26 August 2010
Posted in CULTURE AND TRADITIONS
The wedding garter and the tossing of the garter are traditional additions weddings that have truly stood the test of time and are often used by couples even today. But where did the tradition come from and how can you modernise it to represent the personality and tastes of the modern bride?
The garter toss has a somewhat unusual history. In the past, it was expected that someone confirm that the marriage between the bride and groom had been consummated, and the wedding party would join the bride and groom in the bedroom before bringing out the garter or another item of the bride’s clothing as proof. Understandably, many couples were not particularly comfortable with this tradition and so the transition away from this and towards a symbolic garter toss was made as a symbolic gesture.
In England it was considered very lucky to have the bride’s garter, and for this reason they say that the man who catches the garter will be the next to marry.
So how about the style of the garter? In the past this was traditionally white lace, although some brides wore blue garters for their “something blue”. Many of those who decide to have a garter toss wear two: one cheaper garter to throw and a more expensive, perhaps even personalised one to have as a keepsake.
You can now get garters of all colours, and you can choose a shade to go with your wedding theme, or something completely different and unexpected. Some brides personalise their garters, having initials embroidered on them or even making them themselves out of materials meaning something special to them, like a family tartan, part of the mother of the bride’s veil or dress or even part of a football strip for sports mad pairs.
This is a tradition that has survived because it is fun and flexible, and is a way of bringing together guests on both sides and bridging the generational gap, so if you fancy something light-hearted yet time-honoured then this is the wedding custom for you.