Every bride knows that a garter is a key component of their wedding day attire. It’s an age-old custom that’s still as important today as it was back in the Dark Ages where the tradition originated - albeit for very different reasons!
From around 467-800 AD, guests accompanied the bride and groom on a wedding march to their bedroom after the wedding festivities, where the newly-weds would show proof of their matrimonial consummation. The bride’s attire was considered good luck, and to avoid the overeager bystanders fighting for a piece of clothing, the groom started tossing the garter so that no one would need to obtain it themselves.
When you consider that this period in history refers to the migration of barbarian peoples – including the Huns, Goths, Vandals, Franks and Alani – it’s no wonder that the marital bedroom was a frenzy of activity!
Today, the garter removal is strictly reserved for the groom, but tradition still dictates that it will be tossed into the crowd, just as the bride throws her bouquet.
Often, brides choose to wear two - one to toss and one to keep, and as the garter is hidden under the dress it’s much more fun to pick one that best reflects the bride’s personality, or one that has special significance for the happy couple. The choice is endless – traditional, sexy, something blue, bejeweled, or even animal print and superheroes!
So, if you flaunt your garter, toss your garter at your wedding, or just keep it as your little secret to pass on through the generations, remember that wearing a garter on your wedding day is like wearing a little piece of history!