Is the Garter Bouquet Toss Going Out of Style?

Is the Garter Bouquet Toss Going Out of Style?

It’s about time that we moved on from the age-old wedding bouquet toss tradition, where scared-to-be-spinsters claw at each other with all fierceness, as if this were the very last shot that they had at marriage, for sheer comic relief.

Don’t even get us started with garter tosses, as ‘removing the garter in front of grandma’ seems to be a popular reason why the tradition is unpopular among many brides today.

Wedding planners say that very few of the brides look at making bouquet or garter toss traditions a part of their weddings these days.

Then again, when you think of it, what’s a wedding without any fun traditions, and that brings us to alternate fun ideas that you could use. We decided to keep the bouquet and garter toss as part of these new traditions, so they keep the old charm.

Let us look at the garter wedding traditions first.

What is a garter for?

The wedding garter is a very important piece to the bride’s wedding day ensemble. Usually hidden underneath her gown on her thigh, this piece of fabric resembling a fancy hair tie of sorts, waits for the groom to remove it and toss it to a group of single men at the wedding reception. 

Why do women wear the garter?

Hundreds of years ago there was the superstition that taking a piece of the brides wedding dress would bring you good luck. All though receiving good luck was important for most people, attacking the bride and ripping her dress was not. That tradition soon died, and the removal of the garter tradition was born!

Do I Throw the Bouquet or Garter First?

In most wedding receptions the bride will do the bouquet toss first and then the groom will do the removal of the garter. The woman who catches the bouquet will then have to sit down and let the man who caught the garter to put on said garter on her leg.

The style of the garter is completely up to the bride and her preference! Some brides stick to the traditional white lace with blue accent and some will get super creative and put her husband’s favorite sports team on it. Anything works!


garter pose

Maybe the garter toss is not your style (totally okay most traditions are made to be broken anyways!) Here are some unique garter toss alternatives to keep the tradition alive without the actual act of removing the garter! 

Flying garter

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s just a flying garter. This wedding tradition requires some extra work on the wedding decorator’s part beforehand. But watching the balloons float magically in air, definitely makes the effort worth it.

Have the decorators blow up as many balloons as possible, hiding the garter in one of the small balloons. The small balloons are then filled into a larger balloon, or a couple of larger balloons, if one does not suffice.

The groom is handed a sharp-ended pole at the wedding, so he can burst the large balloon open. Once he does this, all the smaller balloons fall out of the bigger balloon to the ground.

You can then have the bachelors scramble around to try and find the garter in the balloons. It goes without saying that this tradition plays out best in a wedding hall where you have high-ceilings.

Anniversary dance

In this wedding tradition, you start out with all married couples on the dance floor. The DJ then filters out married couples from the dance floor based on how long they have been married, so the ones with the most number of married years behind them, are the ones that are left on the dance floor at the end.

The last couple that is left standing on the dance floor then receives a bouquet from the bride.

Of course, you could swap out the bouquet with a bottle of wine or a pair of cufflinks, if bouquets seem a little too boring for your taste!

Single woman brigade

Alternatives to the garter toss can vary, and this one is actually a wedding tradition in Finland. So, you have all the single woman at wedding gather around in a circle, and the bride stands at the very center of the circle.

The bride turns in one direction, and the other single woman follows her cue to turn the opposite way. This continues until the music comes to a stop. When it does, everyone freezes in their position and the bride’s hands out the bouquet to the single woman who stands exactly in front of her.

No clawing! No slips! We like how the Finnish do it!

Bonus: The Teddy Toss

This tradition is for the kids, and as the name suggests, the bride tosses a teddy bear into a crowd of kids.

We must warn you that this comes at the risk of broken nails and teeth, and you may want to carry out this tradition with caution, in a crowd of well-behaved kids (if there is such a thing).

On second thoughts, Adam Levine’s wedding surprise gig as in Sugar might be a good idea for a wedding tradition too, don’t you think?

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