Garter toss?


I am getting married in a couple months and I unsure where I stand on the garter toss. A part of me thinks it would be fun and that it is generally accepted at wedding receptions. The other part of me is not comfortable with the immodesty of the groom taking it off with his teeth as is the way nowadays. My fiance did mention he could just take it off with his hands, and I know he would agree to completely omit it if I wished. I know the garter toss is a big thing for the guys- well so it seems, just as the bouquet toss is for the girls.

Wedding receptions and family celebrations

I don’t think that taking it off with the guy’s teeth is normal or acceptable at all. I think I’ve seen that once, and I felt embarassed for the couple. If the couple wants to do it, you can do it tastefully by taking it off with his hands. I’ve also seen where the couple didn’t feel comfortable doing either route, so they just brought an extra one to throw during that time of the wedding. I think you’ve got plenty of options here.


Really? The groom removes the garter with his teeth? I guess I am getting old because this is news to me. I’ve never seen such a thing at a wedding, though I have seen a few garter tosses in my time. You might suggest a different custom from Scotland to your groom. It’s called a “scramble” and consists of the groom tossing a few handfulls of coins from his pocket for the children at the wedding.


How recent is this garter tradition, anyway?

I figured it existed just to give the menfolk an equivalent of the bride throwing the bouquet.

I was at a wedding where the bride threw the bouquet and the women went ballistic trying to get it. It was like roller derby in evening gowns.

On the other hand, when the groom flipped the garter, all the men got out of the way…

Go figure. :shrug:


I’ve never heard of the garter being removed with the teeth before now, either.

How about simply throwing the groom’s boutonniere, as the equivalent of the boquet?


What can be cute can quickly become embarrassing. I never saw any groom removing the garter with his teeth. IMO the garter should be removed no higher than the bride’s knee and put on the bridesmaid no higher than her knee.

I don’t like seeing the couple smearing each other with the wedding cake either.


JMJ just so you know its not just you I’ve seen the garter removed with teeth several times and the first time I saw it removed that way was more than 20 years ago. These were big, expensive weddings but it seem tacky and embarrassing to me. I really don’t like the whole garter thing altogether myself. If you are not comfortable with it, than omit it. Its your wedding.


I’ve attended a large number of weddings recently and I haven’t seen a single garter toss. The last time I saw one was about 5 years ago.

As other people mentioned, the men don’t get nearly as excited about it as the women.


I’ve seen grooms go under the skirt of the gown. It was a long time ago. In our area the whole garter/bouquet thing has gone by the wayside.

I think the garter/bouquet tossing can be fun and modest. If you are uncomfortable with having it taken off, he can throw an extra one.You can also skip the part in which the garter catcher puts the garter on the bouquet catcher.


We did neither the garter nor the bouquet toss and my husband and I have been married for almost 22 years. We thought it was just dumb then. Now it is just getting out of hand how people vie to outdo others in how they will remove the garter. Some use it as a time to play pranks on the men or the women in the bridal party. Like the disgusting cake smashing custom, I hope that my own children will be planning to leave those things out of their wedding receptions.


I think it can be very fun and it’s a nice way to balance the bouquet toss with something for the guys! Play something silly like “Another One Bites the Dust” and have your husband take the garter off with his *hands *and make a big show of it (I have seen some couples do the teeth-thing and it just ends up being awkward unless you have an all young-people crowd). You can also scoot the garter down closer to your knee before the toss so that he doesn’t have to reach up your leg so high. I’ve seen guys toss the garter like a rubber band and shoot it out towards the single guys and they have fun with it. If you have some silly friends, maybe they’ll make a show of dodging for it and it’ll be a good laugh!


I’ve witnessed many a garter toss but almost never with the teeth (the worst was someone using teeth after it was in plain sight of everyone). The men just used their hands to simply slide it off…usually while kissing their bride. If there’s ever a big show it goes on before any hands go up the dress. I went to one wedding where the groom did a somewhat provocative dance for her. But in most weddings I’ve been to, the groom took the gentlemanly route.

My wedding, however, didn’t have a garter removal. My husband had only been to one wedding prior to ours and it was the one with above mentioned provocative dance. He was considerably freaked at the idea of doing something like that in front of family and our parents (it’s not really in his nature). I told him that I’ve been to many weddings where the groom didn’t “act sexy” and he still wasn’t comfortable with it. But I still wanted to have a toss with or without a removal. It’s something my family kinda expects and they do feel a little cheated when there’s no toss.

So we had two garters. One of them was never worn and used for the sole purpose of tossing (we kept it with the little throwaway bouquet) and the other was on my leg for him to remove that night without anyone watching. :wink:


It still just seems a little odd to me if you are coming from a Catholic wedding. Everyone is respectful and “holy” in church but then everyone gets to the reception and there is the "provocative " garter dance thing? It seems like there is a totally different standard and sense of good taste at the reception then. What is the purpose really? I don’t get it. How is this a celebration of one’s wedding day?


sorry the only thing more inappropriate than this at a wedding reception for Christians would be the dirty dancing that seems to have become the standard. There is no historical basis for this questionable practice and I am at a loss to know why any bride would want it or any groom permit it. It is completely incompatible with Catholic teaching on marriage and modestly.


Uhm, yeah, I was about to comment on that in fact. I’ve been to 5 weddings in the past 2 years (lots of cousins!) and if there was one thing common to all of them, it was the dirty or “booty” dancing. I felt embarrassed for everyone on the dance floor.


My DH and I got married June 20 and we chose not to do the garter or bouquet toss. I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea and thankfully neither did he. I don’t think he could have found the garter with how many layers my dress had! :rotfl: We gave them instead to his sister and brother-in-law because we now share the same wedding anniversary only they’ve been married 10 years longer!

I’ve seen a variation where couples on the dance floor start slow dancing. The DJ starts by saying “If you’ve been married 4 hours or less get off the dance floor” and keeps picking people off by how long they had been married until there was only one couple left. Then the couple is given the garter and the bouquet. My step-sister did this and her guests really loved it with her grandparents being the last couple standing having been married 55 years! I’d personally rather celebrate long happy marriages than continuing on with a tradition that for some is a little uncomfortable and immodest!


Love this idea! Maybe someone reading will do this instead! :thumbsup:


We did not do a bouquet or garter toss either. (Nor did we smear one another’s faces with cake.) Not to say our wedding was fancy! We just wanted to keep it respectable. I can’t think of anything more disrespectful than to smear food all over your beloved’s face on your wedding day. Why did this even start!?


I saw it done with the teeth once. Yuck. But I think the garter toss is pretty tacky anyway - one of those invented wedding customs. I haven’t seen a garter toss at a wedding recently and a lot of times, no bouquet toss either.

My bouquet when I got married was three orchids, not tied together, so they’d have gone about two feet if I tried to toss them.


Garter toss…eh. It’s just so tacky to me, no matter how it’s done, no offense to anyone.

I had a really small wedding so there wasn’t any tossing of bouquets or garters, but if I had a bigger wedding I wouldn’t do them. I’d want to keep my bouquet and garter (if i had one).

The weddings I’ve been to recently there hasn’t been a garter toss and in some cases no bouquet toss either. Maybe these are falling out of favor?

Like puzzleannie said, nothing could be more inappropriate than the teeth thing. If you’re really not into it and your fiance doesn’t care either way, maybe find yourselves a new ‘tradition’?

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