The Origin of the Wedding Garter Tradition

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A bride may wear a piece of fabric on her leg beneath her wedding dress as a wedding garter. Discover the history of bridal garters and the custom of the wedding garter.

 

What Is a Wedding Garter?

A wedding garter is an elastic band covered in fabric that the bride wears on her thigh on the wedding day. The bride traditionally throws the bridal garter to a group of bachelors during the reception as part of a wedding custom. As lingerie for the wedding night, a bride can also wear a garter.

 

What Is the Wedding Garter Tradition?

During the wedding reception on the dance floor, the groom unties the garter from the bride's leg as part of the garter toss custom. The band is typically located under her dress by the groom, who then removes it with his hands or teeth. The next tradition is the garter toss, which is the male version of the bridal bouquet toss. The groom tosses the garter to a group of bachelors, and whoever catches it is said to be the next one to get married. Sometimes the bachelorette who caught the bridal bouquet will receive the garter from the man who caught it.

 

A Brief History of Wedding Garters

Garter belts were once used to support stockings. Garters were once known as a lingerie item and fashion statement, but they were made obsolete with the development of modern pantyhose that stay up without garters. Take a look at the history of wedding garters as follows:

1. Bedchamber: The wedding garter toss custom dates back to the Middle Ages, when the bride's stockings were kept up by the garters. The newlyweds' consummation of their marriage would be watched by the wedding guests who had gathered outside the bedchamber. To signal that the marriage had been consummated, the groom would toss the bride's garter to the audience.

2. Luck: The medieval superstition that taking a piece of the bride's dress by a wedding guest brought good luck also inspired the garter toss custom. A simple object like a garter could be given as a good luck charm by the bride rather than having guests destroy the wedding attire.

 

5 Types of Wedding Garters

The traditional wedding garter is made of lace, but other stretchable or ruched materials, like ribbon, tulle, satin, or silk, can also be used to create garters. The following are examples of pre-made or custom garters:

1. Blue: As the "something blue" for the wedding, a bride can choose to wear a blue garter or a traditional white garter with blue accents. The garter can also be considered "something new" if it is a brand-new article of clothing. (Blue and new things are typically considered lucky charms.)

2. Bold: Because brides wear garters underneath their wedding gowns, they are free to express their personalities without having to follow a specific wedding theme. A bride may choose to wear a garter with vivid colours or animal prints, for instance.

3. Classic white: A bride can don a traditional garter in shades of white or ivory that is made of white lace, white satin, white ribbon, or other shades of white fabric.

4. Garter embellishments can include rhinestones, ribbons, costume jewellery, beading, bows, and appliqu├ęs.

5. Lingerie: The bride's wedding night lingerie can be coordinated with the garter set that she wears.

 

3 Garter Toss Alternatives

For their big day, a married couple might change or do away with the garter toss custom. Think about these substitutes:

1. Have a coed bouquet toss. A couple may decide to combine the bouquet toss for the bride and the garter toss for the groom, eliminating the need for separate events for bachelorettes and bachelors.

2. Don't remove anything. A bride has the option of wearing one garter as a keepsake and tossing the other one during the reception. It is possible to avoid having the groom take off the band in front of the wedding guests by wearing a second garter.

3. Throw another item. The newlyweds may decide to forego the garter and instead toss a boutonniere or some candy.
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