Why do Brides Wear Wedding Garters?

Many centuries ago, when folklore was more ‘law’ than myth, it was believed to be good luck to retrieve part of the bride’s wedding dress, resulting in wedding guests essentially attacking the bride to get their hands on some of the material. Poor bride. Poor dress!

So, savvy brides started wearing something they could easily remove to give to the wedding guests, thus the tradition of the wedding garter was born. Though you do have to wonder how they divvied up one small garter between the whole wedding party? Either way, this meant the bride managed to escape unscathed and keep her dress intact, so everyone was happy, and lucky (apparently).

From around the same period, another belief was that the garter symbolised the consummation of the marriage, the garter would be taken by the bride’s friends or family as proof of consummation. Though this begs the question, how was this proof? Anyway, we digress, the point is that many moons ago the garter had a purpose steeped in myths and beliefs that are not relevant these days, so why is the garter still a ‘thing’? Simply put, it’s tradition! And it can also be a lot of fun on the wedding day with inventive couples constantly coming up with funny new ways to remove the garter or even horrify the groom by getting him to remove it whilst blindfolded….from his best friends leg.

The point is, garters are here to stay, but let’s find out a little more about one of the oldest wedding traditions going strong today and why it is a pivotal part of the bride’s wedding lingerie.

What Is a Garter?

If you have been wondering ‘what are garters?’, are they different to garter belts? and what is the point in them?, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Traditionally, garters were worn in high society by both men and women to hold up their stockings or socks. They were made of materials such as wool, silk, or leather and served as both a fashion and function accessory. Of course, with modern manufacturing processes, garters are no longer required to hold up socks or stockings. Men, of course, don’t wear them anymore and women typically opt for an adhesive top stocking or go ultra-sexy in a suspender belt set to support their hold-ups (more on those later).

What is the Difference Between a Garter and a Garter Belt?

Whilst a leg garter serves the same purpose as a garter belt, they are very different. Garter belts are worn around the waist with suspender attachments that hook onto stockings to hold them up, whilst leg garters served the same purpose in medieval and Elizabethan times but tightened around the thighs of both men and women. Garter belts are still a much-loved undergarment but arguably more for the bedroom than as a practical clothing item, whilst leg garters are no longer used as a functional clothing item and are more of a tradition or novelty piece.

How to Wear Garters

Wear your garter or garters on your chosen leg just above the knee. We recommend this spot for a few reasons:

  1. It is less likely to rub against your other leg and annoy you
  2. Your knee will prevent it from slipping down
  3. It won’t dig in on this narrower part of your thigh
  4. You won’t accidentally flash your wedding guests ‘other aspects’ of your bridal lingerie set when the time comes for the groom to remove it – grandad really doesn’t want to see your wedding night lingerie, so wearing the garter a little lower is a safe bet!

If you’re still unsure of how to wear a garter, just try it in a few different spots and see where feels comfiest.

Which Leg Does the Garter Go On?

You can wear your garter on whichever leg you like, there are no rules. Some brides opt for two garters, one to keep and one to toss, if you want to do this you can wear both on the same leg or one on each. There are no hard and fast rules, just do what works for you!

What is a Garter Toss?

Once the groom has removed the garter from the bride’s leg, then comes the garter toss. And the entire male wedding party runs for the hills! The garter toss is essentially the male version of the bouquet toss, the groom tosses the garter and whichever Batchelor catches it will, as legend has it, be the next to marry. Or to join their local cricket team, it’s one of the two we can’t be certain which.

Finding the Perfect Sexy Bridal Lingerie to Compliment Your Garter?

Finding the type of lingerie that pairs perfectly with your wedding dress can be quite a daunting task. If your dress is strapless, backless, sheer, or even a two-piece skirt and top, how do you find the perfect white bridal lingerie to wear under your dress? And then you have to match it to a garter? Oh Lord, send help! Well don’t worry, your Ann Summers experts are here.

We would suggest you choose your bridal lingerie first and then pick a garter, especially if it’s important to you that they match one another. Remember that the lingerie set is going to take centre stage on your wedding night. Once your new spouse has seen you in your lingerie, the garter will likely be a distant memory, so make this your priority.

If you have found the perfect erotic bridal lingerie that is guaranteed to start your married life with the biggest of bangs, but it doesn’t work under your wedding dress, do not fret! Yes, in the movies the bride swiftly and effortlessly slips her wedding dress down to reveal a sensational set that immediately has her partners eyes popping out of the sockets, but you didn’t see that gorgeous white basque under her backless wedding dress in the previous scene, did you? No, the reality is often different, and this is where Chief Bridesmaid earns her title.

Simply say your goodbyes to the wedding guests at the end of the night and prepare Cheify to start what we like to call: Operation Consummation. Just as you will have needed help into your wedding dress, you’ll also need help getting out of it, and possibly into your second most beautiful outfit of the day – your bridal lingerie. Let your other half know they are to stay put for a while whilst you and your bestie disappear to get you into your bedroom wear.

And, if you need more inspiration when choosing your bridal lingerie, read How to Choose Your Bridal Lingerie here.

Storing Your Garter After the Big Day

If you opted for one to toss and one to keep, make sure you store your garter in a dust-proof bag in its original box, in a cool and dry area. You might want to bring it out from time to time to make sure no pesky moths have gotten at it. You never know, one day you could be handing it down to your own daughter for her to wear as her ‘something borrowed’ on her special day. We’re not crying, you are.