The wedding garter is said to be one of the oldest wedding traditions, dating back to the Dark Ages. After the wedding festivities, guests would accompany the Bride and Groom up to their bedroom to ensure that they arrived safely and to wish them well. It was considered good luck for guests to take home a little piece of the Brides clothing.
The garter, which in those days was used to hold up a woman’s stockings, would get tossed and it was considered good luck for whoever caught it. Whoever caught the garter was the next to be married. And in those days, I guess you couldn’t leave anything to chance!
Over the years, the garter itself has evolved in form and function. Garters were worn by men and women to hold up their socks. As the hemlines got shorter, women began wearing garter belts around their waists so their stockings would stay up discretely.
Since the invention of elastic and pantyhose in the 1960s, ladies (and men) didn’t really need to use garters or garter belts to help them hold up their socks anymore. But still, wearing a wedding garter and the garter toss ritual at receptions has remained a part of many modern weddings.
So, if you flaunt it, toss it, or keep it as your little secret – remember that wearing a garter on your wedding day is like wearing a little piece of history!
Jessica at Gosfield Hall