Here’s a new wedding tradition I recently heard about: Instead of tossing their bouquets, Christian brides give each single woman at their reception a flower from the bunch and pray individually for them to find a husband.
Compared to the ritual of competing to catch the bouquet, this approach was “sweet,” “thoughtful,” and “selfless” according to the women I saw discussing the idea on Facebook—plus a unique addition for brides eager to do something new and memorable at their weddings.
As a single woman, I immediately thought, No way. I tried to imagine attending a wedding where the bride tried to do that to me. I can only picture myself declining the flower and leaving the event altogether. It’s a well-intentioned but condescending gesture. It’s pretty presumptive to assume that all the single women you know would want a husband right now. Just because you did doesn’t mean I do.
This new ritual got me thinking about what it means to be single, specifically a single Christian woman, during wedding season. Never am I more aware of my singleness than in the summertime, when my calendar is dotted with weekend ceremonies and I’m under pressure to find a date or prepare to sit through another wedding solo.
When I turned 16, my dad made me a wooden hope chest. Before bridal showers and registries, girls received hope chests to fill dishes and doilies and linens in anticipation of when they would be married and setting up house with their new husband. That year, I spent all my birthday money on dishes and silverware and glasses to put in the chest. My grandma sent me doilies she had crocheted, and an elderly woman in our church knitted me an afghan. Once the chest ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more