Hello, loves! Happy Friday! Today we’re talking about the wedding garter and seven (surprising!) things you didn’t know about it. The wedding garter dates back to the 14th century and its origin and tradition was much different than it is today. Read on to find out these interesting facts and check out some hand-picked wedding garters crafted by Garters by Kristi. Enjoy!
The Wedding Garter
1. The wedding garter toss is said to be one of the oldest wedding traditions.
The tradition dates back to the 14th century in Europe when wedding guests used to think the bride’s dress was good luck. In a most ridiculous way, guests would start yanking at fabric pieces from her dress to keep pieces of ‘good luck’ and, in her defense, the bride would throw things at them, one of these things being her garter. (source) Hence, the tradition was born. Luckily, guests no longer pull at the bride’s dress — considering that some dresses today cost more than a car.
2. The bridal party used to participate in a strange version of the garter toss.
Oddly enough, in the Dark Ages the bridal party would actually wait outside the wedded couple’s bedroom after the ceremony and, when the bride removed the garter, the bridal party would take turns throwing the garter at the groom. Whomever hit the groom’s nose with the garter was deemed the next to marry. (source)
3. Traditionally, the garter is worn on the right leg.
However, you can wear is on either leg, whichever is most comfortable.
4. If the bride decides to wear a toss garter…
… it is worn underneath the bridal garter. This makes it easy for tossing during the reception. The bridal garter is removed later during the honeymoon night.
5. The groom tosses the garter to unmarried men…
… and the one who catches it is said to marry next. The man who catches the garter also shares a dance with the woman who catches the bride’s bouquet. In centuries past, the man who caught the garter was said to wear the garter on his hat until he met a woman whom he loved, to which he would gift the garter as good luck. Today? The man who catches the garter tends to drink, dance, and wear the garter around his head like a makeshift headband.
6. The garter has once been known as a ‘survival tool’.
Guests believed accessories by the bride (fabric from her dress, stockings, her garter) possessed good luck from the bride on her wedding day. While being rushed to the altar (while guests stampede behind to grab some good luck), the bride would toss the garter to the mob to prevent being trampled. Holy cow. (source)
7. The most popular way to possess “something blue” is with a blue garter.
Now that you know a little more about the history of the wedding garter, let’s take a look at some gorgeous wedding garters by Garters by Kristi. Kristi makes TONS of handmade wedding garters and there is one in any color you can imagine. Here are a few favorites…
Garters are custom made to order in your choice of color palette.
You can find novelty garters at Garters by Kristi (with custom orders available). I have to represent my Detroit Tigers with this one. Go Tigers!
To view MANY more garters or to order yours, visit Garters by Kristi. These are just a few of the many beautiful garters you can find in her shop. Garters by Kristi is a Featured Artisan in The Marketplace.
Great post. In Ireland the lad who catches the garter has to put it on the lady who caught the bouquet. With his teeth! This does lead to some very funny photos though. :)
I’m not sure if this happens in the States, but in Portugal it’s tradition (although a dying tradition) for the bride to stand in front of all the guests with her dress up. The guests will then give money to the newlyweds, (usually someone goes around them with a basket for them to put the money in, and tell the bride to pull the garter up or down her leg. This goes on until the garter reaches the brides knee. At that time she will remove it and the groom will toss it.
Love your blog by the way!
That’s interesting! I haven’t heard of that one before! I appreciate you sharing the comment. Thanks for visiting – we’re happy you like the blog!
This was a great article! I learned alot about the history of the garter! Thank you!
Quite useful post.
Excellent and informative post. Did not know how it all began until I read this post.
excellent and insightful post! a lot of things that i had never heard before regarding the garter. definitely a fun read!
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