Learn More About Wearing The Traditional Garment
Even as more brides decide not to take part in customs such as the bouquet or garter toss, they still may choose to wear the delicate undergarment.
Some wedding traditions have been around so long that they seem completely normal until you really stop to think about it. Why do brides carry bouquets? Whats the deal with veils? And why in the world do brides wear a garter when its no longer holding everything up? Its easy to forget, but a garter once had an actual purpose, primarily to hold up stockings. Hosiery has both fallen out of fashion and been updated so as to no longer require a garter, so one would think the garment is doubly irrelevant. Yet, thanks to the tradition of the groom tossing the garter to single men at the reception, it endures.
Photo by Amy Anaiz Photography
Even as more brides decide not to take part in customs such as the bouquet or garter toss, they still may choose to wear the delicate undergarment. After all, there are some absolutely gorgeous garters out there, and it can be a pretty token from your wedding day. For some, its viewed similarly as a bridal veil when else will you get to wear one? Those who do choose to get a fancy garter may even decide to get a separate, simpler version to use in the garter toss if they take part in it.
The History Of The Garter Toss
Of all bridal accessories, the garter is perhaps the one with the most mystique. However, their history in regards to weddings is less risqué than you might assume. First things first: A wedding garter is a piece of lingerie. They consists of a narrow band of fabric that is secured around the leg and were originally worn to hold stockings up and keep them from slipping. As a response to shorter hemlines, garter belts were worn around the waist in order to serve the same function while remaining discrete. Since the creation of elastic and pantyhose in the sixties, garters have become less used, as theyre far less needed.
So why do we still toss garters at weddings? Well, said to be one of the oldest wedding traditions, it dates all the way back to the Dark Ages. At that time, it was custom for wedding guests to follow the newlywed couple back to their bedroom after their wedding festivities. On the way, theyd tear at the couples clothing as a kind of encouragement. This action was aided by the fact that ripping off a piece of the brides wedding dress was said to give you good fortune. To deter guests, brides began tossing their garters as a means to distract and placate their guests while the newlyweds made their escape.
Q: What Exactly Is A Wedding Garter Set
A: A wedding garter set is a bridal garter that you would like to keep as a memento, and a toss bridal garter for the wedding garter toss. If you purchase a wedding garter set from Bleu Garters, your keepsake garter and your toss garter are coordinating– perfect for a beautiful bridal garter photos!
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Why Is There A Garter Toss At Weddings
Today, a garter toss should be all in good fun, with willing participants happy to get a giggle out of the activity. But it wasn’t always that way.
In medieval times, pieces of the bride’s ensemble were considered tokens of good luckso much so that wedding guests would fight to rip her clothes right off her body. Things would get so rowdy, couples decided to throw a garter for guests to fight over instead. So the garter toss may have actually arisen as a protective measurecringe.
But there are also other origin stories of the garter toss. For example, there was an 18th century English game called “flinging the stocking,” which involved tossing garters at the couple on their wedding day. Friends and family would try to land one on a newlywed’s head foryou guessed itluck in love.
Kyle Hale Photography
Who Buys The Brides Garter
In modern times, theres no specific tradition around who purchases or gifts the bride their wedding garter. However, there are a handful of people that tend to do so leading up to the wedding day. Oftentimes, a Maid of Honor, bridesmaid, or other member of the bridal party will gift the bride a garter or garter set and present it to them at their bachelorette party or wedding shower. Many bridesmaids and bridal parties also come together as a group to purchase an especially nice one . This can be tons of fun, as well as add sentimentality to the accessory.
On the other hand, your spouse-to-be can purchase the wedding garter. This is especially exciting when given as a gift on the morning of your wedding. All of this being said, its also perfectly fine to shop around for and buy your own. After all, you know your taste best.
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For The Bride Who Wants It All
Perhaps youre all in on the idea of a garterand a belt, and some stockings for good measure. If its high quality, luxurious wedding lingerie that you seek, look no further than these matching items. Theyre all white, for good measure, making them perfect for a bride.
Buy them here, here, and here on Fleur du Mal .
Where Does The Wedding Garter Tradition Come From
Have you ever been to a fairly traditional, modest wedding, where youre all wearing your Easter best, and all of a sudden the groom is out there doing a sensual little dance in front of the crowd, and you find yourself cheering him on as he ducks under the bride’s skirt? It’s all in good fun nowadays, but, really, what’s the wedding garter tradition origin story?
The wedding garter tradition originated in the Dark Ages. In Wedding Customs Then and Now, published in 1919, Carl Holliday paints the following picture of medieval England: The brides-maids start with the weary bride to the wedding chamber when suddenly the cry arises, Get her garter!… If the woman has been thoughtful, she has fastened it loosely to the bottom of her dress so that it drags in plain view of the scrambling ruffians if she has not been a wise virgin, she may find her clothes in rags after the struggle. For a guest, having a tatter of the brides dress was considered good luck.
Can you imagine getting all dolled up, only to be bum-rushed upon uttering I do? Crowds of guests became so bawdy that theyd often follow the couple to their marital bed, ripping at their clothes as a form of encouragement. And so, the bride and groom started tossing the bouquet and the garters that held up the brides stockings as a way to appease the crowd.
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Where Exactly Do You Place The Garter On Your Leg
Place your bridal garter wherever you like, but just make sure to try your garter on before the morning of your wedding. It’s generally recommended that you wear your wedding garter just above your knee. This is usually the narrowest part of your leg and your garter wont rub your other leg when you walk or dance. Also, if you are wearing a mermaid or tighter fitting wedding dress, around your knee is where your dress will flare out, making this is an ideal location for your garter. You can, of course, adjust it and put it higher if that feels more comfortable for you.
Do You Have To Wear A Garter For Your Wedding
Nope! You don’t have to do anything for your wedding . If your crew is all about the laughs, it’s the perfect chance to playfully make your S.O. and your buds blush. If you’ve been in countless wedding parties and you’re sick of the tosses, omit them from your itinerary. Whether you love the garter toss or love to hate it, the choice is yours.
Do note that you can wear a garter without doing a toss. If the accessory makes you feel sexy, don one for a confidence boostwhether anyone else knows it’s there or not. Plenty of newlyweds incorporate garters into their wedding night looks.
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Getting Creative With The Wedding Garter Toss: Alternatives Worth Considering
There are plenty of ways to get creative with the wedding garter tradition and make it your own. Alison of Ohio says, My husband turned the garter into a magic trick and had one of those never-ending ribbons magicians use, which made it way less awkward. Shainna of West Virginia shares that her dad surprised her mom by also wearing a garter for her to comically toss, as well. Or how about it if you’re not wearing the garter but simply tossing it? In that case, you can sweeten the deal by attaching a Starbucks gift card to the frilly lace.
Chloe Jackman, a wedding photographer in San Francisco, explains, There are so many things that we say and do in our everyday lives that are rooted in history, and sometimes that history is unsavory. The garter comes from a time when women were property and controlled, but now it’s a fun part of a wedding. We did it because we wanted to, because it can be hilarious, and I know I am not propertythat’s for damn sure! In other words, you can modernize the wedding garter toss in any way you want to.
What Is The Wedding Garter
The wedding garter is a piece of bridal lingerie worn under the wedding dress. During the reception, the groom will remove the garter from underneath the bride’s gown and toss it into the crowd.
The garter toss is very similar to the bouquet toss. The bachelor that catches the garter is believed to be married next. Today, couples are observing this tradition in new and modernized ways, which we’ll go into a bit later.
As you consider integrating the garter toss into your wedding, questions will likely arise: Which leg do you wear it on? How much will it cost? How far up the leg is it supposed to go? Where did the tradition begin, anyway? Read on to learn more about this storied tradition and for answers to every wedding garter question you can think of.
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Best Garter Belt: For Love And Lemons Love Story Garter Set
Courtesy of For Love and Lemons
While most garter belts are worn slung low on the hips and often feature straps suspended from a simple silhouette, this garter belt sits high on the natural waistline and mimics the look of a half corset. The addition of delicate lace details, pin dot mesh, and picot-trim straps makes it a wedding-day standout.
Do You Have To Wear Your Garter For The Entire Wedding
You’ve got a few different options when it comes to wearing a garter on your wedding day. The first is to wear the garter all day, whether or not your partner will be removing it and throwing it into a crowd later in the evening. Look for a style that’s made of soft stretch lace that will lay flat against your skin instead of one made of gathered fabric. If you’ve got your eye on something more ornate, you can always keep it in your purse until a few moments before the throw. Once it’s time, head to the bathroom, slip it on, and head for the dance floor.
You can also decide to treat your garter as part of your wedding night lingerie. In that case, pick one that matches the set you’ve purchased for your first night as newlyweds and stash it away until you’ve gotten back to the suite.
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When Do I Take My Wedding Garter Off
This is such a common questions. Many brides choose to only pop their garter on just before the toss. However even more brides these days are choosing not to toss their wedding garter at all. . With the fashion tape that we include with our bridal garters, you can wear your wedding garter all day, knowing it will stay up as long as you do!
Alternatively, of course, you can opt to just wear your garter in your getting ready shots with the photography. And perhaps pop it back on again before you retire with your new husband at the end of the day!
What Are The Different Styles Of Wedding Garters
Wedding garters typically come in a ruched, satin style or a lace band. They can come in any color. Brides can keep it simple with traditional white, use the garter for their something blue, or, really, choose any color of the rainbow. Some garters feature delicate bows, appliqués, beading, rhinestones, or crystals.
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When Should You Order Your Garter
You can order your wedding garter as early as you want. As with all things, if you want a custom garter design, youll need to check with the designer on their production time frame.
The biggest thing to remember is to try on your wedding garter before the morning of your wedding. Problems with fit are much easier to solve in advance. You dont want to find out just before you walk down the aisle that something doesnt fit or is uncomfortable.
The History And Meaning Of The Garter Toss
The wedding garter tradition originated in the Dark Ages. In “Wedding Customs Then and Now”, published in 1919, Carl Holliday paints the following picture of medieval England: The start with the weary bride to the wedding chamber when suddenly the cry arises, Get her garter… If the woman has been thoughtful, she has fastened it loosely to the bottom of her dress so that it drags in plain view of the scrambling ruffians if she has not been a wise virgin, she may find her clothes in rags after the struggle.
For a guest, having a tatter of the brides dress was considered good luck. Crowds of guests became so bawdy that theyd often follow the couple to their marital bed, ripping at their clothes as a form of encouragement. And so, the bride and groom started tossing the bouquet and the garters that held up the brides stockings as a way to appease the crowd.
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