The wedding garter – making a re-emergence?

posted on 22 August 2011 by The Tie The Knot Team
posted to Wedding Tips & Advice

The wedding garter

There are whole companies devoted to supplying wedding garters on the internet, so whilst this frilly little something may have fallen off the modern bride’s list of essentials for a successful wedding, the bit around the thigh that so titillates the minds of men is making a serious re-emergence.

Traditionally the garter was used to hold up stockings, before the advent of elastic. For those who don’t know, it’s a narrow band of material around the thigh, or just below the knee in the case of socks, and usually adorned with ribbons or even bells.

The tradition for the bride to wear a garter to her wedding is European and involves the groom removing his new wife’s garter, somewhere around the end of the reception (the implied ‘de-flowering’ the reason why some modern brides have chosen to ignore this tradition). Be thankful we no longer live in the Middle Ages when it was tradition for the groom’s men to rush at the new bride, removing her garters as a prize.

But many brides are returning to the original idea and emphasise the ‘fun’ aspect of the garter’s removal, particularly when the groom tosses it amongst his single friends. It’s the male equivalent of the bride’s bouquet, if she chooses to throw hers at all.

If you are going the garter route but like the idea of having yours as a keepsake, you could join the contemporary tradition of wearing two, one to keep and the other to throw (they’re commonly known as a garter set). And there are so many different varieties of garter to choose from – be-ribboned, be-smocked, in different colours, materials, with or without decoration – that the choice is yours. See Etsy.com for some gorgeous designs!

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