to give my friend MAJOR kudos for even researching the bouquet toss. So often, we do things because they've always been done and don't even know why we do them. Before Saturday, I didn't know the history behind tossing the bouquet.
The tradition traces back to Europe during medieval times. The bride's wedding dress was considered a symbol of good luck and fertility. After the wedding, women would chase the bride, tearing at her dress trying to get a piece of it in hopes that some of the bride's good fortune would transfer to them.
Reading about this reminded me of how people would claw at Jesus' clothes as he moved through the crowd, hoping to be healed if they could just touch the hem of his garment. I suppose it did work out very well for the woman with the issue with blood, but that was JESUS. Why are folks chasing brides?
To avoid getting mauled by thirsty - err, eager - women, brides began throwing things as a distraction while they ran away. Hence, a tossed bouquet of flowers (also a symbol of fertility) and a tossed garter. In comtemporary times, the bride's bouquet is tossed to single women and the lucky woman who catches it is said to be the next to marry.
My friend shared that she does not believe in luck. She believes we are all blessed and worthy of love. Instead of one women leaving the reception a "winner" and feeling special, she wanted each single woman to leave feeling special. One by one, she went down the line giving each of us two roses from her bouquet. She spoke blessings and words of encouragment over our lives as she went along.
We didn't have to claw at her dress because she hugged each one of us after gifting our roses. There was no luck to be found in her dress or her flowers. Instead, there was an anointing in her words that came from a pure place of love and bliss. That is what she shared with us on her wedding day and we didn't have to fight each other to get it.
More than a husband, I know that I want more love and bliss in my life. We have the power to speak things into existence and affirm them with our beliefs. I thank my friend for being unconventional and remixing tradition; for speaking life and abundance.
I'm deserving of a love that's not like a blindly tossed bridal bouquet, maybe I'll get it, maybe I won't. Praise God for other women who believe and affirm the same.