Bridal Garter - The History Behind The Tradition

Bride putting on a garter on her wedding day

The bridal garter is a time-honoured tradition at weddings. It’s the sexy piece of lingerie that a bride wears under her wedding dress. In modern days, the bridal garter is removed by the groom at the wedding, either with his hands or his teeth and tossed into the crowd of eligible bachelors anxiously waiting to catch it. As the tradition goes, the lucky bachelor who catches the bridal garter is next in line to get married. It’s essentially the equivalent to the bride’s bouquet toss. So, what is the history behind the famous wedding garter?

Bridal garters were thought to be tokens of good luck in the Middle Ages. It also represented the “deflowering” of the bride. According to Carl Holliday, the author of “Wedding Customs Then and Now,” the English tradition goes that after the wedding reception, the bridesmaids would walk the bride to the wedding chamber where they would cry “get her garter.” It was customary for some male guests to obtain a piece of this bridal ribbon. A bride with foresight would fasten the bridal garter loosely on the bottom of her dress in plain sight to avoid her dress getting ruined.

Love it or hate it, the bridal garter tradition has lasted the test of time. Although the way the tradition is carried out has changed over the years, it’s still a fun part of the wedding ceremony, isn’t it?


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