Believe it or not, the wedding garter toss is one of the oldest of all wedding traditions still in practice to this day. It all began in the Dark Ages, when it was tradition for the friends and family of the bride and groom to escort them to their marriage bed after the wedding. They wouldn’t stay long though; in fact as soon as the couple was nestled comfortably in their bed, then their company would leave.
Then the wedding garter toss transformed into a game. After the bride would take off her wedding garter sets, the bridal party would then throw the garter at the grooms nose with the intention of landing it directly on it, and the person who did so with success was deemed the next to marry.
The garter toss was always a rowdy game, since it required that the wedding party help the bride out of her wedding gown and custom wedding garters. Some wedding guests would even try to pull at the bride’s garters for good luck.
Today, tossing the bride’s garter to the male wedding guests is all that remains of the original tradition. The custom has even become more specific in that it is the single male guests that are called to enter the dance floor for the garter toss, and whoever catches it is the next to marry. Some modern weddings even have the single female bouquet catcher share the next dance with the male guest who caught the garter.