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Should You Have a Wedding Garter Toss?

Garter Toss

Everyone is entranced by the music and the energy of the celebration when a deejay interrupts with a special announcement, and everyone clears the floor for the bride to sit on a chair in the center of the room. What is up with this crazy tradition that involves the groom down on a knee sliding off his bride’s lingerie to toss it into the crowd? Yes, this slightly inappropriate tradition made its way into the weddings of Western culture. Where did the wedding garter tradition originate? Here are a few things you should know about the wedding garter.

Definition of a Wedding Garter

Most couples do not need a definition, but just in case: the garter is a piece of lingerie that has the sole purpose of holding up thigh-high stockings. Years ago when stockings were a popular trend, there were garter belts and thigh garters to hold those annoying things up. Somehow they became part of the lingerie ensemble, even when women are oddly not wearing stockings. While the trend of stockings has thankfully fizzled out or at least down, garters have stuck around with very little purpose.

Wedding Garter Toss

While most of us have heard of a wedding garter toss, it might leave some of us a little confused and curious. Brides have the bouquet -that is their thing. It is their main accessory, and the focal point of all the bridesmaids that are in hopes of catching it. Just as that bouquet catch identifies the next maid to marry, the lucky bachelor to catch the wedding garter is believed to be next in line. Why would a groom think of tossing his bride’s undergarments for his boys to keep? This trend requires a little explanation.

Garter Toss

History of the Tradition

The wedding garter tradition originated in the Dark Ages. It was thought to be good luck to rip a piece of the bride’s wedding gown for a keepsake. To appease the guests and save the gown, the groom tossed the garter at the crowd. Tossing the wedding garter would buy them just enough time to make their escape to privacy. The honeymoon was something quite different during those times, and the garter was a needed diversion to get that privacy; however, that is another story. Never mind the not so appropriate details of the Dark Ages. There are more important things you should know about your wedding garter, if you choose to have one.

How to Wear a Wedding Garter

There are not many rules to how you wear your undergarments, but you might want to consider how you wear them on your wedding day. Make your walk down the aisle in comfort. Place it on your leg where it feels comfortable. Whether you place it on your right or left leg, keep it just above your knee for more reasons than comfort. Truly, it will feel more comfortable at a place that does not involve rubbing on the other thigh, but there is more to consider about the placement. How far do you want your dress pulled up or how far do you want your groom’s hands up your dress in front of a crowd of onlookers? These are the important things to consider when you are thinking about how to wear your wedding garter.

Timing of the Toss

While some couples hold true to the old tradition and do the garter toss near the end of the reception, just before making their big escape, everyone can do it differently. The wedding garter toss can occur whenever you decide. Discuss your timeline and plan for the wedding garter toss with your day of event coordinator and wedding deejay.

Keeping the Wedding Garter

Not everyone wants to have their undergarments thrown into a crowd of men. Sometimes the bride wants her groom to pull off the wedding garter in privacy and to keep it as her own keepsake. We are no longer in the Dark Ages, and most brides in Western culture get to plan the details of their weddings. This means that the bride gets to decide what to do with her wedding garter, and whether to wear one at all.

Some Alternatives

The first and most obvious alternative to a wedding garter is not to have one at all. If the awkward trend has you feeling weird about the idea of having onlookers while your groom is elbows deep under your dress to retrieve all but your knickers, you could always place it in his hands. You could also consider releasing balloons. Thankfully, not every tradition from the Dark Ages made it into the modern day, and you get to decide what does on your wedding day.

Crystal Ballroom Lake Mary

Crystal Ballroom Lake Mary

If you need advice about wedding traditions or help planning your magical day, contact the designers at Crystal Ballroom Lake Mary. The in-house design team and planners are dedicated to designing and creating the wedding of your dreams. Plan all of your meaningful wedding traditions into your wedding day with Crystal Ballroom Lake Mary.


We invite you to discover the
Crystal Ballroom difference found in the unparalleled elegance and uniqueness written into the design of each of our venues. The themes are as limitless as your imagination.

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