The Tradition of Bridal Garters


Weddings are filled with a host of wonderful customs and traditions. From the spoken vows to the exchanging of rings, to the tossing of rice and the cutting of the cake, the day is packed with a number of symbolic gestures. One of the more colorful and fun customs is, of course, the tossing of the garter. Tossing bridal garters continues to be an important part of many wedding receptions all over the globe.


Bridal garters are usually worn in pairs. One garter is the traditional garter that a bride keeps to be removed on the wedding night. A second garter is also worn on the same leg. This second garter is often referred to as the throw away garter. Traditionally, the bride tosses her wedding bouquet into the assembled group of single women who are in attendance. Legend holds that this woman will be the next one among the group to be married. Usually, after the bouquet has been tossed, the groom removes the throw-away garter from the bride’s leg and tosses it to the assembled group of unmarried men who are in attendance. It is said that whoever catches the garter will be the next man among that group to be married.

Though most people no longer believe that such a legend is true, tossing bridal garters is still a popular custom. Because of this, there are a number of different garters that are available. Many brides today have their wedding planned down to the very last detail. They want to make sure that each and every item they wear just right, and this includes their garters. Since there are so many different types of wedding gowns, wedding colors, and wedding themes that abound today, the bridal market has made an effort to provide a host of garters so that there is something that will work for most any bride.

Bridal garters can be quite simple to amazingly ornate. Often, they are crafted from different types of lace. However, lace is not always used. Silk and satin are also frequently used when making garters. More ornate garters may incorporate silk, satin, and lace in addition to other adornments like beadwork, bows and even feathers.

There are even garters that can be personalized. For example, ribbons used on the garters can be printed up with the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding. Since garters are often kept as a keepsake of that important day, this personalization is especially appropriate.

Bridal garters are also often used as a way for the bride to incorporate something blue into her ensemble. The tradition for brides is that they must wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Since blue is not exactly a popular color for wedding dresses, some brides have had a hard time finding something blue to use. Garters are perfect for this, though, because they are worn under the gown and are not visible during the ceremony.

Though bridal garters are often worn in pairs, it is not necessary for the two garters to match. Many choose to use a simpler garter as the throw away garter.

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