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What is the Origin of the Wedding Garter?

The wedding garter is the final touch of the bride’s overall look on her wedding day.  The wedding dress is first of course, however the oldest tradition is said to be the garter toss.  This tradition started in the Dark Ages when it was customary for the Bride and Groom to be accompanied to the wedding bed.  As time went on, the custom became bawdier with the guests eager to help the bride out of her clothe often grabbing at the garter for “good luck”.  In some counties it was tradition to rush the alter after the wedding ceremony and remove the garter from the brides leg.  This often resulted in the Bride being knocked over or trampled.

These days the groom is responsible for removing the garter and tossing it at the waiting single men.  A much tamer tradition than the early days.  Also, these days the Bride usually has a second keepsake garter.  This can be her “something new” and she passes it along to  her children for their “something old”.  The garter toss usually comes at the end of the reception, after the wedding cake is cut and served.  It may be done just before the Bride and Groom leave for the evening or any time during the dance.

The Bride should sit on a chair and the Groom lifts the wedding dress just above the knee.  Tip:  The garter is usually just above the knee on the brides right leg.  If the groom cannot locate the garter under 20 layers of tulle, ask for the Bride’s help.  Don’t worry it usually easier than unclasping a bra.

Often the lucky garter catcher posses for a photo or dances with the Bride.   I think this is a great idea.

At Parties & Wishes Unlimited, we stock tradition white and colored garters in both single and double sets.  We also have garters with pockets that allow the Bride to carry any special mementos  down the aisle with her.  Our lines include, Weddingstar, Hortense B Hewitt,  Cathy’s Concepts and Lillian Rose.  If you have any questions or comments callus toll free at 1-888-866-6384.  Hope you enjoyed reading this.