The History of the Wedding Garter
There are a few different thoughts about the origins of the garter toss tradition. One of the more common theories dates to the 14th century, and was a method of saving the bride's wedding dress while spreading the luck of the wedded couple to their loved ones. At that time, brides were considered very lucky on their wedding day. It was thought that if one would take something from the bride on that day, they could have a little luck for themselves as well. This did not always go well for the bride's dress, as loved ones would take pieces of it home with them, hoping to find love of their own. The garter toss was a way to change that tradition, as the garter was an article of clothing easily removed and tossed, granting one person the
luck of the day to be the next to marry.
Throughout history the garter toss has happened at different times during the wedding event, varying from being tossed at the altar immediately after the vows, or during the wedding reception as is done now, all the way to at the end of the evening, as a sign that the couple was truly married & bound to one another. Some also believed it was tossed as a distraction to the guests, so that they bride & groom could escape to their chambers alone.
Remember above all that the garter has always been seen as a token of luck from the bridal couple to their loved ones-a way to pass on some of their happiness. A couple should have as much fun with the garter toss as they are comfortable. Go crazy or keep it simple. Or you may choose to not do a toss, and keep the garter as a memento. As with everything else on this day,
it is up to you!