Marvyl here! I'm the creator of Team Wedding and I actually got married six days ago. 

It was truly a remarkable wedding. It was everything I could have dreamed of and more, and everything went exactly as I planned (more or less!). 

But despite the fact it was the wedding of my dreams, after the wedding family and friends still found something to complain about. I couldn't believe that after all my hard work and with it going exactly how I wanted, people still found something negative to say about it. 

Most of it was easy to brush off, except for this one thing that kept coming up: Why didn't I do the full garter/bouquet tradition?

For those of you just starting off in the wedding planning world, you've probably heard of this tradition. The bride throws a bouquet and the groom throws the garter, and the lucky folks to catch them are suppose to be next in line to get married. Well, there is another part of it that some people choose to do and that is that the guy who catches the garter places it on the lady who catches the bouquets leg.

Now, I'm going to preface this with I threw out a lot of traditional aspects during our wedding. But this one, I threw out for a very personal reason. And because of the complaints I got for not doing it, I thought I would take some time to explain. 

According to RAINN, (www.rainn.org) every 107 seconds someone in the US is sexually assaulted. 

I know that's not really the type of statistics you want to read in a wedding article, but it's true. And I could go on and on about rape statistics and bombard you with numbers about victim's ages and walks of life...but what I wanted to point out is that it HAPPENS. All. The. Time. 

And if you, for some reason, think that you do not know anyone who has been sexually assaulted or abused...you're wrong. Maybe they haven't told you, maybe they haven't told anyone. But you're dead wrong. 

Tragically, it's far too common and for too long has gone unaddressed or stigmatized. I'd like to think that now it's easier for people to get the help that they need or be more aware of the problem than it has been in the past, but it doesn't change the fact that it continues to be a huge problem. 

 

So when it came time to think about my reception, I always knew that I would never have this as a part of my reception for what seemed to me, an obvious reason. I'm not at all saying that you shouldn't have it at your wedding...I've seen it happen dozens of times where it's fun and the guests all seem to enjoy it and no harm has been done. 

But I know that if for some reason, one of my guests had past experiences that could possibly be triggered by a stranger sliding their hands up their leg and/or dress...why would I even want to risk it? 

Why, knowing that it's a possibility would I put someone in a position to feel afraid, uncomfortable, or embarrassed just for the sake of tradition?

 

So when someone asks me why I took it out, that's my reasoning. And for those who have said that's a silly or dramatic reason for doing it, you're not the person I'm looking out for. I was thinking of the sisters, mothers, friends, cousins, children out there who have without a doubt been placed in situations that become a living nightmare simply because that's the way it's always been. 

 

In the end, I wanted to show you brides and grooms that you don't owe anyone an explanation. If you want it or don't want it in your wedding, it's completely up to you. I chose to explain my stance just because I was angry, but you don't owe anything to anyone except yourselves. 

Have a toss, don't have a toss. Do a unity ceremony, don't do it. This is YOUR day, and don't listen to all the haters out there who are going to try to impose their vision or traditions on a day that is meant for just two people. 

 

For more resources for sexual abuse including counseling and resources for friends and family visit www.rainn.org