(Closed) Garters? I don’t get it….

posted 9 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I’m not wearing a garter, but a friend of mine who got married last year did and she wore two — one that she kept, and another one (thinner, less detailed) that was the one they tossed. I think the person who catches the garter keeps it? Not sure.

Post # 4
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - The 19th Century Club

Yes – I think the person who catches keeps it…just like you have your toss bouquet and your real one…of course, you toss the toss bouquet and keep the nice one ๐Ÿ™‚ I think at some weddings they’ll do a picture or a dance or something with the guy who got the garter and the gal who got the bouquet. Silly rituals, but can be fun nonetheless!

Post # 5
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I don’t understand the very point of even wearing a garter. I’m not wearing one. I already knew that I would not be that bride with someone going up her dress to get the garter in front of 100+ people … no thank you!!!!!! Lol. Why would anyone want to even keep a garter that was used anyway … that’s really strange to me.

While I do understand it’s a fun tradition, I’m not doing it. I’m also not doing the bouquet toss. 

I suspect the 2nd garter would be, like the others said, to give away and the other to keep- I actually saw someone in a pickup truck with a garter around their rearview mirror, it is probably from his wedding, or maybe he caught it? LOL. 

I wonder how that even began? 

Post # 6
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

P.S. One time there was a blog post about garters and I clicked the link and showed my fiance the picture of a garter on someones leg … he’s like What’s that for? I’m like I don’t know, sometimes brides wear them? He goes: Looks like a headband for a leg.


Post # 7
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I am only wearing a garter because the bridal shop gave me a free one when I bought my dress. We’re definitely not doing the garter or the bouquet toss at our reception. It does seem a little silly to wear a garter if you’re not wearing stockings, but I thought FH might like seeing it later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I was not planning on wearing one until I see Mrs. Cherry Pie’s flask garter holder. Seems very useful. There are so many outings where I don’t have a large enough pocket to accomodate $ and knick knacks. If the garter holds on to the leg securely, I may use it quite often. Any1 has experience using that garter?

For the actual weddin,g I definitely won’t toss the flask holder but will probably toss some cheap version for the sake of the game.

Post # 10
2000 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Personally, I don’t get it either. We’re doing the garter toss because Mr. Bunny is pretty traditional and really wanted to do it. We’re doing the bouquet toss because I thought it would be weird to do a garter toss if we didn’t toss a bouquet.

Post # 11
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Does anyone even know the origination of the garter/bouquet toss?  I’m going to google it now.  We’re probably going to have the bouquet and garter tosses at our wedding because 1) we want to do the traditional stuff; and 2) at the last wedding we attended before we were engaged, I caught the bouquet and he caught the garter.  It was funny…thank goodness I had a nice buzz going though.

Post # 12
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

i’m not even having a bouquet ๐Ÿ˜›

what makes it weird now is that my Future Sister-In-Law is passing me her late grandma’s garter, which herself, her mom and her late grandma wore.
i guess i am now expected to wear it. but… what for?
and i don’t want anyone under my dress / lifting up my dress to expose my not-so-beautiful gams. eeeek.

Post # 13
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

The garter around the rearview mirror made me think about prom… I don’t know if this is a Louisiana thing or a Southern thing or if I’m showing my age, but my high school gave out garters to each couple at prom… the girl wore hers in the usual place, and the guy wore his around his arm (over his tux).  They often had ribbons that indicated the name of the high school & year of the prom (LHS Jr/Sr Prom 2009).  And those typically ended up on someone’s mirror as an afterthought.

Post # 14
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

ive lived all over the south and never heard of the garter prom thing, sounds kinda wierd and risque!

i have no idea about the origination behind the garter but its a fun wedding tradition and we’re pretty excited to do it! i dont plan on my va j j being exposed and we are definitely going to discrete but still have fun with it.

yes, the keepsake garter is usually the more ornate and detailed garter that you keep and the tossing one is more simple and plain that you toss and the guy that catches it keeps it. just like another bee said about the bouquet.

im really excited because im not getting the traditional blue and lace garter, im either getting a sports themed or military themed one as a cute little surprise for my hubby!

Post # 15
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: Times; font-size: medium; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px”><font color=”#B5898A”>The practice of the tossing the bridal bouquet is believed to be an outgrowth of an idea that was popular in the 14th century, particularly in early French tradition.</font> It was considered lucky to get a fragment of the bride’s clothing. In those days, the bride was treated poorly. Guests would grab at her wedding dress in order to tear off pieces. Although brides continued to believe that they would not be wearing their wedding gowns again, they objected to its wanton destruction. They looked for an alternative and, instead began the custom of throwing personal articles, such as the garter, to the guests.

Other sources describe the garter as representing the virginal girdle. When the groom removed the garter, he was in essence demonstrating publicly, that the bride was relinquishing her virginal status. In medieval times, it was also traditional for wedding guests to accompany the newlywed couple to their bed chamber, after the ceremony. Sources say in following this practice guests became more and more rowdy, to the extent that some even attempted to disrobe the new bride or "take liberties" with her. In order to keep the other men at bay, the groom would toss the bride’s garter as a means of distraction. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>The practice of throwing the garter survived and became more focused.</font> People not only subscribed to the superstition that whoever "won" the bride’s garter (la jarretière) was lucky, but also that their good luck could be carried through . . . for it was believed that a man who gave his beloved a bride’s garter would be guaranteed his loved one’s faithfulness. It was up to the best man to "steal" the garter, tear it into small pieces and distribute it to the wedding guests. This notion was taken so to heart that oftentimes guests were seriously injured in the rush for the garter. Some guests apparently got drunk, became impatient and unruly and then tried to tear the garter off the bride. Brides became wary and modified tradition by allowing one garter to dangle, making it easy to reach. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>The British practiced another custom, "tossing or flinging the stocking."</font> Groomsmen would actually invade the bridal chamber and steal the bride’s stockings. Then they would take turns sitting at the foot of the bed flinging the stockings over the heads of the couple. The notion was held that whoever threw the stocking that landed on the groom’s nose, would be the next to marry. Understandably, brides objected to this tradition because it was both undignified and embarrassing and the stocking throw tradition soon disappeared, evolving into the bouquet and garter toss tradition that many brides and grooms follow today. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>In the 17th and 18 centuries, today’s garter was a silk sash tied well below the bride’s knee.</font> The groomsmen considered the sash to be a trophy. Whichever groomsman "captured" the garter would wear it in his hat for the remainder of the celebration. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>In keeping with the adage "something old, something new. . . ," brides may choose to wear a blue garter or sew a blue ribbon into their undergarments.</font> This, it is thought, will protect the bride against bad luck or unhappiness. This concept may date back to the Order of the Garter, which was symbolized by a blue ribbon. It is one of the oldest orders of knighthood, and knights were known as the consummate protectors of women. The mantle of a Knight of the Garter was worn by royal bridegrooms over their wedding attire. In 1893, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, Prince Edward married Alexandra and became the last royal to wear the blue velvet mantle. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>Many brides today hold fast to the tradition of a garter toss.</font> The groom removes and tosses the garter, right before the bride tosses her bouquet. Custom has it that the unmarried man who catches the garter must place it on the leg of the unmarried woman who catches the bouquet. It is said that they two will be the next to marry (not necessarily each other). For the sake of balance and egalitarianism, some brides choose to throw a bouquet instead of tossing the garter. Some simply throw a bouquet to the bridesmaids, while the groom throws the garter to the groomsmen. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>With some couples, the custom of tossing the bouquet, albeit a very old one, has come under some criticism.</font> It seems that in the rush for the bouquet, young children have been caught underfoot, and even adults have been injured. This actually prompted some musicians and photographers to include a liability release from the bride, should she insist, against their advice, to follow this tradition. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>Some modern brides feel that the custom is embarrassing and tacky</font>, because it singles out the single women who are with all good intention "dragged" to the floor to participate in the ritual. Those feelings have motivated changes. One way of "saving the tradition," but sensitizing it, is to have all the female guests, not just the unmarried ones, participate in the bouquet toss. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>There continue to be objections raised both about tossing the bouquet and about tossing the garter.</font> Couples today consider including new, alternative traditions. One such option is to call all the girls in their teens to come up to the bride’s side and present each with a flower from a premade bouquet. Or, in order to avoid a stampede, the bride may call them all up and give out bags of candies or token gifts to the young girls and teens. Another alternative to tossing the bouquet and/or the garter is to throw dried rose petals, white sequins, confetti, or ribbons, or to blow bubbles and not to expect or invite anyone to catch anything. The bride might also choose to call up her bridesmaids. With the use of a premade, break-apart-bouquet, which is designed to separate it into smaller ‘arrangements,’ she can give each attendant a "piece." This is a lovely, public way to thank her bridesmaids for their participation in the wedding party. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>There is an elegant alternative to the ‘tossing’ tradition</font> is for the bride and groom, which works particularly well with mature couples. The bride and groom ask all the married couples to stand. Then by groups of five or ten years, the married couples are asked to be seated as the length of their marriage is mentioned. The couple that remains is the one married the longest. They are "rewarded’ with the bridal bouquet and the garter." Still another delightful tradition takes its place after the cake cutting. The couple say a few words and then ‘as a token of love and appreciation,’ they give the bouquet to her parents. 

Some couples make use of tradition, using the bouquet toss as a way to acknowledge a special person. It can, for example, be a way to single-out an engaged friend or relative. A centerpiece or corsage may be substituted for the traditional toss bouquet. Whatever the form of presentation, it’s best to avoid a surprise and ask the recipient, in advance, for their okay. By "clearing" the concept, any embarrassment is avoided. Not everyone is comfortable being singled out in front of an audience, even for something pleasant. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>The florist can be asked to replace the toss bouquet with a corsage or table centerpiece.</font>At an appropriate moment in the reception, the bride can give the "refashioned" toss bouquet to her mother, mother-in-law or grandmother.

In that same vein, the bouquet may be dedicated to a deceased loved one. Mention may be made of this gesture at the reception or in the program. This is a moving way to make a loved one’s memory part of a special day. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>In Finland, there is another "tossing alternative."</font> The single women form a circle around the bride, who has been blindfolded. The bride turns slowly in one direction and the women, holding hands, turn in a circle in the opposite direction. The single women’s circle stops and the bride reaches out and hands her bouquet to the woman facing her. This works especially well when there aren’t too many single women guests. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>Whichever version the couple chose, the bouquet and garter toss are best done right after the cake cutting.</font> This allows the caterer to cut and serve the cake while guests are being entertained. Many couples are dispensing with these two traditions altogether, while some hold fast to what they have known, like and wish to replicate. 

<font color=”#B5898A”>Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable. The new alternatives they design, may in time become traditions in their own right. There are no hard and fast rules about tossing the bouquet and the garter. With this custom, like many of the other aspects of a wedding celebration, should reflect the wishes, sensibilities and sensitivities of the couple and their guests.</font>

Post # 16
3782 posts
Honey bee

In WI we never got garters at prom, but some girls bought garters to wear and took lots of pics of it. I never understood wearing one to prom but to a wedding yea…However, when a lady caught the bouquet and the gentleman caught the garter they typically had a dance and that’s all, (that’s what happened when i caught a bouquet, anyway) but they got to keep which they caught. I’m more likely than not am not going to wear a garter unless my FH wants me to…but I’m not too worried.

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