What is The Garter Toss Tradition at a Wedding?

The garter toss tradition is always present at weddings, when the groom removes the throw away garter from the bride’s leg, the groom is supposed to toss it to the single men in the crowd. A strange tradition but this practice has continued to this day. So what is the garter toss tradition at a wedding? Read on to find out…

garter toss

Tradition of garter tossing (photo by Matthew C. Wright)

Like the bouquet toss, tossing the garter at weddings also has its own story and history.

The History Of The Wedding Garter Toss Tradition

When it comes to the garter toss, the practice nowadays is for the groom to get the garter from the bride’s legs, in fact variations of this in modern weddings is for the groom to get the garter with his mouth. This practice is done to make the activity more fun and exciting.

The single men in the crowd are usually asked to gather near the groom as the groom tosses the garter to them.

In some variations, the garter is passed around among the single men and when the music stops, whoever is holding the garter is said to be the next one to get married. Still in other wedding practices, a contest may be held for one single man in order for them to compete for who can obtain and make the garter his own. He will then be partnered to the single bride who can also catch the bouquet.

 The Changes in the Tradition Of The Garter Toss

garter toss

Fun garter toss tradition wedding (photo by Claire Lee)

The tradition behind garter tossing at weddings has been around for a long time and the early customs may not have been appealing or desirable for brides. The tradition of the garter toss started with a practice where friends, guests and relatives of the bride and groom accompany the couple to the marriage bed and make sure they have settled themselves.

As proof that they have indeed settled in their marriage bed, the guests would then try to grab the garter as proof of consummation and this wasn’t such desirable practice as brides often ended up being pushed or shoved, while guests tried to get the garter from the bride’s legs – certainly not a good thing for your wedding reception.

As time goes by, changes to the tradition have been made and to avoid injuries and harassment on the part of the bride when the garter is said to be removed by the single men in the reception, it has evolved into only the groom is allowed to get the garter and then toss it to the single men gathered around him to avoid any not-so-appropriate practices and even injuries to the bride.

Sam at weddingwhoop.com - Wedding Planner

Organizing the garter toss could be one of the responsibilities of the best man.

“Tossing the wedding garter is an ancient tradition and you can use your imagination to make it a fun activity.”

What Is The Tradition Of A Garter At Weddings in Recent Times

garter grab

Tradition of a garter toss (photo by usdalton(Flickr))

The groomsman or whichever single man who catches the garter is said to be the next to marry and often for fun, he is requested to put the garter onto the leg of the single woman who catches the bouquet from the bride and he should not use his hands but his mouth.

Indeed, this wedding tradition has become something that is fun and has indeed come a long way from its original ‘barbaric’ tradition.

Did you follow the tradition of the garter toss at your wedding? Got any funny stories? Comment and let us know…

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