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History Behind the Tradition of Garter Toss

History Behind the Tradition of Garter Toss
You must be aware of the garter throwing tradition followed at weddings. Do you know where it comes from? Know all about the origin and history of this interesting tradition, in this Wedessence article.
Buzzle Staff
What a rip off!
In the 14th Century Europe, it was believed that a bride's clothing brings good luck. This fascination went to a weird level as people literally started ripping pieces off the bride's dress after the wedding!
There are numerous wedding traditions. Some of them are touching, some interesting, some funny, and some totally weird. You must be aware of the bouquet tradition, wherein it is said that the maiden who catches the bride's bouquet will be the next one to get married.
But, do you know about the garter toss? It is a fun custom followed at weddings since many centuries. We try to decipher more about the history of this entertaining, albeit slightly awkward custom.
Garter Toss
A garter is basically a fabric band worn above the knee to hold the stockings. These were very famous earlier, but now are not as such a necessity since stockings come with elastic. But they are still worn as a fashion accessory.

Most brides wear a garter on their wedding day. In fact, some of them wear two: one for tossing at the men and the other as a honeymoon keepsake. The garter can have lot of sentimental value if it is passed down the family through generations or if it is made out of a special fabric.

The groom removes the bride's garter and tosses it over to the men. To make the tradition a little more entertaining (and awkward for the couple!), the groom is asked to remove the garter with his teeth.

According to this tradition, the man who catches the bride's garter will be the next one to marry. Sometimes, the "bouquet girl" and the "garter man" are teased as the future couple.
Where did this tradition start from? Actually, the ripping of the bride's clothes was a conducive factor, but there were many more reasons. This practice has a lot of symbolic importance too.

Garter toss is assumed to be the oldest wedding custom. During the Middle Ages, bridal clothes had a lot of importance. Even a piece of her dress was considered to bring good luck. Thus, this tradition began.

Earlier, the bride used to throw the garter at the men. Sometimes the men used to get over-excited and this caused lot of discomfort to the bride. Hence, the groom started removing the garter from his wife's thigh, and tossed it to the men.

Usually, this ceremony is done after the bouquet toss. Sometimes, the lady who caught the bouquet and the gentleman who caught the garter are asked to dance together.
Symbolic Meaning of the Wedding Garter
The garter also symbolized the virginity and innocence of the bride, and removing the garter had special importance back then. It stood for consummation, fulfillment, and progeny.

The couple may give a lot of thought in choosing a special garter and preserve it forever. The bride may decide to surprise the husband with something unique or quirky as well.
Is it still popular?
Like most traditions, this tradition is dwindling away, and is hardly seen in just 50% weddings. Though some couples like to include this custom in their wedding ceremony, others give it a miss, and spend more time on the dance floor.

There are some who feel it is totally unnecessary and a little awkward. Having this fun tradition is a good idea if you have a lot of single guests at the wedding. It also gives a chance for the singles to interact.
So what do you think? Is this a fun or a silly practice? Did you or will you do it at your wedding? Do share your experiences and opinions with us.