When we see a bride walking down the aisle, we notice her dress, veil and bouquet as part of her overall stunning look. However, there are some important pieces of a bride's outfit that you don't see. One of the these is the traditional bridal garter.
Although not immediately seen, the bridal garter is an extremely important piece of the bridal ensemble, especially for those those who value carrying out traditions. At the wedding, the garter ceremony is a wedding tradition in which the garter is taken from the bride's leg and thrown out to the men at the wedding reception. The man that catches it, as the superstition goes, is meant to have good luck in his own love life.
Quite frequently, the bride chooses to make her bridal garter her something blue (see previous post about the tradition of something blue). A blue bridal garter is a great way to hide a bit of color under the wedding dress, and it provides luck to the bride by wearing it. More on that below.
Garter History and Meaning
Long ago at the traditions origin, the bridal garter had many functions in bringing luck to a wedding. Women once thought it was lucky to own a piece of the bride’s wedding dress. So in order to prevent women from tearing the dress off the poor bride, garters were given out instead.
Garters were also once thought to serve as proof that a new married couple had consummated their marriage. It was common that people would follow the couple into the bedroom and leave with the garter as proof the consummation had taken place.
Today, slightly more modern sensibilities have taken over. The garter is now thrown to the collect single male attendees at the wedding during a garter ceremony (or garter toss). During the ceremony, the groom must remove the garter from the brides’ leg and then toss it out to the single men. The lucky man who catches it is said to be the next to get married.
The groom about to toss the garter to the eager single men.
We’ve all heard the expression something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and you may know about how these items are said to bring luck to a newly married couple. The color blue is said to ward off the evil eye and stand for love, purity and fidelity. That is why it is often incorporated into the wedding party attire or décor.
One common way couples choose to incorporate blue in their wedding is by having the bride wear a something blue wedding garter. A blue wedding garter can bring luck to a wedding in more ways than one!
Styles and Sets
Of course, brides don’t have to wear a something blue garter. They can pick any sort of garter that they feel suits their style and personality. They can choose a simple white one, or a sexy one that will look great in photos. And the possibilities don’t end there. There are garters made of lace, silk and satin and they are available in a variety of colors. Brides can even choose to get a superhero garter!
Some brides may choose to purchase a wedding garter set. These will typically consist of two garters that will match in color and design, but one will be a bit fancier than the other. A bride can keep one of these garters as a memento of her special day and toss the other for the garter toss.
Brides that are more traditional may consider purchasing a blue wedding garter set. A something blue garter set is a great way to honor both the garter toss and incorporate the color blue into the wedding for the luckiest marriage possible!
Different types of garter sets.
How to Wear Your Wedding Garter
Everyone at your wedding will be watching you during the garter ceremony. Therefore, placement of the bridal garter is actually a pretty important thing to get right. Follow these tips below to ensure a fluid process and avoid an embarrassing moment.
- The bridal garter can be worn on either leg (there is no symbolism as to which side you choose).
- Garters can be positioned anywhere on the leg, but it is best to wear them directly above the knee.
- Don't place it so high up that it cuts off your circulation but not so low that they might fall off.
- Make sure your groom knows where the garter is, so he can retrieve it easily when it comes time to toss it.
- Be sure not to place the garter too high and risk flashing the entire wedding party!
The bride placing her garter just above the knee.
If a bride chooses to buy a bridal garter set, she wears both garters on her wedding day. However, one of the garters she will give up for the toss and the other she can keep as a momento of her special day.
As you can see, the bridal garter is an important component of the bridal tradition. It is a traditional bridal accessory, an important ceremony and a romantic keepsake of the wedding day. And don't forget, the blue bridal garter is a good choice as this will also serve as the something blue to bring lots of luck. And what couple wouldn’t want all the luck they can possibly have on their special day?