Ixnay on the Garter Toss

Travis and I have reached a decision about our wedding reception that bucks tradition. We will not have a garter or bouquet toss.

Garter toss - I think Ill pass

Garter toss - I think I'll pass

I’ve never been a fan of the garter toss mostly because I think it is in bad taste. The sweaty, drunk groom clamors underneath the wedding gown while the DJ plays nasty, raunchy music. Then he struggles out from under the dress and throws the garter to a group of waiting bachelors who treat the garter like a prize piece of the bride. No thanks.

Maybe it is the Puritan in me or the feminist, but I have no interest in having a piece of my lingerie thrown to a mob of young bachelors.

On the opposite side, I’ve never had a problem with the bouquet toss, but it seems out of balance to do one and not the other.

I know we aren’t the only ones not to do a garter toss. Our friends Joe and Carrie got married a few weeks ago and Joe flat out refused to do the garter toss. Our friends Rachel and Caleb didn’t do one either.

I was a little curious as to why the garter toss even exists so I did a little research. Here’s what HCCGarters.com has to say:

“Tossing the wedding garter is an old tradition.  It is said that in the days of old the bride and groom had to consummate their marriage.  But in order for it to be proven it was common tradition to have people like family and friends come into the room with the couple to witness it.  The “witnesses” would obtain the garter as “proof” of the consummation.   Also having any article of the under garments was considered to be good luck so sometimes things would get out of hand in the newly wed’s bedroom as crazed onlookers snatched at clothing to get for good luck.  This was not appreciated much by the bride nor many grooms, hence the groom started tossing the garter out so that no one would need to obtain it themselves.

Because of modesty, this tradition has been modified and moved from the bedroom to the reception.   Now today we have the traditional garter toss, which is meant to bring good luck to the man who catches it.  He is said to be the next one to marry.  In some cultures the men stand and wait for the garter to be tossed.  Other cultures they actually compete for it.  The men may compete for the garter in a foot race or by horse (this is a medieval practice).  At least it is better than having the men chase the bride and put her upside down to get the garter off… This is what used to happen!  In yet other places, they even auction the garter off.  As strange as these twists on the wedding garter tradition may sound they are all just traditions.  Take’ em or leave’ em.”

Gross! Leave them, thanks.

I have to say that as a wedding guest I’ve never really enjoyed either of these events. Didn’t enjoy the garter toss for the aforementioned reasons. The bouquet toss was always a reminder of how painfully single I was and I never enjoyed being called out on the dance floor.

I found some great ideas about alternatives to the garter toss at Wedding Bee (love that site BTW). Perhaps, we will use one of these ideas. Anyone have some recommendations or ideas?

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6 thoughts on “Ixnay on the Garter Toss

  1. Alexia Bratiotis says:

    I love this post! Jenny – you kill me! I am SO relieved that we won’t be doing the tosses – espcially the bouquet toss as there is a high likelihood that I will be the only single woman at your wedding and that would just be awkward. Like the scene in Picture Perfect when Jennifer Anniston’s character is the only one out on the floor for the toss and she says “Oh, just give me the damn thing.”

  2. jdurnan says:

    I like the women who go out to catch the bouquet and let it fall right in front of them. I also hate when kids go out for the tosses and catch the bouquet or garter. It just gets on my nerves.

  3. Gee says:

    Hear, hear re. garter thing…urgh way too embarrassing and weird! Haven’t really thought about what we’re going to do with bouquet toss…


  4. Cindy - The Wedding Planner! :0) says:

    You are a wise woman! confession… I always cringe when clients say “yes” they want to include the garter & bouquet toss b/c 9 times out of 10 the participants other than the B&G are awkward and uncomfortable. But, I don’t say anything because it is “tradition”. I honestly don’t really know who enjoys it – except maybe when there are a bunch of frat boys at the wedding lol. And when the kids get in the mix – oh its just not good, way too many awkward moments there. So, on my checklist – “no bouquet and garter toss for jenny & travis” … yeah!! Finding something and creative that is more “you” is a much better idea!

  5. Moderne says:

    Not a fan either (despite owning so many garters -for private use of course!) But I think cake smashing in the bride’s face is the worse! I am easy going but I think having cake intentionally smashed in my face on my big day is grounds for divorce!!! 😉
    Also I think some cultures publicly display blood stained sheets after the bride and groom’s first romp in the sheets! I would be mortified

    Not a fan of such tradition (I even walked down the isle alone – I don’t live with my dad, so no need to be given away) I think I am too modern for my own good

  6. thedurttybride says:

    Ugggh. Blood stained sheets! Ga-ross.

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