Garter Toss

What is a Garter Toss?

The Garter Toss is when the Groom retrieves the ‘throwaway garter’ from his Bride’s leg and throws it into a crowd of the single Male Wedding Guests. A Garter to Toss is steeped in Tradition and is loads of fun to introduce into your Wedding Reception. There are so many ways that it can be done and it is very much a part of todays Wedding Day Celebrations.

Groom Tossing his Brides Wedding Garter
Who will be the lucky one to catch the Brides’ Wedding Garter?

The Garter Toss complements the throwing of the Bridal Bouquet which is also deeply Traditional at a Wedding.

How the Garter Toss is performed

The newly Wed Bride wears a second garter with her main Keepsake Wedding Garter. This second garter is then thrown for the Garter Toss. It can sit below the keepsake garter or even be worn on the opposite leg. It is usually a much smaller, simple garter as it will be later thrown into an assembled group of single male Wedding Guests and probably never seen again! The Groom often performs a fun, pre-planned routine, often to his chosen Music to retrieve it for the Garter Toss. It is common to sit his Bride on a chair as he retrieves the second garter for the Garter Toss. Wedding Guests are usually standing around the Bride and Groom, cheering them on. Grooms are known to ‘disappear’ underneath their Brides’ Wedding Dress during the retrieval. This usually gets all the Wedding Guests involved with clapping and much ado as the Tradition comes alive.

Unlike her embellished Keepsake Wedding Garter, usually a very sentimental piece of her Wedding attire, the second garter is the feature of the Garter Toss. Gathering up all the single Male Wedding Guests in anticipation of catching the garter is loads of fun.

Garter Toss Tradition

Winning the Bride’s Garter after a Garter Toss was not only considered lucky. The belief was that the good luck could be transferred.  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. They would tear it into small pieces and distribute it to the Wedding Guests.  This notion was taken so seriously, 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.

How does The Groom Toss a Garter?

Many Brides today hold fast to the Tradition of a Garter Toss.  The Groom removes and tosses the Garter. This is right before the Bride tosses her Bouquet.  Custom has it 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. Garter Tradition

How do you 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.

Is it fun to Toss your Garter?

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 does a Groom 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.

Is there an alternative to Tossing your Wedding Garter?

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”.

Choose someone special

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!

Create a new Tradition

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!

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