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Garter Toss

Garter tossing is a very interesting and fun event at a wedding reception. The bride and groom take part in this traditional event with much ado and laughter. There might be variations in the way in which the garter is obtained, relying on different family conventions.

There are several interesting theories about the way in which the garter toss tradition came into being. Apparently in 14th century France, it was considered lucky to get a fragment of the bride’s clothing. They would grab at her dress and literally tear pieces off. Not liking this, brides started throwing personal articles, for example the garter, stocking, bouquet, etc, to the guests to appease them.

Later, it became the best man’s job to acquire the garter and hand out pieces of it to the guests. Again not liking to be manhandled, brides permitted one garter to dangle loosely, making it easy to reach and remove.

Another theory suggests that the garter practice was related to consummating the wedding. In medieval times, guests would go with the newlyweds to the bridal chamber to witness the consummation. The garter was taken as verification. Allegedly, this was often pretty rowdy and individuals sometimes got wounded, so to get round this situation, the groom would toss the bride’s garter to the men to distract them as he whisked his new bride away. Over time, the practice changed, but the garter was (and is) still a good luck prize.

Nowadays, the groom will usually make a big show of removing the garter before tossing it to the single men, thus a raunchy song is often selected for the garter removal and toss. Often, the guy who gets the garter will dance with the woman who catches the bouquet, commencing the following round of dancing. Both the bouquet and garter tossing are among the most excitedly awaited events in the wedding celebration, and people just can’t help but become excited over these activities.

Susan Todd writes about wedding dance songs that couples can play on their wedding day’s first dance and throughout the father-daughter and mother-son dances in a wedding. Her website contains many wedding songs and dance reviews alongside information on the different activities that happen in a wedding party, including the wedding garter toss.


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