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Written by Tyler Goodyer Last updated: June 29, 2016
Everybody knows about the bridal garter, but do you know what it actually is or where it came from? Well it’s time to learn the origins and traditions of the bridal garter.
Back in the days when people were far more superstitious, they believed that the wedding dress was incredibly lucky. This led to them wanting a piece of the dress and tearing it so they could take a scrap home for luck. Since this was a few hundred years ago, the guests were a bit impatient and just clawed at the dress, during the big day. Brides weren’t happy with people tearing her dress while she was wearing it (shocking I know), so a piece of fabric specifically to be taken was created. Introducing the bridal garter.
Once people evolved slightly and decided stealing the bride’s clothes was a bad idea, the use of garters evolved too. The garter was then seen more as a symbol that the marriage had been consummated. Once the couple had done the deed, the garter was given to a guest as proof that the marriage is consummated. If you feel like doing this at your wedding, make sure you give it to a bridesmaid, not your grandma; I don’t think she’d appreciate that!
The traditions of the garter have changed since the groomsmen rugby tackling the bride, now it’s the groom’s duty to remove the garter. This tradition holds the same basic ideas as it always has, that it will bring luck to the one who has the bride’s garter. The process of the groom removing the bride’s garter can look slightly weird, if you don’t know the tradition and suddenly the groom is under the bride’s dress, you’d probably be confused.
The groom removes the garter and he then tosses it into a crowd of unmarried male guests. It’s basically the same as throwing the bouquet, the one who catches the garter is said to be the next to be married. It’s also tradition for the man to put the bride’s garter onto the woman who caught the bouquet, but this can be slightly awkward if they’re already dating people. The tossing of the garter tends to happen after the bouquet is thrown; just don’t throw them at the same time, that’d probably lead to a riot!
Often, brides feel like they have to wear a lacy, sexy garter, but remember that the bridal garter is like underwear. There are so many different styles, from sexy to funny and all things in between. Some days you want to wear your frilly black underwear and others you want to wear ones with SpongeBob on them, garters are a great way to show your personality, beneath the dress. You could even have it fit into your wedding theme or colour scheme, for brides who really want to coordinate. Check out our entire garter collection here!
Many brides can be hesitant at the idea of throwing their garter into a crowd, because they’d like to keep it, but most garters come in sets of two! There tends to be fancier, more elaborate one and a smaller, simpler one. Both of these will be the same style, design and colour as each other and it’s up to the bride which one she has the groom toss, depending how generous she’s feeling. The bride tends to wear them on the same leg and has the one to be thrown worn lower, so it’s completely her call!
So now you know all about the bridal garter, but you can’t get married only wearing you garter! You can find out what to wear under your wedding dress here.