A wedding garter is a piece of clothing worn by the bride at weddings.
The tradition dates back to medieval times, when women would wear a garter around their thighs to prevent them from being seduced during the night.
Today, the garter has evolved into a symbol of love and commitment. Brides often wear a pair of matching garters on their legs, and grooms give their groomsmen the gift of their bride’s garter.
Garters are symbolic of love, friendship, and loyalty. They also represent good luck and fertility. In addition, they are a reminder of the bride’s virginity.
If you want to learn more about the wedding garter and its significance, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we are going to take a look at the wedding garter and the ceremonies associated with the bracelet…
What Is A Wedding Garter?
A wedding garter is a piece of clothing composed of a narrow band of fabric. The garter is used to keep up the bride’s stockings and is usually worn around the knee, where the leg is at its most slender.
The tradition of wearing a garter dates back to the Middle Ages and is still practiced to this day across the western world.
However, this does not mean that the wedding garter does not have a purpose, as it is the key component in a wedding tradition called the garter toss.
But what exactly is the garter toss and what does it mean?
The answer you seek can be found in the section below, where we have provided a detailed history of this strange and controversial wedding custom.
What Is A Garter Toss?
The garter toss is essentially the male version of the bride’s bouquet toss. In fact, it is very similar except for one main component.
During the garter toss, the groom does not throw flowers and instead removes the garter from the bride’s leg (often with his teeth and hands) while the wedding guests watch on.
Once the garter has been removed, the groom then tosses the fabric into a crowd of single male wedding attendants, who will have gathered on the dance floor.
In most cases, the man who catches the garter gets to put it on the leg of the woman who is lucky enough to catch the bride’s bouquet.
Despite its success, the garter toss is not for everyone and has become a source of controversy over the years.
Many people now find the tradition to be misogynistic in its meaning, while others believe it is too inappropriate for a day that is meant to celebrate a couple’s love.
Whether you are for or against the garter toss, the ritual itself is still fascinating and even has its roots in historical traditions.
So if you want to learn more about the origins of this custom, then you can find all the information you need in the section below.
Where Did The Garter Toss Come From?
The garter toss is now considered to be one of the oldest wedding traditions still practiced today. The tradition dates back to medieval times, when wedding guests would tear off pieces of the bride’s clothing, as they were seen as a token of good luck.
Because of this practice, brides started to wear garters, which they would throw into the crowd to prevent onlookers from tearing their dresses.
Interestingly, the bridal bouquet was used in a similar manner and was thought to bring good fortune to those who caught it.
This means that both traditions were used by the bride as a distraction so that she could escape her guests and flee with the groom.
One of the earliest iterations of the modern-day garter toss was recorded in the early 1500s, when the practice was popularized among the French aristocracy.
During this time, it was common for the friends and family of the newlyweds to follow the bride and groom to the bedroom, where they would make sure that the marriage was being consummated.
This would involve the guests either watching the deed itself or waiting outside the door for confirmation.
Once the couple had finished, they would present the garter as proof of their sexual liaison, which is how the garter became associated with deflowering and the loss of innocence.
In these times, sex before marriage was not as commonplace as it is now, so it was looked upon very differently.
But what else does the wedding garter symbolize? Let’s take a look at the garter’s various meanings in the section below…
What Does The Wedding Garter Symbolize?
Over its long and storied history, the wedding garter has come to represent a range of different themes and meanings.
In the following sections, we have outlined some of these meanings and their significance to the wedding ceremony:
In the Renaissance period, the wedding garter became a symbol of good fortune and fertility, with the fabric remaining a token of good luck for hundreds of years.
During this time, it was believed that good luck would follow the person who was able to catch the garter and wear it for themselves.
The association with fertility seems to stem from the origins of the garter toss, when the fabric was used to confirm whether a marriage had been consummated.
In the 18th century, it was common for English wedding guests to throw garters at the bride and groom, with the intention of having one land on the couple’s heads. If a guest was able to do this, the garter would be seen as a symbol of fortune and love.
The significance of the garter goes to show how prominent the tradition is and how the custom is still rooted in its superstitious origins.
In recent years, the removal of the garter is now handled by the groom and not a room of boisterous guests.
These days, the garter toss is used as a way to pass the romantic torch from the bride and groom and to their single friends.
Similar to the throwing of the bouquet, the garter toss is said to determine who will get married next. However, the honor is bestowed upon a male member of the wedding party.
While the wedding garter has many symbolic meanings, it is now associated with love, friendship and future marriage.
The wedding garter has had a long and controversial history, which is why the tradition is not practiced so much today. However, it is still one of the oldest wedding traditions still being celebrated, and that is something that should be noted.