The Tradition of the Wedding Garter & Its History

Wedding Garter Tradition

The wedding garter tradition is one that has accompanied the wedding dress since the early Victorian era in the European areas. However, have you ever wondered how this little garter tradition came about? In this article, we will explore the roles and history of the bridal garter tradition on a bride’s wedding day.

Origin of the Wedding Garter Tradition

In the 14th century, the meaning of the wedding garter tradition was constrained to not much else other than a good luck charm. In fact, the wedding garter was perceived to be able to ward off evil spirits!

Back then, it was believed that having a piece of the bride’s wedding dress would bring the holder good luck, so guests could literally be tearing the bride’s dress off! Typically, when the wedding ceremony is over, the bridesmaids would escort the bride back to her wedding chamber.

Weary as the bride would be, that would not deter the bridesmaids from suddenly exclaiming to get the bride’s garters. That’s when the rowdy wedding guests would attempt to get any piece of the bridal costumes! Sometimes, the crowd would be so fed up on alcohol and enthusiasm that they follow the married couple into their wedding chamber and shred the bride’s wedding gown!

Indeed, that does not sound too appealing as the era modernized, which is why this wedding tradition slowly evolved throughout the ages.

Instead of having their dress ripped off, brides started to toss the garter, among other items, to the crowd of men. A bride who wears her item loosely closer to the bottom of her wedding dress would be much more likely to get out of all this fuss with the wedding garters wedding tradition unscathed with her beautiful outfit still intact.

In the modern day tradition, the groom takes off this piece and throws it to his male friends — a much-preferred option when compared to having your male wedding guests try to rip it off the bride’s thighs!

What is the Wedding Garter Tradition?

Wedding Garter Tradition

As it is a part of a lingerie set, a bride would wear it on her thigh. It does not matter which leg the bride wears it on. A bride can wear a garter for the groom to remove it, or she can wear two — one to be removed and one to be kept.

In this case of deciding on wearing two garters, the bride would probably wear both of them on one leg. Thus, the garter that is supposed to be removed would be worn on top of the one that’s meant to be kept. To ensure that the wedding ceremony goes smoothly for the garter removal session, it’s best that the groom is informed in advance regarding which leg she has the garter on!

When wearing it, the bride should test-wear her garter along with her bridal attire. This is so that she can choose the most comfortable position to wear her garter while she moves around.

You probably shouldn’t wear it too high up — an untimely photograph would be all it takes to flash the camera and the photographer! Wearing a garter too high up a bride’s thigh could also be uncomfortable. The lace and frills on the garter could brush against the bride’s other leg.

If worn too low, the garter could slip down the bride’s thigh during the wedding ceremony — certainly an unwanted event in this joyous occasion. Just as it is with other wedding garments and wedding planning, it’s best to get your wedding garters details’ settled well in advance of the wedding itself.

Wedding Garters Tradition & Sentiment

Even if the bride and groom are not very into the wedding garter tradition, these garters would still be a subtly sexy piece of lingerie that can provide the bride with lots of charm in the bridal chamber!

Aside from being worn as part of the wedding attire, the bride can keep her garter as a memorable wedding heirloom along with her wedding ring. A frilly and beautiful custom item of the wedding attire would surely serve as a reminder of one of the best days in the bride’s life - and also when she feels most beautiful.

To make the wedding garter traditions and meanings more powerful, brides can now implement their own garter design. The design could match said the bride’s wedding outfit or the design could memorate the couple’s love story.

Whatever the design is, a wedding garter is still be made of ruched, satin, or lace materials. It could also be designed with rhinestones, ribbons and the like. Garters usually do not cost much, but if you are getting a custom made one, the cost could differ. Generally, the more ornate and intricate the style, the pricier you can expect your garter to be.

The Groom’s Role in the Tradition of Wedding Garter

The act of removing this intimate piece from the bride used to be taken as the proof of the wedding’s consummation. This concept is still used today, but the modernized concept can now be a little different.

You might not be too familiar with the wedding garters tradition since not married couples would partake in this tradition nowadays. However, the classic bouquet toss would definitely be something to be familiarized with. The modern-day garter-toss event would be accompanied by the bouquet toss!

After the bride tosses the banquet to the eligible bachelorettes, the groom’s role comes in. The bride could be seated in a chair in a designated location, and various games could be played while the groom tries to remove the garter from the bride.

As an example, a groom might be asked to remove the garter with his mouth while blindfolded, or it could simply be an easy routine where the groom removes the piece from his bride with his hands. It’s all about the kind of mood you pick for the wedding reception. Afterward, the husband would usually toss the wedding garter to his single male friends.

Here’s the catch that keeps the wedding reception parties going! The bachelor who manages to catch the garter would then wear this garter on the bachelorette who caught the bouquet. Who knows, perhaps this pair could be the next married couple among the wedding guests. Certainly, a unique aftermath of the wedding girdle tradition to be considered, isn’t it?

Wedding Garter Tradition: Old Vs. Modern Days

Having known about how the origin of the wedding garter came to be and its modern-day comparison, which one would you say that you prefer? While the commonly followed wedding garter tradition and routine would seem appealing to some as a party game, the modern day routine would be a lot more preferably to more conservative couples. Whatever the case, we can all agree on one thing — a wedding garter is a beautiful & elegant addition to a bridal attire whether it’s in the older days or in this modern era!