Firstly, there is the superstition that owning a piece of the brides wedding gown would bring good luck. This lead wedding guests to get a little rough with the brides dress in an attempt to rip a piece for themselves. After what we are sure were many tears shed by brides in ripped dresses, special garments i.e. the garter, were made and worn specifically to be given away as the lucky token and save any bridal tears.
The other historical tale comes from the belief that the garter is a symbol of the newlyweds consummating the marriage. In a slightly more curious part of the tradition, family and friends would take the garter, as proof of the consummation. Ummm ok.
With the power of these two symbolic elements combined, the garter became a modern tradition that sees the garter being removed from the bride and given to someone who attended the wedding, usually a male guest.
Previously, any man could remove the garter; it was a race to take the symbolic item from the bride. But nowadays the garter removal is reserved for the groom and usually happens as part of the reception in front of all the guests. The groom will rustle about under the bride’s gown and typically remove the garter with his teeth.
Then in line with the brides bouquet throwing, the groom will toss the garter in to the pack of awaiting eligible bachelors with the lucky recipient is said to be the next to be married. And unbeknownst to us before our research, the garter catcher is then supposed to place the garter on the single lady that caught the bouquet.
With all that history behind us, there have been a few changes and adaptations but what about the function of a garter? Why is it worn like that? What does it all mean?
Functionality wise, the garter would hold up the bride’s stockings, but the modern bride rarely wears thigh high stockings anymore. As such, there isn’t really a correct way of wearing a garter; left, right, high, low – it’s really up to you. Our advice? Wear the garter just above your knee for comfort. Many brides choose to wear two garters so there is one to throw and one to keep.
Garters now are much like blusher veils, some do and some don’t. It’s a fun and flirty tradition that can give you a moment of silliness and offer the guys a little fun alongside the pushing and shoving budding brides trying to mark the bouquet.
Here at Perfection Bridal we have a range of garters from the traditional white or ivory, to your something blue and even a raunchy red for a bit of fun. And of course we have some larger sizes for you plus size gals that want to be a part of the tradition. You can even match them to our wedding gowns.
Whether you choose to follow tradition or find your own funky twist on it, the garter can play as big or as little a role as your like on your wedding day. If you have a fun-loving crowd of family and friends, give the removal tradition a go. If not, keep the garter tradition for just you and your new husband. Ultimately, it’s your day; just remember we can help you here at Perfection Bridal, no matter what you decide.
At perfection bridal we have a collection of plus size garter belts for around $45 in blue, ivory, white and red.