The wedding garter toss was one of the first wedding traditions, and is still present at some weddings today. If you’re on the fence about having a wedding garter on your big day, then some research could help guide you toward your final decision. Knowing what a wedding garter set’s
use is, and possibly how to make it on your own could influence your decision.
If you’re a young bride, you many not be aware of the history of the garter toss, since they aren’t as prevalent amongst modern weddings as they used to be. The lace wedding garter used to be one of the most important wedding accessories and a close second to the ubiquitous bridal bouquet. There are a few wedding garter traditions, for example that it has always been worn high up on the bride’s thigh.
If you choose yes, then picking a garter that fits your size and unique style is of the utmost importance. The best way to ensure your wedding garter is exactly what you want is by making it yourself.
How does one make a wedding garter? It’s a moderately difficult task, but you’ll find that it could be worth every ounce of energy you put into it. You will need the following materials to create your very own wedding garter is a 3” wide fabric strip that is about one and a half times the circumference of your leg. You’ll also need some lace trim, elastic, a needle and thread (or a sewing machine), and any other decorative embellishments you want to include on your garter.
- Next, get your thigh measurement. Figure out exactly where on your thigh you want the garter to go, and measure the circumference of your thigh in that spot.
- Turn the fabric strip so that the wrong side is facing outward, then fold it length-wise in half.
- Then sew the edge of the fabric, and then turn the tube of it so that the right side is facing outward.
- Find the seam in the back and center it. Once the seam is flat it will face your leg so that it will be hidden once the garter is on.
- Find your lace strip and sew it onto the bottom edge of the strip.
- Next you’ll need to put the elastic into the tube of the fabric. If the elastic is being stubborn and won’t make it’s way all the way through then pull it out and pin a safety pin to the end of it and push it through.
- Now it’s time to place the garter around your thigh and find a comfortable measurement for the elastic. Once you’ll found the perfect length, mark it and trim it.
- Use either a needle and thread or a sewing machine to sew the two ends of the strip together, creating a circle. Begin with the elastic, and then move to the fabric and then lace.
- The last step is to add any embellishments you would like to your garter. Some popular items include faux flowers, crystals, pearls, and bows.
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.
A traditional wedding ceremony and reception often involves certain elements, such as the removal of the garter and the bouquet toss. Traditional folklore tells us that the bouquet toss originated because the bride was thought to embody good luck on her wedding day. Guests would often tear at her dress to take home a scrap of fabric as a souvenir. Because this often got out of hand (imagine drunk men tearing at your wedding dress!), a more controlled version – the bouquet toss – became the new tradition, as a means for the bride to impart her “good luck” to her guests without being harassed during her reception.
Before brides tossed their bouquet they actually tossed the garter. Many sources agree that removing the garter was a symbol of removing the girdle, a way of symbolically disarming the bride’s status as a virgin. However, there was no respect for garter toss etiquette, and belligerent men often tried to remove the garter before the groom could get to it. Other Medieval legends assert that the garter toss originated because the bridesmaids and groomsmen would follow then newlyweds to their bedchamber and steal their stockings (also considered good luck).
While the bouquet toss is still regularly practiced after a traditional wedding ceremony, the garter toss has lost popularity. Some feel uncomfortable removing a garter with family members present; others find it tacky. The tradition should be fun and amusing, and not taken too seriously.
Read more: The New Traditional: Modern Traditional Wedding Planning, Wedding Traditions to Retire and More About the Garter Toss
We just posted a new article about wedding ceremony and reception traditions that you may want to retire.
A big part of your wedding day involves tradition; the cake-cutting, the vows, and, most important, that man and wife thing. However, unlike your new love, there are some traditions that might seem outdated. Unless you’re nixing a family or religious tradition whose absence might offend loved ones, there’s nothing wrong with “retiring” a wedding tradition.
We talked to 5 wedding experts about what they would nix from their weddings. Check out how they answered here.
Are there any ceremony or reception traditions that you may cut from your wedding?