Know Everything about The Tradition and History of The Bridal Garter

Weddings are undoubtedly one of the essential occasions of anybody’s life. It is no wonder that cultures throughout the world have fascinating rituals related to this important day.

The bridal garter has been one standard ritual practice in European and American weddings for centuries.

This ritual is a critical tradition in Christian marriages.

But it brings us to the question, what exactly is the bridal garter, and what is its story?

The history and meaning of bridal garter

Most historians state that the origin of the garter dates back to 14th-century France. The wedding has a bit of a controversial meaning.

In the late Middle Ages, the bride and the groom had to show proof of consummating their marriage on the wedding night.

That was considered a mandatory tradition, and friends and family would remain in the room until they could procure the bridal garter as the said proof.

Moreover, it was also believed that obtaining a piece of clothing from the bride’s attire was good luck for the guests, at least the male ones, as this meant they would get married soon.

There existed, therefore, a tradition of tearing the bride’s clothing and taking a piece of it. Throwing the garter became an alternative to this for the bride, and they were able to save their unique wedding dress.

That is why the place where we wear this garter is of particular significance.

Back in the day, it was not standard practice for women to reveal their thighs to someone other than their husband, and it was considered an intimate area and thus was a suitable place for the symbolism.

Later on, as this tradition spread throughout Europe and America, several cultures found it uncomfortable to procure the garter during the wedding night.

Therefore it became a part of the reception ceremony instead.

Tossing of wedding items by the bride, such as a part of the dress, bouquet, handkerchief, etc., is considered to be good luck.

How to wear a bridal garter?

Bridal Garter
Bridal Garter

A bridal garter is an embroidered and decorated belt worn around the thigh of the bride. Ideally, its placement is slightly above the right knee.

The mother of the bride purchases the garter. The bride’s mother has to give orders and procure the belt if it is custom-made.

After this, she and the other female family members of the bride are supposed to help the bride tie the garter to her thigh. Since it is like a belt, it can usually be worn using buckles or string ties.

‘Garter placement’, however, often gets confused with this procedure. This term does not mean the placement of the garter on the thigh of the bride.

It is an entirely different part of the ceremony, where the bouquet winner has to tie the wedding garter on the arm of the groomsman who won the toss.

Typically, wearing the wedding daughter before the wedding ceremony is a standard part of the entire wedding outfit for the bride.

What is the purpose of a bridal garter at a wedding?

The bridal garter remains on the bride’s right leg until the other ceremonies are over. The garter toss happens even after the bride has tossed her bouquet to her bridesmaids.

It is then that the groom kneels on one knee and tiles the garter belt from the leg of the bride.

Some people do it with their hands while others insist that this ceremony must be done by the groom using their teeth.

After the garter has been untied, the groom tosses garter towards the groomsmen, and one of them catches it and is declared the winner.

What does the bridal garter belt symbolize?

Bridal Garter
Bridal Garter

Good luck to the bride and groom

Tossing the bridal garters symbolizes good luck for the bride and the groom. It is considered a blessing for an everlasting and joyful marriage.

It is supposed to be a celebration, usually including music, dancing, laughter, and fun.

Good luck to all friends and family

Tossing the garden is also a symbol of good luck for all friends and family present. The tossing of the bouquet is usually considered a beautiful event which is good luck to witness by the ladies.

The male equivalent of this tradition lies in the wedding garter-tossing ceremony.

Conjugal harmony

The wedding has always represented matrimonial harmony and joy from the beginning.

Even now, it symbolizes compatibility, great intimate memories, and romantic joy that the bride and the groom will carry over to their married lives.

Marriage for the groomsmen

The most anyone can gain from this bridal garter tossing ceremony is the winning groomsman.

That is because the groomsman who catches the garter belt is believed to be the next in line for marriage. Some families tend to ship the winner of the book. And the winner of the garter together for the rest of the day.

Divine blessings for consummation

Earlier, marriage was considered divine permission for a sensual alliance.

These days this ceremony is taken as a heavenly blessing for the coming life of the bride and groom, no matter how they define the term family. In this ceremony, it is believed that the heavens bless them.

Love and commitment

Most importantly, the wedding garden symbolizes the love and commitment the bride and groom hold for each other.

It involves a responsibility not only in the physical but also in the emotional and spiritual sense. It is precisely why this particular wedding garter ceremony has such importance among engaged couples.


Who buys the garter?

The wedding garter has to be bought by the mother of the bride.

Do brides still wear garters?

Wearing wedding garters is still standard practice at most American weddings. Hence most brides continue to wear wedding garters.

How much does a garter cost?

The cost of the wedding garter is anywhere between 20 USD to 75 USD.

What leg is the garter worn on?

The bride wears the wedding garter on her right leg.

Do you have to toss your garter?

As a bride, you do not have to toss your garter. However, your groom will take off the garden from your right leg and throw it to the group of groomsmen.

Why do grooms take off the garter?

Earlier grooms taking off the garter symbolized a happy marriage with marital bliss. Today it is considered a symbol of love and commitment.


The bridal garter is an important tradition and also a fun one. It is not something only heterosexual marriages can do; friends and families have claimed that wedding ceremonies with garter and bouquet toss are even more fun during same-sex weddings.