If you’ve been to your fair share of weddings, you must be familiar with many traditions that have successfully stood the test of time and are still going strong. The wedding garter toss is just one of many such traditions.
While it may be strange for some to watch as the groom removes the garter from the bride’s upper thigh with his teeth and tosses it into the crowd, it does hold some appeal for others.
The bride is made to sit on a chair as her new husband proceeds to rip off the garter belt from her leg and throws into a gleeful crowd of bachelors.
It’s quite similar to the bridal bouquet toss tradition, and whoever’s fortunate enough to snag the bridal garter is believed to be the next in line to get married. Even if you’re not one for tradition, you can still add this garter to your bridal ensemble to keep things fun and exciting.
Regardless of what you choose to do with it, it ultimately comes down to your personal preference and what you’re most comfortable with.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the history of this popular wedding tradition, what it symbolizes, and how you can wear it on your wedding day.
What You'll Learn...
What Is the Symbolism of a Wedding Garter?
According to popular belief, removing and tossing the garter into the crowd symbolizes deflowering. Some sources link the origin of this tradition to a superstition that the garter will bring good fortune to whoever catches it.
It’s known as a symbol of the new couple consummating their marriage and believed to bring fertility to the newly-weds that will then be passed on to the lucky guest who obtains the garter.
History of the Wedding Garter Tradition
This tradition originated in the Middle Ages, when the times were a lot different, to say the least. After the wedding, when the newly-wed couple would go away to consummate the marriage, many guests would run after them to make sure they seal the deal.
But, believe it or not, having spectators on your wedding night wasn’t the worst of it. Some energized guests would rip a piece off the bride’s gown when she’d walk by them as it was believed to bring them good luck.
Luckily, people began to see the intrusive nature of this tradition, and that’s when the garter toss tradition that we’ve now grown used to finally got its start. It has now become a part of the wedding reception and is a lot more modest than it used to be.
How to Wear a Bridal Garter
Nowadays, the purpose of wearing a bridal garter has changed drastically. It’s up to you how you choose to incorporate this tradition into your wedding and why.
If you’re not opposed to the idea of having a more traditional wedding, then there’s no harm in keeping this practice alive on your big day.
Since the main function of a bridal garter is to hold the stockings in place on the bride’s legs, there isn’t really one right way of wearing it. You can wear it on either leg, as long as it feels natural and comfortable to you.
Some brides wear two garters instead of one. One of them is reserved for the groom to toss into the crowd, while the other one is kept as a memento.
If this seems like something you’d do, make sure you’re wearing both garters on the same leg and place the garter that’s meant for tossing a little lower on your leg so the groom can retrieve it easily.
Different Styles of Wedding Garters
Since the bridal garter, however you choose to wear it, will remain hidden beneath your gown, you can take your time to find one that complements your wedding dress perfectly.
You can go with a traditional white garter, or choose a lacy one with an intricate pattern that will look amazing in pictures.
If you wish to surprise the groom, you can get your garter custom-made and use it to represent something meaningful and personal about your relationship.
You can play with different colors and even wear little accessories to make sure everything goes together beautifully.
Bridal Garters to Wear on Your Wedding Day
If you’re looking for bridal garters to wear on your wedding day, you’re in luck because there are available in so many different styles. They can be made with materials like satin, lace, and silk.
If you’re a stickler for comfort, then satin or silk garter is ideal for you as they’ll feel smooth and supple against your skin.
You can go with classic colors like white, ivory, or different shades of blue if you don’t want to deviate from the theme of your wedding. You can even get appliqués, crystals, beading, and rhinestones embedded into it if you’re willing to spend the extra money.
Keeping Your Bridal Garter as a Modern Heirloom
If you don’t want to toss the garter at your wedding, then you don’t need to. Similar to saving and preserving wedding bouquets, some brides like to save their garters as a keepsake.
If you’re one of those people, then you should consider buying a separate garter that your new husband can remove and toss to the bachelors.
If you’re not comfortable with people watching as the groom bites the garter off of your leg, you don’t need to wear it.
What you can do instead is hand it to the groom when the time comes so he can throw it into the crowd, and you can save yourself the unnecessary embarrassment.
You don’t have to engage in a tradition that holds no meaning for you and your spouse, but if you like the idea of a male equivalent to the bouquet toss, then there’s nothing wrong with keeping it traditional on your big day.
You can keep the bridal garter a secret from everyone and surprise your husband at the end of the day, or you can let a lucky guest go home with it, it’s up to you! As long as you’re having fun, there’s truly nothing that can go wrong.