The ultimate guide on how to wear a garter for weddings is here! Make sure you’re on the list so you don’t miss other helpful how-to posts in the future.
Are you wondering how to wear a garter? Not just how to wear it, but the right way to pair it with a tossing garter and what leg to put it on? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll talk about how to wear a garter, how to measure for a wedding garter, and which leg the garter is supposed to go on. We’ll also chat about whether you really need to do a garter toss at your wedding and suggest an alternate. And while we’re at it, we’ll inspire you with the hottest handmade wedding garters of the season. Enjoy!
How to Wear a Garter
If you’re like most brides, besides wondering how to wear a garter, you’ve probably been wondering how garters became so popular, or even what kind of garter you should buy. While the wedding garter is an old tradition, it is still an essential bridal accessory.
For years, the wedding garter was pretty simple: a white or ivory elastic band and, maybe, a bit of ribbon. Today garters are incredibly detailed and custom; you can find any kind of garter you can imagine in different colors, sizes, styles, themes, etc. Many brides choose to wear a garter with an heirloom accent to honor a lost loved one. As an example, a small piece of vintage lace from your grandmother’s wedding dress can be incorporated into your garter design as a sweet homage.
Here’s an example of an heirloom lace garter named Eleanor. It is handmade by Knotted and Bent from hard-to-find vintage lace. I love the white pearls as a classic bridal embellishment.
Other brides use the garter as an opportunity to incorporate “something blue“. A small blue bow, crystal, embroidered thread, or even blue lace is all it takes! Here’s one example:
An heirloom garter like this one — shown below by Knotted & Bent — makes an exceptional choice for the bride’s something blue.
When I spotted this next garter, I couldn’t wait to share it. This one is named Alicia and is also by Knotted and Bent. I’ve never seen a garter with such an incredible statement piece!
Some brides love the personalization element of a garter– imagine wearing a garter with your new last name on it, like this.
Where is the wedding garter worn?
In order to wear your wedding garter properly, brides wear a wedding garter approximately 3-6″ above the knee.
Which leg should I wear the garter on?
Traditionally, a wedding garter is worn on the left leg. If you’re wearing two garters — one to toss and one to keep — wear them together on the same leg with the tossing garter placed lower than the keepsake garter. This will make it easier to remove for tossing at the reception.
How to Measure for a Garter
In order to get a perfect fit, you’ll want to measure properly for your wedding garter. Use fabric measuring tape (something like this) wrapped snug around your thigh and measure the circumference. Don’t measure too tight or too loose; the garter will have elastic to fit snugly. Give this measurement to your garter designer for a custom fit.
If you need to, use a bit of this so it stays in place.
Is The Garter Removal and Toss Required?
No, the tradition of a garter removal and toss is not required. Since it’s your wedding, you get to decide whether or not to follow this tradition (as with all others). If you’re unfamiliar with the garter toss, it is when the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg and tosses it to a crowd of bachelors. (For even more fun, some grooms put the garter on one of these to toss it!) Traditionally, the bachelor who catches the garter would then put it onto the leg of the bachelorette who caught the bride’s bouquet.
However, that approach can sometimes make for an awkward situation; a more PG-rated approach (and less embarrassing for guests) would be for the two to share a dance together instead.
If the whole idea of the garter removal makes you cringe, just skip it altogether; or as an alternate, just toss the garter without the public garter removal. ;)
For my wedding, I didn’t do the garter removal but I did buy a tossing garter and set it aside with my tossing bouquet. After the bouquet toss, Andrew tossed the extra garter to the bachelors and the lucky guy and gal shared a quick dance together.
Handmade Wedding Garters
Need a wedding garter? Buy handmade! You’ll support small business and you’ll have the opportunity to work one-on-one with your garter designer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Now you know how to wear a garter and everything that goes along with it! If we’ve missed anything, or you have any questions on wedding garters, we’d love to include it in this guide. We’ll swoop in to help you out, so feel free to email or leave a comment below.
Want to browse more handmade garters? Visit The Marketplace! We have many garters — all handmade and crafted by independent artisans! — added every day.
Now it’s your turn: are you wearing a garter for your wedding?