Some DJs Deserve To Be Business Failures

by admin on December 21, 2011

I encountered him again.   *That* kind of DJ that makes you wonder how he gets hired.   A lovely wedding followed by a pleasant reception at a historic mansion was somewhat marred overly forceful and inappropriate DJ at the reception.

The music as one entered the reception venue was pleasant enough.  Holiday music of all genres playing in the background set the atmosphere for a holiday wedding.   The Christmas music continued through dinner although the MOG visibly flinched when the Chipmunks started singing but otherwise nothing notably obnoxious.

The travesty began with the garter removal.    The garter toss is reminiscent of a tradition during the Middle Ages when drunk male guests would try to follow the newlyweds into the nuptial bedroom and the harried groom would remove pieces of his bride’s undergarments (garters were used to hold up stockings) and throw them at the unruly men to distract them long enough to close and bolt the door.   So there you have it….modern garter tossing is rooted in stripping the wife of her private garments to appease the voyeurism of a bunch of crass, vulgar men.     Why this arcane, cliched tradition continues escapes me.  It’s so overdone and over the past 30 years I’ve witnessed it become increasingly vulgar.  It used to be that the groom removed the garter which got tossed to a flock of single guys and the winner then happily hung it like a mini trophy on his car rear view mirror. The bride threw her bouquet to the single ladies and that was it.   About 18 years ago I started noticing that DJs were adding a new twist to the game.

The bride threw her bouquet to a waiting and possibly unsuspecting group of young women and the catcher was told to sit aside for a few minutes.   The groom then removed the bride’s garter while the DJ played “The Stripper” music.   You know that cannot bode well for what is to follow.   It’s like horror violin music hinting to movie viewers that something evil is about to happen.   The young, single men were corralled into a group and the garter tossed.  It was caught, however, by a 10 year old boy who was informed by the DJ that he had to surrender it to another man 18 years of age or older.   *That* really clued the guests in that what was to happen next was most likely inappropriate for young audiences.

The boy handed the garter to a young man and the DJ proceeded to orchestrate the “game” wherein the garter catcher places the garter on the bouquet catcher’s leg.   This was accompanied by very loud, forceful commentary that for every inch above the bouquet catcher’s knee he placed the garter was equal to 10 years of good luck in marriage for the newlyweds.  Guests were encouraged to cheer the garter guy to go higher and higher while the DJ played the song, “Let’s Get It On”, which certainly has sexual connotations.   I turned my back in protest, I noticed a few older adults turning away, even noticed the father of a pre-schooler  covering his daughter’s eyes at the worst of it.   I cannot begin to tell you how this degraded the atmosphere immediately from being a classy reception to a tawdry bar scene and the DJ was the ringleader, the conductor, the instigator.

DJs have a schtick or routine that they follow for receptions.  You, as the person hiring them, need to go over every detail of what he/she intends to do during your reception and veto various “games” in his/her routine.   This particular DJ was also not responsive to music requests and played mostly club dance music which kept the 20-somethings dancing but completely alienated one third of the guests who were older and would have preferred Motown, Swing and other music.   This wedding was out of town for me but when I attend a wedding locally with a DJ like that, at the end of the evening I take a business card to make sure I never, ever recommend him to any of my brides.

 

 

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Gigner December 21, 2011 at 5:09 am

If it had been me catching the bouquet…I would be the ‘spoil sport’ and would have left the room with the bouquet so no one else would be unlucky enough to play. If held ‘captive’, I’d have just stood there and wouldn’t have cooperated with the DJ at all. This new DJ practice sounds disgusting and as evasive as a TSA patdown in an airport.

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Mary December 21, 2011 at 7:53 am

I went to a wedding where there were numerous etiquette violations in all areas (you had to pay for ice water, bride and groom went bar hopping between dinner and dance, etc) , but I thought one of the worst violations had to do with the DJ. Maybe it was the couple’s idea, but the DJ coordinated it. Once the groom removed the garter (with his teeth!), the DJ then auctioned off the garter to the highest bidder. The money went to the couple and then even worse, the garter was put back on the bride and the highest bidder got to remove it from her leg, with his teeth! Ewww…
Worst part is, I don’t know if the highest bidder was an actual guest. He looked like he had just walked in off the street with ripped jeans and dirty white t-shirt.

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Wink-n-Smile December 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

If my husband tried to do that to me, in public, he’d be looking at a quick separation. No way would I allow myself to be involved in that kind of crassness.

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WildIrishRose December 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I’m with you. It was all mine could do to remove the garter without anyone seeing anything! He’s very modest and easily embarrassed. He’d never have done the teeth thing.

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LeeLee88 December 21, 2011 at 8:31 am

Even though my DJ wound up being a bit of a “fail” in other ways, the one thing she did understand quite clearly was when I told her “stick to this list, and if anyone tries to request music you wouldn’t want your grandma to hear, say ‘No’. If they argue, send them to me, and I’ll straighten it out.” There were a couple younger guests who tried to request certain songs, but dropped it when the DJ said I’d instructed the guests to speak to me if they wanted certain songs played. I guess they already knew there was no way I’d approve of “The Thong Song” being played in front of my elderly relatives ;-).

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Wink-n-Smile December 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

Oh, good for you!

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Enna January 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

I agree with Wink-Smile but that was also one good professional DJ for listening

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Ducky December 21, 2011 at 8:56 am

While I completely agree on the garter/bouquet toss thing being hideous, I don’t think it’s fair to completely lay the blame at the foot of the DJ. Perhaps certain couples enjoy that sort of spectacle and requested it? Tacky? Yes. But not the fault of the DJ.

Also I certainly don’t think a DJ that doesn’t take requests and plays only “whatever” music is necessarily a bad thing. Our DJ was asked not to take requests, was given a specific song list, and stuck to it. That’s what I wanted. If the music wasn’t perfect for getting every age set out on the dance floor the entire time, that’s MY fault as the bride, not the DJs. And it is unfair to the DJ to paint it as so.

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CMA December 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

Holy cow. I’m with Admin 100% on this. I would hate to be the bouquet catcher in this scenerio. I can’t imagine being groped by a guy I don’t know in front of a cheering crowd. That sounds like sexual harassment to me. It’s a wonder there haven’t been lawsuits over this kind of thing.

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Alanna December 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

I think it really depends on the atmosphere of the wedding. One of my best friends did this at her wedding, but it wasn’t sleazy, it was just funny. The only people who got up for the bouquet and garter toss were the young friends of the bride and groom, and we’d all been getting to know each other all weekend. Everyone just made a big joke out of it and we all had a great laugh. It was a lovely, classy wedding and everyone had a great time. No one was uncomfortable.

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GroceryGirl December 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

Unfortunately, that lewd display is not unique to this DJ. And I wonder if perhaps you’re being too kind to the bride and groom. Most likely, they met with the DJ long before the wedding and went over a list of appropriate songs and also approved the big garter mess. The DJ probably didn’t take requests because he was told not to. Remember, he’s just being paid to do what the couple tells him to do.

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Jay December 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

I have to think that the couple knew about the garter stuff ahead of time. That’s the sort of thing ANY DJ would check on before doing.. they don’t just walk in and announce a garter auction or whatever — because the bride has to specifically wear a garter for that purpose. It’s not like that’s a normal clothing item she’d just happen to be wearing anyway.

So blame the couple for the tackiness.. the DJ is paid to go along with it.

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admin December 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

The bride was not wearing a garter when the game was to commence so someone’s bow tie was removed and tied around her leg.

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Jay December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Okay, that just gets a “wow”.

This is where a *hint* of “bridezilla-ness” would be a good thing. If the bride didn’t want to do the garter thing, she should’ve said, no, it’s my @#$(@* wedding, leave me alone!

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Wink-n-Smile December 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

Wait, whatnow? She was FORCED?

OK, the whole garter thing has always creeped me out, but that just blows my mind.

Women need to stand up for themselves, and say, “No, and don’t ask me again. It’s my body and it’s not going to happen!” We shouldn’t be afraid to “cause a scene,” which is already being caused by someone else.

Get that, ladies? If someone is harrassing you, the scene is already CAUSED by them. If you react negatively, that’s not “causing” a scene. That’s making sure you are protected and the scene is worthwhile – that is it shows the other person for a crude buffoon.

There’s nothing wrong with refusing to participate. And if they don’t take “no” for an answer, you physically turn away from them and move on to someone/thing else.

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Redblues December 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

And she went along with it? Good Lord, when are women going to learn to say ‘no’ and that ‘no’ is a complete sentance?! We have to start defending each other from this kind of thing. And why would her husband do such a thing?

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kjr December 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

I’ve been the bouquet catcher in a very similar scenario, little boy catching it first (yes, he gave it to an adult), stripper music, encouraging the garter to “go higher”, the whole nine yards. Very uncomfortable, and I never went for the bouquet again.

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Chocobo December 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

We were so lucky with our D.J., and truly he made the whole night. We only had a few simple rules:

1. Golden Oldies, Jazz, Ballroom Music during dinner (guests were invited get up from the table as they pleased between courses for a dance or two at any time).
2. All music must be “dance-able”, but nothing with inappropriate lyrics.
3. He must play our parents’ wedding songs at some point.
4. As long as it is appropriate, what is requested is more important than what we like to listen to.

He understood what we were getting at and followed our wishes to a ‘T.’ He even approached me to ask whether he could play a song or two that were requested that were “on the fence” of appropriate, which I appreciated. I can’t tell you how many compliments we received afterward on the quality of the playlist, and I didn’t take any credit for it at all.

Sure, this meant we danced to a lot of classic pop and rock songs, and Golden Oldies, but people love that stuff and get excited about it, so who cares? I can listen to what I like at home. At my wedding, I want everyone to dance and have fun. Thanks to our D.J., that’s what we did.

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Bubbles December 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

At my wedding, we had a band that concentrated on Motown and R & B and pop stuff…they were awesome!

My groom absolutely wanted to do the garter thing and he knew me well enough to know that any more than my knee showing was grounds for a serious talking to. He explained to the band that we wanted to do it and fully explained the difference between “playful” and “raunchy”, which they were glad of as they were dubious, at first, when we said that we wanted to do it. So, it may very well have been the bride & groom’s doing and not the DJ’s, especially as I can’t imagine that the DJ would have taken the liberty of auctioning off portions of the program without prior consent, though I’ve certainly learned that anything is possible.

They played some “chicka bow wow” music when we started and the groom picked up the hem of my skirt and you can clearly see some people in the first few photos that were OBVIOUSLY afraid of where it was going. He made a big show of fighting with the crinolines under my dress and, in the midst of that, grabbed the garter from my leg and pulled it out like he’d performed a magic trick and proceeded to dance around me flinging it around his head and even wearing it as a headband, at one point, while EVERYONE laughed. I don’t think more than my ankle showed.

As to the second part, my girlfriend and her fiance caught the garter and bouquet and he was well into his cups by that point in the evening. She told me that she was afraid that he would get a bit inappropriate, especially as she was wearing a beautiful slinky gown with a very high slit so as soon as he got to her knee and didn’t appear to be ready to stop anytime soon, the groom swooped me up in his arms, grabbed her hand and gave the tipsy fiance no choice but to follow us to the dance floor for a celebratory boogie.

I agree that the practice is archaic and I would have skipped it if he hadn’t wanted to do it so badly. In the end, some of the funniest and most joyful pictures we have of our wedding came from that 15 minutes. :)

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AS December 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

That sounds like a horrid custom, but I am not sure how much blame I’d place on the DJ. If the bridal couple did not like it, they should have said so.

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Elizabeth December 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

I’ve seen this done a lot and think its ridiculous (its why i never caught the bouquet unless i knew the bride and groom well enough to know they wouldnt do this).
However, this is not bad ettiquette on the part of the dj-its bad ettiquette on part of the bride and groom. A game like that would only be done if the bride and groom requested it/agreed to. They would have also picked the music out for it or at least approved a type of music. Its the same with the music for the reception, they may have said no requests and the DJ was likely playing the type they requested.

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Saucygirl December 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

We had the put the garter belt on the bouquet catcher at my wedding, but 12 years later I don’t honestly remember if I knew that was part of the plan or if my dj just did it. I do remember that the guy and girl involved turned it into a funny comedy routine that had all the guests laughing. It can only be crude and tacky if the guests make it crude and tacky, and that is not the djs fault. As for music, we also provided the dj with a “do not deviate from” list and gave him instructions to turn outlandish requests over to us. Granted, our list covered various styles, but as this board has shown us, some couples want what they want and do not take their guests into consideration.

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Just Laura December 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

This was done at a friend’s wedding. I was really uncomfortable since it was my boyfriend (now husband) who “caught” the garter (he was hiding behind decorations, and the garter was thrust upon him) and the bride’s little sister who caught the bouquet. Neither party seemed to enjoy the ritual. The photographs are awkward.

I did not have a garter at my wedding earlier this year. I did no tossing of bouquets (I feel it unfairly singles out the single ladies, and I’ve seen too many fights). There was no smashing cake in faces. There was no club music played. I’m not going to lie and say I had the classiest wedding ever, but I don’t like to go out of my way to make other people uncomfortable.

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twoferrets December 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

When my brother got married, the garter was caught by a boy who couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old, and the bouquet by the girlfriend of one of the bride’s cousins. She was in her 20s. The little boy turned shy and clearly did not want to be involved in putting the garter on this grown-up lady’s leg, but his DAD (drunk and two buttons away from shirtlessness) wouldn’t let it go. He kept bellowing “He’s a MAN! He can do it!” in response to the DJ’s requests that someone older take over. The poor kid ended up just slipping it on the woman’s ankle. I think the only thing that prevented someone telling Daddy Dearest to shut it was the fact that we were all thinking that this surely wouldn’t continue without him realizing it wasn’t funny!

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ErinAnn December 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

I attended a wedding where the DJ had the bride up front and said that she would be blindfolded and then have to pick which guy was her husband of the men that kissed her. She shot him a dirty look and he added “….on her cheek.” Then he added her dad to the lineup.

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Ashley December 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

I’ve seen too many awful DJs. My fiance and I aren’t even having one, we’re setting up an iPod with a play list and that’s the end of it.

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--Lia December 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

At my brother’s wedding, the only thing I wanted was to make sure everything went smoothly for my new sister-in-law. I don’t have a lot of natural social graces, so I thought about it beforehand. It was obvious no one wanted to catch the bouquet so I caught it lest it drop to the floor. My brother threw the garter straight at one of his friends. I was caught by surprise by the place-the-garter-on-my-leg tradition, but I didn’t want to embarrass anyone by refusing to play. So when he knelt by the chair, I gave him a private “look,” clamped my crossed knees together, and extended one leg. There was no way that garter was getting any further than my (stockinged) knee. The DJ could have said all he wanted and played the most suggestive music they had, that garter wasn’t going anywhere. To the friend’s credit, he didn’t push matters.

In that horrible situation, I’d say it was up to the bouquet catcher and the garter catcher to make sure the DJ embarrasses himself, not the bride or groom. They can forcefully not participate.

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Danielle December 22, 2011 at 12:16 am

The reason that these “traditions” continue is that we as guests do not put our foot down and say no. There is no reason you should have to allow someone to touch you if you don’t want them to. Personally, I would be worse than mortified if I was put in that position and would not only have refused to participate, I also would have left. The bride and groom should know better than allow their friends and family members to be treated this way.

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Ashley December 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

I really do not fault the DJ at this point. What you described is something that is common at weddings now. I’ve seen it before and it go lots of laughter. I went to a wedding where the qirl who caught the bouquest was 12 and the garter catcher was her older brother and the DJ still made him put it up her leg.
I am thinking the DJ has done this before without complaints so it is now seen as “normal” to do at weddings. The DJ didn’t do it at mine however because he was an older man.

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Cady December 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

One of the myriad reasons why a $200 block rocker and an iPod with your own playlists for wedding, dinner and reception is such a better investment than a DJ.

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Just Laura December 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Agreed.

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Chocobo December 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I can’t really agree, while there are many horror stories about DJs, if they are good at their job they can also make your night magical and get everyone dancing and having good clean fun in a way that an ipod never does.

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Gracie C. December 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Or as the bride and groom not agreeing to do tacky things, and hiring a professional who behaves like one. If you don’t want a DJ, that’s fine, but let’s not paint them all with the same brush. My DJ was tremendously awesome.

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WildIrishRose December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Words fail me. So glad my reception was simple and DJ-free.

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Wendy December 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

A few years ago I went to a wedding where this happened. I was part of the gaggle of single women and beside me was the bride’s older sister, who is developmentally disabled…and very shy. When the bouquet came towards us I had a clear shot at it, but thought the sister deserved it more and let her get it. Bad decision! Next came the garter toss and then, you guessed it, the young man the sister didn’t know from Adam, put the garter on her leg. She was horribly embarrassed and nearly crying and…worst of all…her family did nothing to stop it. I lost all respect for them that day (except for the poor girl).

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Redblues December 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

What is wrong with a man who continues to humiliate a woman who is clearly embarassed?!

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Guppy December 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

This DJ thing is increasingly problematic. These people have begun to consider themselves stars. Receptions are not nightclubs. That venue is the place most DJs work. So, they turn nice conservative events like wedding receptions into nightclubs. Loud music, sex references, rowdy. When you interview a DJ show him or her a list of appropriate music you have chosen. If there is any disagreement, move on. Also, know where the “cutoff” switch is located and, if you have to use it, have a friend ready with a nice boom box and CDs. Your guests won’t mind. Also, be prepared to pay the DJ no matter what you do.

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Silver December 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I caught a bouquet at a wedding when I was 7 (I realize now that I should not have been trying to catch the bouquet, but no one there told me it was inappropriate for me to do so). I was not a shy kid, but I felt really uncomfortable when I was forced to sit down and have a guy slip a garter on my leg. As it was, it was fortunate that it was my half-brother (who was in his 20s) who caught the garter. I don’t know what I would have done at the time if some stranger tried to do that. 25 years later, I am very uncomfortable with this “game”.

Guess what did not happen at my wedding?

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Danielle December 22, 2011 at 12:21 am

The DJ or whoever else was handling this “game” should not have allowed it to happen when you were the one who caught the flowers. Failing that, your brother or your parents should have said no. Unfortunately, we have all decided to remain silent in order to not embarrass the bride and groom, which is a ridiculous attitude to have when bride and groom are arranging “entertainment” which is in its essence embarrassing to us as guests.

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Jennifer December 22, 2011 at 2:08 am

Wow, who kept that game going when it involved two kids (or a kid at all even). That is kind of wrong.

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Jones December 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

My wedding was happily DJ free. Mixed CD and a good stereo. We did not do anything raunchy as there were many gramparents, however there was a bout toss (my sister caught it) and the mid-calf garter was removed and tossed-caught by my brother, the TWIN of the sister who caught the bouquet. You can bet that, had anyone tried to force further crassiness, they would have found themselves on the pavement outside wondering what happened.

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jeneria December 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Okay, so my last comment didn’t make it through the screening, so I’ll try saying it another way.
I don’t see what the etiquette failure is here. It was the couple’s wedding and if they were cool with the proceedings and the people involved were cool with it, then why is it an issue of etiquette? Time and time again, people are told that their weddings are their weddings and to not cowtow to guests and yet here we have an example where a guest wants to dictate what happens in the way of celebration. I’m also not sure why the DJ is to blame. I think there must have been more to the story than just this. The entry comes across as though the OP is more miffed at the tradition than they are at anything the DJ did.

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Cheryl Crawford December 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I didn’t wear a garter because I knew the reason behind the removal of the garter (there was also a time when the deflowering of the bride was public so if she was delivering a baby 9 months later, there was no question as to whose it was). I couldn’t find what I considered an inappropriate reason for the tossing of the bouquet, so we did that. We also didn’t feed each other cake, because I wanted to do it with forks and my photographer said that would look stupid, and I didn’t want cake in my face or on my dress which is likely to happen even if you are politely feeding each other and not doing the smash it in the face type of “feeding”. I notice now it is done with forks much of the time. The vast majority of my guest came from religious backgrounds that don’t think dancing is an appropropiate activity, so no DJ. We also didn’t serve alcohol, so no drunks to ruin things. For all of that, it was a fun reception with people eating, talking and generally knowing how to have fun without alcohol and alot of what is considered mandatory now. I am not an “old fart” by any means, and this was 23 years ago. And no, the reception was not over in an hour or so, it was a good 4-5 hours long. Just a different mindset on what is fun and no unpleasant memories. Incidently, I also did not have my father give me away, since I was not owned by anyone. I had him say “She gives herself with the blessing of her parents.”. He was fine with that, although he did walk me down the aisle, which I guess is a sort of delivering me. I preferred to think of it as escorting me. I was okay with walking alone down the aisle, but Dad had his heart set on escorting me, so not a biggy. I was a grown woman who had been on her own for a few years, and I thought if more people knew what the reason behind many of the customs of a wedding, they wouldn’t do them. It should be no surprise I also kept my maiden name, as a matter of fact, he almost changed HIS last name (long story there) but we thought me not changing my name was enough to keep the grandmothers stirred up, along with a few of the guests, as it turned out.

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Wink-n-Smile December 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

Cheryl, your wedding sounds lovely! Good for you.

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Shannon December 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm

We skipped basically all of the ‘performance stuff’ at our wedding. Ultimately, guests want to wet their whistles, catch up with old friends, and congratulate the bride and groom. They don’t want to sit through a million speeches, a slideshow, a first dance, a cousin-uncle/inbred Sally-sistermother dance, bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. We had a first dance and that was basically it.

I especially wanted to skip the bouquet toss. Even if the bride is okay with not everyone participating, and there isn’t some form of appalling garter toss, it’s usually fairly dreadful. The worst part is how every wedding has a busybody auntie who goes around and badgers single women into participating because she thinks it’s “so fun!” and the women are “just being shy.” I have to admit when I was single I generally hid in the ladies’ room for the bouquet toss. :)

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EchoGirl June 5, 2013 at 2:40 am

Huh, I had the opposite thing happen once. I went out onto the floor for a bouquet toss and several of the other women asked if I wasn’t “too young” (I was 16). Wasn’t up to a long argument so I told them that the bride of the day had caught my mother’s bouquet when she was 12 (that really happened). They dropped that line of questioning pretty quick.

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Ally L December 22, 2011 at 12:58 am

Wow, I’m 24 and on the East coast and just went to two weddings this past summer, and know friends who have been to many more. The garter/bouqet thing is fairly common practice out here. My closer married friends are very conservative, and even they went along with planning the garter thing, like it was just expected as “another thing to do” at the wedding.

The only awkward part came when the only girls who went up were the bridesmaids and 1 friend our age, 3 of whom were dating and refused to touch the flowers, and one who was very shy and anxious, so I ended up picking the dang flowers up off the floor. Same thing happened with the garter: the boys just sat there looking at it, til mt date grabbed it. He was a very close friend of mine, and also happened to be gay, so he just made a lot of fanfair, and put the thing just above my knee, where my dress hem was anyway.

At the time, I thought that our friends should have sucked it up and participated marginally, just to speed the process along. It didn’t have to be vulgar, but the way everyone avoided it just made it worse. And the thing is, we were all friends, and all knew each other! Admin’s post is making me reconsider this position now.

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Jennifer December 22, 2011 at 2:14 am

Considering how I’ve hidden for every bouquet toss (they started trying to get me in when I was 16 and had no interest in getting married) I’m not having one. Certainly no garter.

I heard about a wedding where a lady tossed her bouquet at her wedding. This woman had an unmarried twin sister, so she “tried” to send it to her. Unfortunately, she missed, and instead sent it straight into the arms of a six year old relative who was hanging out on the side and immediately started crying (according to the six year old, who I know now as an adult, because the bride was apparently glared at her). I dunno if the teller was exaggerating a bit.

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Wink-n-Smile December 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

I have no problem with DJ “games” at a wedding, provided they are tasteful and approved *in advance*. A professional does not spring surprises on his employers.

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Mary December 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

The only reason I threw the bouquet was because I was the first of most of my friends to get married. There were probably 50 single females there. Even two years later I would have omitted the bouquet toss.

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Emmers December 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

There is absolutely no way I would ever participate in that. Not in a thousand years.

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claire delune December 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

This kind of behavior is one of the many reasons we didn’t hire a DJ for our reception. But as far as refusing to take requests, it’s possible that wasn’t the DJ’s call–the bride and groom might have instructed him not to do so.

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WillyNilly December 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

The garter/bouquet “game” has been popular for at least 20 years in NY. As a former event professional I have been in attendance at hundreds of weddings and I can say with no hesitation that I have seen this game end in tears or fights more often then not. Whether its a child catching one and either having to give up their “prize” or participate in a sexualized act, or conservative or dating-other-perhaps-jealous-people who are expected to participate, it rarely goes smoothly. Yes the few times it goes well, usually it goes quite well with smiles and laughter and merriment, but its a rare enough occurrence I don’t understand why any couple’s or DJ’s risk it.

I certainly refuse to participate in any bouquet toss because I find the idea of that alone to be distasteful, but especially so because one never knows if the game will go on to the dreaded garter part.

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Redblues December 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

If women simply refused to participate in such sexist public humiliation, it would have to stop. There is no way on earth I would ever allow a guest of mine to be treated like this. I think it’s the B&G who belong in E-Hell for allowing it. There was no garter toss at my wedding reception. I still cringe when I remember what happened to my brother at a cousin’s wedding back in the 70s. He was 8 or 9 and he caught the garter. He refused to put it on the woman who caught the bouquet. (He hadn’t known he was expected to.) God bless him, he even stood up to my father’s insane attempts to publicly humiliate him into doing it, as well as his threats to beat my brother if he didn’t. To this day I have no idea why nobody stepped in to defend my brother against this tirade. I don’t even remember who caught the bouquet, but had it been me, I would never have let an 8 year old put it on me anyway. I wouldn’t let a grown man put a garter on my leg. And the stripper music?!? Unacceptable! Nor would I have permitted an 8 year old’s father to berate him for refusing to participate. I’d have stepped in to defend the poor kid.

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Enna January 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

Bad DJ! Personally i think if the garter was taken off normally and thrown just treat it like boquet – any man who catches it is the next one to get married.

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Edhla January 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Wow. Where I live we sometimes have the groom take the bride’s garter OFF, but the garter is rarely tossed (I’ve never been to a wedding where it has been) and the whole garter-catcher-puts-it-on-bouquet-catcher thing is one I’ve never heard of. I also find the whole garter thing to be sleazy even when it’s not a spectacle like this obviously was.

At a recent wedding I attended, the single men got up to catch the bouquet along with the single women (and nobody was pressed to do so or humiliated. I declined the bouquet toss, although I’m single, because I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of everyone so desperate to be married that they’ll fight over flowers.) Anyway. The bride’s teenaged brother caught the bouquet. And that was it. It was a lot of fun, without being crass.

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cait June 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

In my rather extensive family, the bouquet and garter tosses are mostly geared towards the (usually dozens of) children present, as a fun thing for them to look forward to. I only saw the put-the-garter-on-the-bouquet-catcher thing once, shortly before my own wedding, and i was a little shocked. The only downside to the game that I’d ever experienced before that was the disappointment of the kiddos who did not catch the bouquet/garter, so for my wedding, I had my florist do up a small ‘toss bouquet’ of flowers tied with ribbon that, when the ribbon was untied and the bouquet was thrown, split into three smaller bouquets(basically one carnation and some baby’s breath) and surprised the catchers with more than one ‘winner’. It gave both the younger and more young-adult participants a chance, i guess.

Our best man and dear friend caught the garter and my husband put it on the best man’s leg (unprompted) and he wore it there or on his arm the rest of the night as a joke.

I am a DJ myself, although not for weddings because of the potential for things to go wrong, but I’m rather particular about things like the appropriateness of music for the audience. We solved the problem by hiring the teacher who dj’d the father-daughter and mother-son dances at our high school-he did a fabulous job, and kept the dance floor packed the entire evening with fun, appropriate selections.

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ShellyLynne August 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I was a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding and caught the bouquet. One of the groomsmen (a friend of my sister’s) caught the garter and was supposed to put it on my leg. I was SO embarrassed and had I realized it would happen, I would never have caught it. Looking back now, it seems kind of icky because I was only 17 at the time and if I were a guest, I would think it inappropriate for a 21-22 year old man to be feeling around under a minor’s dress. He was sweet, though. It didn’t even get over my knee. Didn’t seem to make a difference though. Sis and BIL have been happily married over 15 years.

When I got married, I did neither a bouquet or garter toss. Since most of my family and friends were married, I didn’t have enough single ladies to even bother and I had NO intention of wearing a garter! Instead, we did an anniversary dance, where all the married couples danced (including us) and the DJ dismissed us from newest to oldest couple and whichever couple had been married the longest won the bouquet. Of course, this was something I discussed with the DJ before hand.

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violinp September 14, 2012 at 1:26 am

My parents did a garter toss, but they only took pictures with the winners (there was also a bouquet toss), and the winners had a picture together. Weddings with garter tosses can still be classy and not devolve into raunchy debacles.

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