Wedding Memories: The Garter Toss

The tossing the wedding garter is an time old wedding tradition. In days gone by, the bride and groom had to show proof of their wedding consummation and in order for it to be proven it was common to have people like family and friends come into the room with the couple on their wedding night. These witnesses would obtain the garter and other undergarments as “proof” of the consummation.  Seems pretty creepy now!

Wedding Traditions garter toss 3 for National Vintage Wedding Fair by Kate Beavis


Also having any article of the brides under garments was considered to be good luck and provide fertility so sometimes things would get out of hand in the newlywed’s bedroom as over-excitable onlookers snatched at the clothing. Not unsurprisingly, this was not appreciated much by the bride nor many grooms, hence the groom started tossing the garter (rather than decoration this was the only way her stockings could be held up) out so that no one would need to obtain it themselves.

Tossing the garter was reintroduced in the mid twentieth century when a brides garter would be removed from her leg by her spouse and then tossed over the shoulder to a group of single male guests. It is said that whoever catches the garter will be the next person to be married.  These days, the groom is responsible for removing the garter and tossing it at the reception. Much tamer than the early days!

The garter toss usually takes place after the bouquet toss. Sometimes the male guest who catches the garter places it on the leg of the female guest who catches the bouquet.


The bride would also have a second keepsake garter that they would keep with their wedding dress.  In America the garter toss is still a huge part of the wedding reception with new funny and cheeky ways for it to be done evolving all the time but some brides omit it because they are uncomfortable with the garter removal process which can be a bit tacky.  Grooms can remove it to music, with their teeth and in any way they see fit!  In the spirit of equality, how about a switch and take off the grooms sock garter like this fabulous vintage loving bride and groom did!!!  Are these wedding memories fun or a bit tacky?  You decide…

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Cambridge on 14th September, Harrogate on 21st September, Stoke Newington, London on 12th October or Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website –

Written by Sarah Gorlov

Follow on Bloglovin


cable and cotton

We are giving away a pastel set of 20 Cable & Cotton lights as seen in todays blog. To enter is simple:

  • Subscribe to the blog via the subscribe tab on the right or BlogLovin
  • Follow us at @yourvintagelife on Twitter
  • Tweet us @yourvintagelife and tell us why you would like to win

The winner will be drawn on Monday 15th September. Good Luck!

cable and cotton lights



Leave a Reply

End the wedding planning overwhelm and create a wedding that YOU want (not what *they* want)

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get inspo sent to your inbox every Saturday! Also get:

🖤 Free printables, playlists and screen savers

🖤 The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

🖤 A guide to creating an eco wedding

🖤 The latest BOND Bride Magazine





You have Successfully Subscribed!