Your little secret?

I was lucky in that a friend with mad sewing skillz offered to make my wedding garter. She did, as I knew she would, an amazing job. I am fairly anti-toss when it comes to bouquets and undergarments, but I wouldn’t have tossed my garter even if I was a fan of the practice. Why wear one if you aren’t going to toss it? I personally liked having a little something colorful under my gown. I guess it could have been my saucy little secret, but I ended up showing it off to about half of my guests.

I would have shown these garters I found on Etsy off, too.

Now that’s femme

This piece was created from salvaged materials by Bayou Bijoux. It’s listed as a headband, but she suggests that many of her customers were them as garters.

Too sexy to toss?

Piperwan created this garter from a handmade purple and periwinkle ribbon rose. Her ribbon roses rock!

This is the place to go for garters. Seriously.

And Mia Von Mink makes all manner of garters, including custom pieces, from vintage trim, antique lace, and real pearls.

When you’re planning to wear a garter somewhere under your skirts, it may as well be a special one. You can always get a toss garter from an Amazon seller if you’re dead set on having your new spouse stick his hands up your dress in front of your whole family. Just kidding…sort of. I’ve been at weddings where teeth were used for things other than chewing cake.

If you wore a garter, did it get tossed into a crowd of unmarried menfolk? Did your new hubby remove it with his teeth?

16 Responses to “Your little secret?”

  1. KS says:

    The garter-removal tradition always struck me as being such a terribly intimate gesture to be performing in public – much less in front of your NEW IN-LAWS! And don’t even get me started on the tossing of what is essentially underwear into a crowd of random dudes. I think if I were to do a garter-toss at my wedding (which I’d obviously rather not), that thing would be around my knee, at the highest 😛

  2. K says:

    We also chose not to do a garter toss at our wedding, for all of the reasons that KS mentioned above. It’s always struck me as tacky and classless, not to mention embarassing for all parties involved. We also chose not to do a bouquet toss, as every single person at our wedding was married or thisclosetobeing married, and — really — no one ever seems to enjoy the bouquet toss anyway. I guess the lack of tossing activites was symmetrical for all sides. 😉

  3. marisa says:

    Thanks for the post, by some strange coincidence I spent almost an hour yesterday perusing ebay for garters, a little miffed bc I couldn’t find a single one that I liked…we plan do plan to toss, but I figure that if 200+ of our closest family and friends are going to see my thigh that night, I want the garter to at least look good, haha!

  4. Audrey says:

    At the wedding I photographed this weekend the bride wore not one, but two garters under her dress. One was for keeping and the other was for tossing.

  5. Dianasaur says:

    My husband wanted to toss a garter but wasn’t any more comfortable than me about taking it off me in front of everyone. My mom made my garter and made a matching one with tighter elastic for him to keep in his pocket until time to toss it. It worked out great for all of us!

  6. JaneC says:

    I wouldn’t want my groom sticking his hands–or as I’ve seen at some weddings, his head–up my skirt in front of 100 of our closest friends and relatives. Thankfully, he doesn’t want to either. No garter toss for us, and no bouquet toss either, I think (it’s 10 days away, so I guess I had better decide about that soon).

  7. Twistie says:

    We did the garter and bouquet tosses.

    I wore the garter just below my knee, and the only embarrassing or awkward thing about Mr. Twistie removing it was the fact that he didn’t warn me he was going for it and just grabbed my leg. I nearly fell over!

    Back through the mists of history, it was considered good luck to get a snippet of the happy couple’s wedding finery. This led to brides and grooms being more or less violently assaulted and stripped as they tried to leave the public festivities for more intimate ones. The bouquet and garter toss were actually created to keep things more decorous…and less likely to lead to injury.

    But because the association of luck is due to the fact the bride wore it or carried it, I considered it cheating (purely in my own brain for my own purposes) to get an extra bouquet or garter to toss. In point of fact, I made both with my own fair (nay, nearly transparently pale!) hands. And since I made all the lace for the gown, I found myself a pretty pattern for a lace wedding garter and made that, too.

    The eleven-year-old boy who caught the garter with a brilliant Air Jordan leap was immediately marched over by his mother to give it back. She seemed quite surprised when I said I wanted him to keep it. No, it wasn’t that she objected to him having an article of women’s underwear in his room. It was because she could see it was handmade and assumed I wanted it back.

    But as I told her, I can sit down and make another any time I like.

    Maybe someday I will. Who knows?

  8. Never teh Bride says:

    It always cracks me up when little ‘uns catch whatever is tossed. I’m mortified, however, when everyone makes a big show of having a young fellow put the garter on a grownup maid or a tiny lady sit still while a grownup groomsman slips the garter onto her leg*

    *This actually happened to me when I was about eight, so I can be as mortified as I like

  9. Nony Mouse says:

    There was no tossing at my wedding. We had an anniversary dance, and we gave away the garter and the bouquet to the couple that had been married longest. They were a bit surprised that I was giving away my actual bouqet, but due to travelling, there was no way I could deal with preserving it — I told her I’d rather it bring joy to someone else rather than just being thrown away, and she agreed.
    And you can be as mortified as you like. The time my hubby caught the garter, I’d given the bouquet up to a tween who was clawing at my hand (I didn’t need the symbolism at the cost of blood). Anyway, he started putting the garter on my leg (not past my knee – the same amount of skin I was showing dancing anyway), to a bit of laughter. The DJ had to put away the folding chair and turn off the bawdy-house music he was ramping up to play… he had started to pull the girl out of the crowd and was looking to catch my husband’s eye. He got mine, instead, complete with a Look. I’m told it can be remarkably quelling at times.

  10. Danielle says:

    I’m conflicted on the bouquet/garter toss situation. My cousin (who chose me as her maid of honor) had her to-be-sister-in-law make two garters: a beautiful white one to keep, and a really cute “American Indian” looking one for her husband (who is partially Native American) to remove & toss. A little boy of about 8 grabbed the garter.

    I guess I’m not necessarily opposed to the tossing of the garter…it’s just the couples that have taken the removal “process” to whole other levels that get to me. For me, a wedding is supposed to be beautiful and graceful and traditional. I’m not saying that you can’t have your own takes on tradition, not by any means. But when I think of the couples who have the groom root around up/under the bride’s skirt, my skin crawls. My grandparents will be watching…his will be watching…that’s not the impression I want to leave with people.

    All that being said, I do like the idea of dual garters & having the groom tucking one in his pocket – at least the crowd is satisfied in that they get the tossing of the garter, and I don’t have to sit on a chair & be MORTIFIED while the DJ plays “The Stripper” and my new husband is about ready to die of embarrassment (trust me – he would – he’s shy like that) underneath my skirt.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    My husband did actually pull my garter off using his teeth. However, it was very decorously placed at knee level on me so there was no tawdry dress diving done. The DJ was a friend of ours and so he played “You Can Leave Your Hat On” which was somewhat more tasteful than the stripper music as well. And the gentleman and lady that caught the garter and bouquet merely had their photograph taken holding their respective “prizes”. All and all, it was relatively tame, although we did still manage to embarrass one of my sisters in law, poor dear.

  12. Allura says:

    We did an anniversary dance as well. I didn’t wear one at all, and we ended up giving the garter to my mom’s aunt & uncle, as the longest married couple. I thought it was really sweet. Besides, the guys all HATE the garter toss. No one ever wants to catch it.

    The bouquet was an extra that the florist included. A friend caught her 2nd bouquet there. It took till the 3rd wedding before her (now) husband got the hint….

  13. KateriBella says:

    When I got married, we both wanted to do the garter/bouquet toss. I purchased two garters; the left one was to keep and the right one to toss. Since I had made my own flower arrangements, I did tuck my throwing bouquet in the back of my carry-down-the-aisle one and it looked like it belonged there. Yes, hubby did stick his head up my dress and removed said garter with his teeth, but since I have really muscular thighs, the garters only fit to just below my knees without removing any circulation. Our friends (male for the garter, female for the bouquet) must be weird — every unmarried person was in the group for the respective toss, and there was friendly fisticuffs over both items! Besides, my wedding was beautiful and traditional…but the toss happened at the reception (where we were all having a really good time–time to play!). There wasn’t much room for grandparents to see “such displays” anyway! My 17-year old sister in law caught the bouquet and our 23-year old college friend (who had been an usher) caught the garter, so there wasn’t an embarassing age difference.

  14. Veronica says:

    I think every bride should have a beautiful garter. I found this place called Coqui Lingerie and they had some beautiful ones. It’s hard to have something blue on your wedding day so I suggest the garter.

  15. La BellaDonna says:

    Heh. Danielle, re: the “beautiful, graceful and traditional”: I agree so much that I had a wedding, with all of us in period garb. I researched the traditions for the period, too, and opted out of that particular one, since at the time, the bride didn’t do a “garter toss.”

    Oh, no. Turns out that the friends of the groom WRESTLED THE BRIDE for her garters! Her garters which were TIED ON. And during said historical period, the many layers of underpinnings did not actual include knickers of any description, either. (I opted out of that one, too.)

    And per Twistie, the young ladies who attended the wedding of James Madison and Dolley Payne Todd cut his Mechlin lace-trimmed cravat to pieces as momentos of the occasion and shared them all around! Fortunately, it was after the event, and I suspect they didn’t maul him for it.

  16. Annalucia says:

    “Turns out that the friends of the groom WRESTLED THE BRIDE for her garters! Her garters which were TIED ON.”

    Ay de mi. Does this tradition date from the time when it was also the custom for guests to witness the consummation?