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Wedding Garter Which Leg: Tips for Your Special Tradition

wedding garter

When it comes to weddings, there are many traditional elements that couples may choose to incorporate into their special day. One of these traditions is the wedding garter, which has been a symbol of good luck, fertility, and love for centuries. However, there is often confusion about which leg the garter should be worn on, leading many brides to wonder if they are following the tradition correctly.

In this article, we will explore the history and significance of the wedding garter tradition, provide tips on choosing the right garter, and answer the question of which leg the garter should be worn on. Whether you are a bride-to-be or simply curious about wedding customs, read on to discover everything you need to know about the wedding garter tradition.

Key Takeaways:

  • The wedding garter has been a traditional bridal accessory for centuries.
  • The garter is worn on the bride’s leg and may be tossed during the wedding reception.
  • Choosing the right garter involves considering factors such as style, material, and personalization options.
  • The garter should be worn on the bride’s right leg, according to tradition.
  • Alternative options are available for couples who do not wish to follow the traditional garter tradition.

The History of Wedding Garters

The tradition of wedding garters dates back to the 14th century, an era when it was believed that owning a piece of the bride’s clothing brought good luck. As a result, guests would often rush to grab a piece of her dress after the ceremony. To avoid being disrobed, brides began to offer a more accessible item: the garter.

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Over time, the garter became more than just a means of warding off overeager guests. It also served as a symbol of the bride’s virginity and was often removed by the groom himself. This ritual evolved into the tradition of the garter toss, where the groom would throw the garter to the unmarried male guests, much like the bouquet toss for female guests.

Today, the wedding garter remains a popular bridal accessory, often made from lace and accented with beads, crystals, or other embellishments. It is typically worn on the bride’s upper thigh, hidden beneath her wedding dress, and removed by the groom during the reception.

The Significance of the Garter Tradition

The garter tradition is a long-standing wedding tradition that adds excitement and entertainment to the wedding reception. The tradition involves the groom removing the garter from the bride’s leg and tossing it to the single men in attendance. It is said that the man who catches the garter will be the next to get married.

The garter tradition is believed to have originated in the Middle Ages when it was considered lucky to own a piece of the bride’s clothing. In those times, guests would even go as far as tearing the bride’s dress to pieces to get a souvenir. To prevent this, brides began throwing their garters instead, and the tradition of removing and tossing the garter was born.

Choosing the Right Garter

When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding garter, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, the garter should complement the overall bridal attire. This means taking into account the style of the dress, shoes, and any other accessories that will be worn on the day.

Material is another important consideration. Garters can be made from a variety of fabrics, including lace, satin, and silk. It’s crucial to choose a material that feels comfortable against the skin and won’t cause any irritation or discomfort throughout the day.

Personalization options are also available for those looking to add a unique touch to their garter. This can include embroidery with the bride and groom’s initials or wedding date, or even incorporating a piece of family heirloom or sentimental fabric into the design.

Ultimately, the perfect garter should reflect the bride’s personal style and enhance the overall wedding day look.

Garter Placement: Which Leg is Tradition?

One of the most common questions about the wedding garter tradition is which leg the garter should be worn on. The answer is that the garter is typically worn on the right leg.

This tradition dates back to medieval times when it was believed that the bride’s right leg was a symbol of good luck. Additionally, the right leg was considered the stronger and more dominant leg, making it easier to lift the heavy wedding dress and remove the garter during the reception.

While the majority of couples follow this tradition, there are some who prefer to wear the garter on the left leg or even alternate legs. Ultimately, the decision is up to the bride and groom and what feels most comfortable for them.

Tips for Wearing the Wedding Garter

Wearing a wedding garter on the leg can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re not used to wearing one. Here are some tips to help you wear your wedding garter comfortably, securely, and with confidence:

  1. Choose the right size: Make sure to measure your thigh before purchasing a wedding garter to ensure a perfect fit on your leg. The garter should be snug but not too tight, preventing it from slipping down during the day.
  2. Adjust the garter accordingly: Once you’ve put on the garter, adjust it to sit comfortably on your thigh. The placement should be high enough to be hidden by your dress but low enough to be accessible for the garter toss later on.
  3. Use fabric tape: If you’re worried about the garter slipping down, consider using fabric tape to keep it in place. Simply tape the garter to your thigh for added security.
  4. Showcase the garter discreetly: During the garter toss, lift your dress just enough to show the garter without revealing too much. Practice beforehand to ensure a seamless and graceful reveal.
  5. Personalize your garter: Add a special touch to your wedding garter by personalizing it with your names, wedding date, or special charms. This will make it even more meaningful as a treasured keepsake.

The Tradition of Keeping the Garter as a Keepsake

The wedding garter is not only a beautiful accessory for the bride, but it can also serve as a treasured keepsake after the wedding day. Many brides choose to keep their garter as a symbol of the special occasion, and there are several ways to preserve and display this sentimental item.

One option is to store the garter in a safe and dry place, such as a memory box or a jewelry case. This will help to protect it from any damage or wear over time. Brides may also choose to frame their garter, along with other wedding keepsakes, to create a beautiful display piece for their home.

Another popular way to keep the garter as a keepsake is to incorporate it into future traditions or events. For example, some brides choose to wear their garter as a good luck charm when attending friends’ weddings or when celebrating special milestones in their own relationship.

Modern Twists on the Garter Tradition

While the garter tradition has been around for centuries, there are ways to add a modern twist to the timeless tradition. Couples can personalize their garters with their names, wedding date, or even their favorite sports team. This adds a unique touch to the wedding ceremony and makes the garter a special and meaningful accessory.

Another modern twist on the garter tradition is to incorporate it into a themed wedding. For example, if the wedding has a vintage or retro theme, the bride could wear a garter with a vintage-inspired design. For a beach wedding, a garter with a seashell or starfish charm could be a perfect fit. The possibilities are endless, and couples can let their creativity run wild.

Alternative Ways to Incorporate the Garter

While the traditional garter toss may not be for everyone, there are alternative ways to incorporate the garter into the wedding celebration. Some couples choose to have a private garter ceremony before the wedding, where the bride and groom exchange garters as a symbol of their love and commitment.

Another way to incorporate the garter is to have a garter dance. This is similar to the traditional garter toss but instead of tossing the garter, the bride and groom dance to a special song while the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg. This is a fun and entertaining way to involve guests in the celebration.

Garters for Non-Traditional Weddings

While the wedding garter tradition is a cherished part of many weddings, it may not be the right fit for every couple or ceremony. Luckily, there are various alternative options to consider that allow couples to incorporate the garter concept into their wedding day in a unique and customized way.

One option is to create a personalized garter that represents the couple’s shared interests or hobbies. For example, a couple who loves traveling could incorporate a small map or compass into the design of their garter.

Couples can also opt to wear the garter on a different part of the body, such as the wrist, ankle, or even as a headband. This allows for a non-traditional twist on the garter tradition while still embracing its symbolic significance.

For non-traditional weddings that still want to incorporate the garter toss, couples can choose to switch up the roles and have the groom wear the garter instead of the bride. This adds a fun and unique element to the tradition while still maintaining its essence.

Ultimately, the garter tradition should be a reflection of the couple’s personal preferences and style. Whether they choose to follow the traditional route or opt for a non-traditional approach, the garter remains a timeless bridal accessory that can be cherished for years to come.


The wedding garter tradition is a timeless and cherished aspect of any wedding celebration. From choosing the right garter to deciding which leg to wear it on, there are several factors to consider when it comes to this bridal accessory.

Whether following the traditional garter toss or adding a modern twist to the tradition, there are endless ways to incorporate the garter into the wedding day. The garter also serves as a sentimental keepsake that can be cherished for years to come.

As couples plan their weddings, it’s important to remember the significance of these timeless traditions and how they can add a special touch to the celebration. By considering the various factors involved in the garter tradition and personalizing it to fit their own unique style, couples can create a cherished memory that will last a lifetime.

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