Today we’re talking about the wedding garter and seven surprising things you didn’t know about it. The wedding garter dates back to the 14th century and its origin and tradition was much different than it is today.

The Wedding Garter

1. The wedding garter toss is said to be one of the oldest wedding traditions.

The tradition dates back to the 14th century in Europe when wedding guests used to think the bride’s dress was good luck. In a most ridiculous way, guests would start yanking at fabric pieces from her dress to keep pieces of ‘good luck’ and, in her defense, the bride would throw things at them, one of these things being her garter. Hence, the tradition was born. Luckily, guests no longer pull at the bride’s dress — considering that some dresses today cost more than a car.

2. The bridal party used to participate in a strange version of the garter toss.

Oddly enough, in the Dark Ages the bridal party would actually wait outside the wedded couple’s bedroom after the ceremony and, when the bride removed the garter, the bridal party would take turns throwing the garter at the groom. Whomever hit the groom’s nose with the garter was deemed the next to marry.

3. Traditionally, the garter is worn on the right leg.

However, you can wear is on either leg, whichever is most comfortable.

4. If the bride decides to wear a toss garter…

… it is worn underneath the bridal garter. This makes it easy for tossing during the reception. The bridal garter is removed later during the honeymoon night.

5. The groom tosses the garter to unmarried men…

… and the one who catches it is said to marry next. The man who catches the garter also shares a dance with the woman who catches the bride’s bouquet. In centuries past, the man who caught the garter was said to wear the garter on his hat until he met a woman whom he loved, to which he would gift the garter as good luck. Today? The man who catches the garter tends to drink, dance, and wear the garter around his head like a makeshift headband.

6. The garter has once been known as a ‘survival tool’.

Guests believed accessories by the bride, (fabric from her dress, stockings, her garter), possessed good luck from the bride on her wedding day. While being rushed to the altar, (while guests stampede behind to grab some good luck), the bride would toss the garter to the mob to prevent being trampled!

7. The most popular way to possess “something blue” is with a blue garter.

..and there you go!