Where did the wedding garter tradition come from?


The wedding garter tradition is one that has stood the test of time because brides like the idea of wearing something so sexy under their wedding dress, but where did it come from and should you wear one on your big day?

Bridal Garter

The history of the bridal garter

Some wedding traditions and truly rooted in time and throwing the bridal garter is one of them. The first mentions of it come from the 1300s when a belief that a piece of the bride’s outfit would provide luck for the wedding guests had them all tearing small pieces off the dress.
Even then the thought of having their precious gown torn apart made the brides anxious, which is something modern day brides can certainly relate to. Thankfully, the tradition evolved into something a little bit different and today’s custom only sees the groom removing the bridal garter. The garter is then thrown to the single male guests.

How to wear a wedding garter

Wearing the garter may feel a little strange if you aren’t used to it so perhaps you should practise wearing a garter with a skirt prior to the wedding to give you reassurance that it won’t fall down while you’re saying your vows. Your fiancé might also want to try taking it off your leg, so he doesn’t mess it up on the special day.

A garter tip: If you are wearing stockings with your gown make sure you have a extra pair in case they get damaged during the removal of the garter.

Is it something you need to have?

Besides the actual legal wedding ceremony, there’s nothing you must do during your big day and wearing a garter certainly isn’t essential. However, it can be a joyous part of your reception – and a highlight of the day, so don’t rule it out altogether.

A good way to include the garter toss it is to do it together with the bouquet toss, and then have the single girl that received the bouquet dance with the single guy who took the garter to a light-hearted song.

Bridal Garter

Contemporary trends in wedding garters

If you have been a little traditional and modest with your bridal outfit you might want to include a bit of fun with your bridal garter. Pick something that you love and it will really highlight your personality. Don’t worry about keeping up with tradition, or pairing your garter to your dress; it can stand as an item in its own right.

If you have a theme to your wedding, you may be able to choose a garter that fits into it, or have one specially created for the reception. Your garter could match your colour scheme or be designed with satin flowers similar to those in your wedding bouquet. It could be embellished with pearls or diamante to match your wedding jewellery, or could include your wedding motif.

A modern bridal garter is not always made from a simple satin band. Wedding designers have begun adding as much thought into bridal garters as into the bridal dress itself. Take some time to consider about the type of garter you want, and how it fits in with the overall theme and feel of your wedding. After all, in contrast to the rest of your wedding lingerie the garter will be seen by all of your guests and will probably feature in several pictures.

Having a blue garter is still a favourite choice, and is a great way to include the traditional ‘something blue’ into your wedding look combining the wedding garter tradition with the old rhyme. This works especially well if blue doesn’t fit in with your colour scheme, as the garter won’t be shown until the actual garter throwing part of the ceremony.


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