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Article: The History of The Wedding Garter

bridal garter made out of lace

The History of The Wedding Garter

One of the more divisive wedding traditions is the wedding garter. For some, the wedding garter can be seen as outdated, cringe, or odd, but to others, it's a sexy tradition that they will want to implement in their wedding. 

Whether you are for or against the wedding garter, we wanted to take you through the History and what the wedding garter is.

The History Of The Garter Toss

The wedding garter as a tradition originated is believed to have originated in the dark ages. Traditionally, it was considered good luck to take a piece of the bride's ensemble, to the point where brides could literally find themselves having their clothes ripped off completely. So, in a bid to keep their clothes on until the wedding was over and they had escaped, the bride and groom would toss the bouquet and the garter, respectively, as they made their exit. Using the garter and bouquet to distract their guests, the bride and groom could escape unscathed, with clothes intact!

Frequently Asked Questions: The Wedding Garter

What is the wedding garter?

The wedding garter is a piece of bridal lingerie that a bride wears under her wedding gown. Traditionally, during the wedding reception, the groom will remove the garter from under the bride's gown, using his hands or teeth, and toss it into the crowd.

Wedding garters typically come in ruched, satin, or lace styles, and they're a band that goes around the bride's thigh. They can be crafted in any color, although the most common is white, or used as 'something blue' for brides who wish to carry forward the 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' tradition. Wedding garters can also feature lace appliqué, beading, crystals, or small bows as feature details.

Why do couples do the garter toss?

The garter toss is like the bouquet toss, but for single men instead. Tradition dictates that the bachelor that catches the garter will be the one to be married next, much like the woman who catches the bride's bouquet when she tosses it.

How much does a wedding garter cost?

The price for this can range, I've seen some for as little as $10-$15, but they can also go up to hundreds of dollars for garters made from high-quality fabrics. As with most things, it comes down to the style you want and how lux you want your garter to be. Remember that your partner will toss it into the crowd, so you won't keep it.

Who buys the wedding garter?

There is no set rule on who buys wedding garters, traditionally speaking. Most often, the bride will buy it herself, or occasionally a bridesmaid may purchase one as a bridal shower gift.

Where do I place the wedding garter?

The wedding garter is worn just above the knee, directly blow center-thigh, and can be worn on whichever leg you prefer. Avoid wearing the garter too high up your leg as it may rub against your other leg when you dance, leading you to feel discomfort potentially.

How long do I have to wear the wedding garter?

There are multiple options here: 

  • You can wear your garter from the morning until the end of the reception.
  • You can wear the garter after the ceremony, for the reception.
  • You can place the garter on right before the break in the wedding reception, where you'll do the garter toss.

Do I have to toss my garter?

You can do whatever works for you and makes your wedding feel beautiful, so whether or not you toss your garter is your choice. If you want to carry on the tradition, throw it. But if you'd prefer to wear and keep the garter, that's what you should do!

If you feel uncomfortable with your partner pulling your garter off in front of family and friends, there's an easy alternative. You can discreetly hand your husband a garter during the reception, and he can toss it without the teeth or hands process happening in front of guests.

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