Today, the tradition of the wedding garter is
tame in comparison to France of the 14th century.
In North America, the bride wears two garters;
one as a keepsake garter and the other for the
Both garters are worn on the right leg just above
Before the removal of the garter, the bride first
throws her bouquet to the single women.
The groom removes the throw away garter from
the brides leg, sometimes he removes it with his
teeth , but more appropriately nowadays he uses
his hands. He does this while the bride is sat
in a chair.
After the garter is removed, he then throws it
to the single male guests. The male guest then
takes the garter and places it on the leg of the
single female guest who has caught the bouquet.
Those that catch either item are said to be the
next to marry. In some instances, it is said that
they will marry each other.
The keepsake garter is removed later in private
during the honeymoon night.
Numerous wedding garter traditions have been
obtained over the years that still seem to become
rules of etiquette today. Take a look at a few
that are still popular and some that have long
since been forgotten.
The garter tradition originated back to the 14th
century. In parts of Europe the guests of the
bride and groom believed having a piece of the
bride’s clothing was thought to bring good
luck. They would actually destroy the brides dress
by ripping off pieces of fabric. Obviously, this
tradition did not sit well with the bride, so
she began throwing various items to the guests
– the garter being one of them. It became
customary for the bride to toss the garter to
the men. But this also caused a great problem
for the bride….sometimes the men would get
drunk, become impatient and try to remove the
garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom derived
at having the groom remove and toss the garter
to the men. With this change, the bride began
to toss the bridal boutique to the unwed girls
who were eligible for marriage.
Another interesting custom dated back to the
ancient times where the wedding garter represented
the virginal girdle. When the groom removed the
garter from the bride, this represented the bride’s
relinquishment of her virginity.
An Old English custom was while the bride and
groom were in their bridal chamber, the wedding
guests would sneak into the chamber picking up
discarded stockings and throwing them at the couple.
Whoever flung a stocking that hung on the bride
or groom’s nose, would be the next to marry.
“ Something Old, Something New, Something
Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence
in her Shoe”
Did you ever wonder where the custom “Something
Blue” derived from?
Wearing something blue dates back to biblical
times when the color blue was considered to represent
purity, faithfulness and fidelity. Back then the
bride would wear a piece of blue clothing or a
blue band around the bottom of her dress. The
ancient Roman maidens also wore blue on the borders
of their robes to symbolize their love, fidelity
and modesty, while the Christians associated it
with the purity of the Virgin Mary.
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