Many wedding traditions and customs have been forgotten over the years but the bridal garter tradition is one that has stood the test of time. Pretty garters are a significant part of bridal attire, worn on the leg, just above the knee. Traditionally it was said that they bought good luck and fortune to the newly married couple.
The garter tradition is still part of many weddings today.
Garter Toss Tradition
It is thought that the garter toss tradition dates all the way back to the 14th Century. In England wedding guests believed that owning a piece of the bride’s wedding dress would bring them good luck. Unfortunately for the bride this meant that she had to endure guests ripping off parts of her dress, something which not many people would stand for today! To prevent this from happening, it became custom for a wedding garter to be worn and then thrown to the single male wedding guests at the end of the ceremony. However the garter wedding tradition still caused many problems, as cheeky male guests would rush to the bride in an attempt to take her garter, before anyone else managed to. It then became traditional for the groom to remove his bride’s garter and throw it into the crowd of single men himself.
The next to be married
At the end of the wedding ceremony the bride would throw her bouquet into a pool of single women and the groom would remove his bride’s garter, throwing it to an unmarried male. Traditionally it was said that the two people who caught the items would be the next to marry, with the gentlemen often placing the garter on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet.
Other bridal garter traditions
In ancient times they believed that the wedding garter represented a virginal girdle. Once married, the groom would remove the garter from his bride, to represent her relinquishing her virginity to him. Today many brides choose to wear two garters, one which is thrown to the guests and another which is removed by the groom on the wedding night and used as a keepsake.