It’s a go-to activity at weddings everywhere – the ceremonial tossing of the bouquet. At a wedding in September 2018 Rachel Besley caught the bride’s bunch of flowers. Then, Daniel Gilbert, another wedding guest, had an explosive, unexpected reaction.
The wedding in Kettering, in southern England, celebrated the union of Chelsea and Matt Best. The pair had both studied at the University of Birmingham and had been a couple since September 2012.
The pair’s love story brought them from their native England to Dubai, where they worked and lived together in 2015. In March 2017 Chelsea and Matt got engaged. And, by September of the next year, it was time to say “I do” in front of friends and family.
Their English wedding took place on a blue-sky day, and both the bride and groom donned the classic attire. In fact, they followed plenty of traditions on their big day – including the tossing of the bouquet.
Once upon a time, a bride would throw her bouquet as a distraction, rather than as a post-wedding activity. That’s because, hundreds of years ago, people thought they could pick up some of the bride’s good fortune simply by touching her – or, worse, by ripping off a piece of her dress.
Naturally this made many brides feel uncomfortable, so they came up with a way to divert onlookers’ attention. They would throw their bouquets into the melee, and then run off with their man. Once inside of the bridal chamber, the groom would throw the onlookers his new wife’s garter, too.
Because the simple act of touching the bride was said to bring good luck, taking home her flowers or her garter was thought to bestow the same romantic fortune on the person or people who caught her accessories. And that’s how the tradition began.
Of course, the bouquet toss goes a bit differently today, as there is plenty of personal space involved. Plus, catching the blooms signifies more than just good luck, relationship-wise – the woman who nabs the flowers is said to be the next in line to get married.
So, all of the single ladies at the Best wedding lined up for their chance to take part in this age-old tradition. Chelsea stood in front of the crowd, her bridal bouquet in her hands. Then, she bent her knees, sprung back up and launched the flowers behind her.
The dozen women waiting for their chance to nab the bouquet put their arms in the air in anticipation. But only one could be victorious and, after the flowers fell into the crowd, it became clear who the winner was.
Rachel Besley stepped forward, her arms in the air as she clutched the bride’s bouquet. She was clearly celebrating her good fortune – her luck in catching the flowers meant she would be the next to get married, as legend had it.
However, one person in the crowd was apparently less happy with the result of the toss. As soon as Besley had the bride’s blossoms in her hands, he exploded into a sprint, running away from the wedding reception at a hasty pace.
The man racing from the bouquet and toward the woods – with a beer in hand, no less – was Daniel Gilbert. And it turned out he had a hilarious reason to make his way from the scene at such a frenetic pace.
Gilbert was Besley’s boyfriend – and he very well knew what it meant when his girlfriend caught the bouquet that day, so he took off running. The video of his humorous behavior went viral and garnered plenty of sympathetic comments for both Gilbert and Besley.
“Run for your life and hold the beer,” wrote one person who watched the video. Another viewer said, “OMG, didn’t know if I should laugh or feel sorry for the woman?” But it was clear that Gilbert’s actions were all in good fun, wrote another – ”Well done, that man, a great sense of humor and giving everyone a laugh.”
It turns out that Gilbert wasn’t the first boyfriend to act in fear when his girlfriend won the same competition. In October 2017 an announcer counted down to prepare guests for bride Adria Fleenor’s bouquet toss at her Texas wedding.
Again, the woman who caught the flowers held them in the air in gleeful celebration. Her boyfriend, however, was not as thrilled – instead, he covered his mouth in shock and hid at the Texas reception hall.
Of course, men are not the only ones who shy away from the commitment said to come from catching the bouquet. One very famous woman had a hilarious reaction to the bouquet toss at her best friend’s wedding, too.
Singer and beauty mogul Rihanna traveled to her native Barbados in August 2018. Her best buddy Sonita was set to get married, and Rihanna would serve as one of the bridesmaids on her big day.
And, although she gladly took part in the rest of the festivities, she clearly did not want to be involved in the bouquet toss. When Sonita launched her flowers toward the crowd, Rihanna dramatically dodged out of the way to make sure she would not have to catch them.