Why Do Brides Wear A Garter?

Shop ManagerKeep Sake, Lingerie, Traditions, Wedding Day

Many brides choose to wear a garter on her wedding day. But where did the garter tradition come from? Read on to find out all you need to know about bridal garters.
Wearing a garter is thought to be one of the oldest wedding traditions still going. The tradition came from the 14th century when owning a piece of the brides wedding dress was said to bring you luck. This resulted in guests chasing the bride to tear off a piece of her dress. Brides did not want their dress being ripped and torn so instead begun to wear a special piece of clothing that could be given to one lucky guest; the garter.
A garter symbolises the newlywed consummating their marriage. In the dark ages, guests would follow the bride and groom to their bedroom and wait outside. Once the garter was removed, guests took it in turns to throw the garter at the groom. Whoever threw the garter that landed on the groom’s nose would be the next to get married.
Tradition changed and the bride began to throw her garter into a crowd of single men, much as she would with her bouquet and the single women. Whoever caught the garter was thought to be the next one to get married. Often the bachelors would get too drunk and start to forcefully take the garter from the bride. This would end up with the groom having to intervene to protect his bride and so tradition changed and the groom took over the garter toss.
Traditionally at some point during the reception and usually after the bouquet toss, guests will gather around to witness the groom removing the brides garter before tossing it into a crowd of eligible bachelors. The groom usually removes the garter with his hands but some choose to remove it with their teeth to make it more exciting. The lucky bachelor who catches the garter usually dances with the women who caught the bouquet. Sometimes the bachelor will put the garter on the lucky lady who caught the bouquet while others choose to wear the garter around their head like a makeshift headband!
Remember everyone will be watching the removal of the garter so make sure it isn’t too high up. Your garter should be worn just above the knee. This is so it’s not too high up for you to accidentally flash your guests when the groom tries to remove it, or too low that it may fall down. Some brides like to take a photo of them lifting their dress to reveal their garter, having your garter just above the knee will ensure you don’t flash your photographer as well as your guests!
Although it is tradition to wear your garter on your right leg, it really is personal preference but brides make sure you let your groom know which leg your garter’s on so when the time comes, he can remove it quicker.
Some brides like to keep their garter as a keepsake so will often wear two garters; one for the garter toss and one to keep as a reminder of her wedding day. Sometimes you may have a garter of sentimental value; it may have been passed down to you from your mother or grandmother. Or you may want to get a garter that you can pass down to your daughter for her to wear on her wedding day.
Because your garter is worn under your wedding dress brides will sometimes go for something a little bit more unique to show off their personality, while others will stick to tradition and go for a white, ivory or blue garter. You may find that a lot of bridal garters incorporate your ‘something blue’ as this is another great tradition. If you have two garters why not have a traditional one and one a little bit more fun? A garter will make your feel like a beautiful bride but sometimes less is more. Many garters are made from silk and satin with a little bit of lace for detailing while others are often made in bright colours. You may want to choose a garter that best represents you, or maybe you want something for your groom! Nowadays brides wear garters in all different colours, some in animal print and you can even get superhero ones!
So now you know a little bit more information on garters and why brides wear them!