Being an event planner, I get to hear about and execute unbelievable weddings. The cool part is, I learn something new each and every time. And, every so often, I get to research a custom that I don’t know a lot about. From ethnic traditions, dating back centuries, to current trends with a hip and chic feel.
Recently I was talking with a bride and she mentioned that she wasn’t very happy about doing the traditional garter “ceremony” and toss. But, she did want to do the bouquet toss. Puzzled by her decision, but respecting it none-the-less, we took that out of her timeline. However, we couldn’t help but ask her why. So, she proceeded to tell us why she came to this decision. After hysterically laughing by her answer, I had to do a little research myself. So, here’s what I found out….
Tossing the wedding garter is an old time held tradition. It is said that in the days gone past, the bride and groom had to show proof of their wedding consummation. 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. 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. (Thank you to Wedding Wire for this information.)
So, flash forward, and this has become a humerous, sometimes tacky, always enjoyed toss of the garter to all those single men out there by the groom himself. Remember that this is supposed to be something fun so if it’s not for you, it’s not necessary.
And, if you want to know about the bouquet toss… The practice of the tossing the bridal bouquet is believed to go back to the 14th century, particularly in early French tradition. It was considered good luck to get a bit of the brides’ dress, clothing or undergarments, sometimes tearing the wedding dress apart before the bride left the celebration. To avoid getting hurt or attacked by the drunken men, this tradition was slowly faded out and the brides started throwing something to them, namely the garter or a bouquet of flowers. And, thanks to FavorFavor we have learned more about the history of the start of a bouquet. Started centuries ago, brides traditionally carried with them aromatic bunches of garlic, fruit blossoms, herbs, and grains to drive away evil spirits and symbolize prosperity. Over the years, the herbs and grains were replaced by flowers, a sign of happiness that represented fertility and everlasting love.
It’s so much fun to learn about these traditions over time. I’m sure there will be a lot more to discover!