Winning the Bride’s Garter was not only considered lucky, but the belief was that the good luck could be transferred . . . for it was believed that a man who gave his beloved a Bride’s Garter would be guaranteed his loved one’s faithfulness. It was up to the best man to ‘steal’ the Garter, tear it into small pieces and distribute it to the Wedding Guests. This notion was taken so seriously that often guests were seriously injured in the rush for the Garter!
What an interesting history this is! I was fascinated by the thought that a Wedding Garter was such an important part of a Wedding in days long gone by.
Many Brides today hold fast to the Tradition of a Garter Toss. The Groom removes and tosses the Garter, right before the Bride tosses her Bouquet. Custom has it that the Bachelor who catches the Garter must place it on the leg of the unmarried women who catches the Bouquet.
The Tradition nowadays is for the Bride to wear two Garters if she wants to engage in this ritual. One is a less expensive Garter to be tossed by the Groom; the other, a special Garter to enjoy as a Keepsake that is removed later in private, during their Honeymoon night. The Toss Garter is usually worn on the other leg just before the Garter Toss.
How to Wear Your Wedding Garter
Most Brides now will simply throw their Bouquet to the Bridesmaids, while the Groom throws the Garter to the Groomsmen. The Groomsman who catches the Garter can also slip it onto the leg of the Bridesmaid who caught the Bouquet. Traditionally, the man who caught the garter and the lady who caught the Bouquet would share the next dance.
It’s an opportunity for some extra fun during your Wedding Reception.
Rather than having to wear your “Toss Garter” throughout your Wedding Ceremony and Reception I think it is much easier to organise your Bridesmaid to bring it to you and slip it onto your leg just before you intend to toss it. Also, I think its also easier to slip it onto the opposite leg from your Keepsake Wedding Garter, that way he will make no mistake when removing it. You don’t want your Groom removing and tossing your special Keepsake Garter!
When it’s time for your Groom to retrieve your garter, it will be easier for him to find the Toss Garter if you give a gentle pat on the leg to aim for when it is time for the Garter removal, without anyone knowing.
The Garter Toss ritual can be lots of fun to organise. Many couples put as much thought and time into rehearsing their Garter Toss as they do their Wedding Dance.
I’ve included two YouTube Videos of Wedding Garter Tossing below to give you some fun ideas to explore for your Wedding Reception Festivities!
Let me know if you try these ideas or if you create a video at your Wedding that you’d like to share with us here at Wedding Garter Bling™. We would love to share it!
Funny Pink Panther Garter Removal
How a Groom should get the Garter from his new Bride
Amazing Songs for Garter Toss
Try our link above, listing the top 50 songs for Wedding Garter Tossing. Hope you find one you like!
(I personally love Theme from Mission: Impossible – Clayton, Adam & Larry Mullen and also Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins)
Seriously, you will have your guests captivated whilst they witness the Garter’s retrieval and Garter Toss. Having a musical theme enables you to set the scene and everyone will know something special is about to happen.
Alternative to Tossing your Wedding Garter and Bridal Bouquet
There is an alternative to the ‘Garter Toss’ Tradition. The Bride and Groom can ask all the married couples to stand. Then by groups of five or ten years, the married couples are asked to be seated as the length of their Marriage is mentioned. The couple that remains standing will be the couple who have been married the longest. They are “rewarded with the Bridal Bouquet and the Garter”.
Some couples make use of Tradition by using the Bouquet and Garter Toss as a way to acknowledge a special person. It can, for example, be a way to single-out an engaged friend or relative, possibly a Mother or Grandmother. Whatever the form of presentation, it’s best to avoid a surprise and ask the recipient, in advance, for their okay. This avoids any embarrassment as not everyone is comfortable being singled out in front of an audience, even for something as pleasant as this.
Despite the ritual of Grooms throwing the Bride’s Garter to the single male guests, many couples prefer to acknowledge the Tradition of the Bridal Garter simply by posing for the classic and somewhat customary Garter photograph for their Wedding Album and then the Garter is removed later during the privacy of the Newlyweds Honeymoon evening. How romantic!
Though old Traditions are hard to break, Bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, it doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable. The new alternatives may in time become Traditions in their own right.
There are no hard and fast rules about tossing the Bouquet and the Garter Toss. With this Custom, like many of the other aspects of a Wedding Celebration, it should reflect the wishes, sensibilities and sensitivities of the couple and their guests.
Just remember to have fun with whatever you decide to do!