Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Toss that Wedding Garter like You Mean it!

Ever wonder why brides wear those little lacey things underneath their dresses?  We’re talking about garters, here, of course.  What does a traditional wedding garter look like?  Why does the groom have to reach up there and grab it in front of the entire wedding party?  Why do the groomsmen get so excited to catch it?  Well, we were curious, and here’s what we found out:

Traditionally, wedding garters were colored blue to symbolize purity, fertility, and fidelity.  Now, garters come in all sorts of colors.  They’re also made from many different types of material.  If you feel like getting really fancy, lacey garters are very popular these days.

Don’t worry!  He’s just getting the wedding garter!

 Back in the Dark Ages, wedding parties tossed the bride’s garter like playing a game.  The goal was to ring the garter around the nose of one of the groomsmen, sort of like a ring toss.  The lucky groomsman who landed the garter would then gift it unto a girl of his choosing and be considered the next man to marry – similar to the tradition of the bride tossing the bouquet, eh?
So very pretty, pretty, pretty.
(If you don’t feel like parting with your gorgeous little garter, it is common for brides to wear two garters – one for tossing, one for keeping.)

Eventually, the tradition got sort of out-of-hand, and wedding parties began rushing the bride for the garter (like a stampede).  Luckily, the ferocious nature of the garter tradition has been sloughed off in modern times, and the groomsmen have once again learned to wait patiently for the tossing.

Supposedly, all this garter flinging got its roots in the 14th century with a practice called “flinging the stocking.”  In England, wedding guests would rush the bridal chamber to help disrobe the bride and groom.  (Pretty awkward, right?)  The guests would all aim to grab the bride’s left stocking, supposing it was the luckiest stocking of the two, and in the process, they often managed to undress both the bride and groom down to the teeth.  Then, they politely exited the bridal chamber, leaving the newlyweds to do their thing.

 Someone sure is excited about catching that garter!

 Of course, no one expects you to uphold these wacky traditions today, so don’t worry about it.  Please. 

1 comment:

  1. "Really interesting article, thanks!"