I Don't: Garter Toss

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We share why the garter toss is an I DON’T in our new series: I Do/ I Don’t, where we split the pros and cons between the hottest wedding trends.

Time for the flip side: tossing the garter is a tradition that should be tossed. Perhaps we’re old fashioned, but the idea of the darling groom crawling up our thigh in front of our nearest, dearest, great aunt once removed, co-workers and Dad’s golf buddies doesn’t scream wedded romance.

The tradition of the garter toss and retrieval dates back to the Dark Ages, and that’s where they should stay. It’s uncomfortable for the bride, who has a ballroom full of eyeballs on her. And it’s even more uncomfortable for the groom, who no matter how many glasses of champagne he’s had, must face the fact that he’s crawling under the bride’s dress in front of his brand new father in law. And it’s uncomfortable for guests who may be conservative, religious, wee ones, or generally opposed to public insinuations of virginity removal.

Moreover, this awkward tradition takes time away from dancing, mixing and mingling with your guests! If you’re more concerned with the guests feeling that the garter toss is missing, there are several ways to substitute this tradition with garter toss alternatives that let you keep your lingerie on your person.

One idea we love is the Anniversary Dance. Invite all the married couples in attendance to the floor for a dance, and have your DJ or emcee slowly eliminate couples by asking those married less than 6 months to sit. They’ll work their way through 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, etc., until you’re left with one dancing couple – likely married for decades! The long time lovebirds left standing can then offer their best marriage advice before receiving the bride’s bouquet.

If you’d still like to toss your bouquet – and just eliminate the garter toss – go for it! It’s your wedding, and it’s very unlikely that no one will miss the garter toss. If you still feel that tradition will be lopsided without a reciprocal somethin’ somethin’ for the guys, take a cue from this brilliant bride.

From WeddingBee Bride teeleaf22    June 11, 2010   Milford, PA (wedding in Easton, PA):

“We did a break away bouquet and tossed to all women not just the single ladies, we had six blooms, each had a fortune attached and one was a winner to a Sephora gift card, we tossed one garter, all men stood up and there a Best Buy gift card attached. we did not have the guy put garter on the lady. Everyone got involved and loved that it wasn’t only single people.”

Throwing a Sephora gift card in the mix might not reduce heightened competition for the bouquet toss (although the added drama might be just what you’re looking for!) But the guys are much more likely to catch the garter with a gift card attached to the alternative meaning.

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