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How Many Garters Do Brides Wear How Many Garters Do Brides Wear

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How Many Garters Do Brides Wear

Written by: Rosina Vanhoose

Discover how many garters brides wear on their special day. Explore traditional and modern options for women, from single to multiple garter sets.

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The wedding day is a momentous occasion filled with traditions and customs. From the white dress to the exchanging of vows, each element holds its own significance. One tradition that has stood the test of time is the bride wearing a garter. But have you ever wondered how many garters a bride should wear? In this article, we will delve into the rich history and symbolism of the bride’s garter, explore the factors to consider when deciding how many garters to wear, and provide popular options and alternative ideas for brides.

The wearing of garters can be traced back to medieval times when they were used to hold up stockings. Over the years, the tradition evolved into a symbol of good luck and fertility. It was believed that possessing a piece of the bride’s garment would bring good fortune. As a result, the groom would often try to retrieve the garter from the bride’s leg during the wedding reception, sometimes accompanied by the throwing of the bouquet.

Today, the bride’s garter has become a playful and romantic accessory, often hidden under the wedding dress until it is time for the garter toss. The garter is typically worn on the upper thigh, just above the knee, and is traditionally removed by the groom using his teeth. It is then tossed to all the unmarried men at the reception, with the belief that the one who catches it will be the next to get married.

When it comes to how many garters a bride should wear, there is no hard and fast rule. It ultimately depends on personal preference, cultural influences, and the desired symbolism behind the tradition. Some brides may choose to wear only one garter as a nod to the traditional significance, while others may opt for multiple garters for added style and flair.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the symbolism of the bride’s garter, explore the factors to consider when deciding how many garters to wear, and provide popular options and alternative ideas for brides who may want to put a unique twist on this cherished tradition.


History of the Garter Tradition

The tradition of wearing a garter on the wedding day dates back to the medieval era. During this time, garters were functional accessories that were used to hold up stockings. They were typically made of silk or velvet and adorned with decorative embellishments.

Legend has it that the tradition of the bride wearing a garter began in the 14th century in England. According to the story, during a dance at a royal ball, the garter of the Queen slipped off her leg and fell onto the dance floor. Rather than being embarrassed, the King picked up the garter, placed it around his own leg, and declared it an emblem of honor. From that moment on, the garter became a symbol of luck and prestige.

In addition to its association with nobility, the garter also became associated with fertility. It was believed that having a piece of the bride’s garment would bring good luck and increase the chances of fertility in the marriage. This belief led to the tradition of the groom removing the garter from the bride’s leg and sometimes tossing it to the single men in attendance.

Over time, the act of removing the garter from the bride’s leg became more symbolic and playful. It is said that the bride would lift her dress slightly to reveal the garter, and the groom would use his teeth to delicately remove it. This act symbolized the groom’s commitment to his bride and his willingness to “unveil” her for all to see.

Today, the tradition of the garter toss is still prevalent in many weddings, although it is often modified to suit the couple’s preferences. Some choose to include the garter toss as part of their reception festivities, while others may opt to skip it altogether. The garter itself has also evolved, with brides now choosing garters that match their wedding theme or incorporate sentimental elements.

The garter tradition has transcended time and continues to be a cherished part of modern weddings. Whether it is done for tradition, symbolic meaning, or pure fun, the garter serves as a reminder of the rich history and traditions that surround the celebration of love and union between two individuals.


Symbolism of the Bride’s Garter

The bride’s garter carries symbolic meaning that adds a touch of charm and significance to the wedding day. This small accessory holds various interpretations and represents different elements depending on cultural traditions and personal beliefs.

One of the most common symbols associated with the bride’s garter is that of good luck. It is believed that possessing a piece of the bride’s clothing, such as the garter, brings good fortune to those who catch it during the garter toss. This tradition has its roots in the medieval belief that the bride’s garter was a token of luck and fertility.

The garter also symbolizes the bride’s transition from singlehood to marriage. Just like the removal of the garter from the bride’s leg, the act represents the groom’s preparation to embark on a new chapter with his bride. It signifies the union of two individuals and the commitment to be together for the rest of their lives.

Additionally, the garter holds a sensual and intimate symbolism. Historically, it was considered a piece of lingerie, and the act of the groom removing it with his teeth was seen as a playful and flirtatious gesture. This tradition adds a sense of romance and excitement to the wedding day, reminding the couple and their guests of the passionate love and connection between the bride and groom.

Some couples also choose to imbue their garter with personal symbolism. The garter may be adorned with sentimental charms, such as a locket containing a picture of a loved one or a miniature representation of a shared hobby or interest. These small details add a unique touch and make the garter a cherished keepsake for the bride.

Ultimately, the symbolism of the bride’s garter is a combination of tradition, luck, romance, and personal significance. Whether it is seen as a token of good fortune, a representation of unity and commitment, or a touch of intimate sensuality, the garter holds a special place in the hearts of brides and grooms worldwide.


How Many Garters Should a Bride Wear?

When it comes to the number of garters a bride should wear, there is no set rule or requirement. The decision is entirely up to the bride and her personal preferences. Some brides may choose to wear just one garter, while others may opt for multiple garters to add some extra flair to their wedding attire.

For those who prefer a traditional approach, wearing a single garter is a classic choice. It harkens back to the origins of the tradition and keeps things simple and elegant. The single garter can be carefully chosen to complement the bride’s wedding gown or match the overall wedding theme. This option allows for a traditional garter toss during the reception where one lucky guest catches the garter and follows the tradition of being the next to get married.

On the other hand, some brides may prefer to wear multiple garters for a more decorative and fashionable look. This choice opens up opportunities for incorporating different colors, materials, or intricate designs that reflect their personal style. Multiple garters can be worn on both legs or arranged in a tiered fashion, creating a unique and eye-catching accessory.

While there are no strict guidelines, there are a few factors to consider when deciding how many garters to wear. One factor is the wedding dress itself. If the gown is form-fitting or has a slit, the bride may want to wear just one garter on the leg that will be most visible. If the dress is fuller or has layers, it may be more suitable to wear multiple garters for a balanced and harmonious appearance.

Cultural influences can also play a role in determining the number of garters a bride chooses to wear. Some cultures may have specific customs or superstitions associated with the garter tradition, dictating how many should be worn. It’s always a good idea to consider and respect any cultural traditions or family customs when making this decision.

Ultimately, the number of garters a bride wears is a personal choice. It should reflect her style, preferences, and the symbolism she wishes to convey on her special day. Whether she opts for a single garter or multiple garters, the important thing is that she feels comfortable, confident, and happy with her choice.


Factors to Consider

When deciding on the number of garters to wear on her wedding day, a bride should take several factors into consideration. These factors will help ensure that she makes a choice that aligns with her personal style, the overall wedding theme, and any cultural or family traditions.

1. Personal Preference: The bride’s personal preference is one of the most important factors to consider. Some brides may prefer a minimalist approach and opt for only one garter, while others may enjoy the idea of wearing multiple garters to make a fashion statement or add a touch of whimsy to their attire.

2. Wedding Dress Design: The wedding dress itself plays a significant role in determining the number of garters a bride should wear. If the dress has a high slit or features an open back, wearing just one garter may be ideal to showcase it. On the other hand, if the dress is fuller, with layers or ruffles, multiple garters can be worn without overwhelming the overall look.

3. Wedding Theme and Style: The bride may want to consider the theme and style of the wedding when choosing the number of garters. For a traditional or classic wedding, a single garter may be the preferred choice. However, for a more whimsical or vintage-inspired theme, multiple garters can be a fun and stylish addition to the bridal ensemble.

4. Cultural and Family Customs: It is essential to take into account any cultural or family customs associated with the garter tradition. Some cultures may have specific guidelines on the number of garters to wear or particular beliefs about the symbolism behind them. Respecting and incorporating these customs can add a meaningful touch to the overall wedding celebration.

5. Practicality and Comfort: The bride should also consider practicality and comfort when deciding on the number of garters to wear. Wearing multiple garters may require careful placement and adjustment throughout the day. It is essential to choose garters that fit well and do not cause discomfort or restrict movement.

By considering these factors, a bride can make an informed decision about the number of garters to wear that aligns with her personal style, cultural influences, and the overall aesthetic of her wedding day. Remember, there are no steadfast rules when it comes to the number of garters. It is about finding what feels right and captures the essence of the bride’s vision for her special day.


Popular Options for Brides

When it comes to wearing garters, there are several popular options that brides can consider. These options range from traditional choices to more contemporary and personalized styles. Below are some popular options that brides often embrace:

1. Classic Single Garter: For brides who prefer to keep it simple and traditional, wearing a single garter is a timeless choice. The garter can be a delicate lace design, adorned with a small bow or a subtle embellishment that complements the wedding dress. This option allows for a traditional garter toss during the reception, adding a touch of fun and excitement to the celebration.

2. Matching Set: Some brides opt for a matching garter set, where they wear one garter on the leg and keep the other as a keepsake. This option allows for a seamless look, as both garters are coordinated in terms of color, fabric, and design. It is a lovely way to incorporate sentimentality and symbolism into the wedding day.

3. Something Blue: The bride can incorporate the “something blue” tradition by choosing a garter in a shade of blue. This adds a subtle pop of color and a nod to the traditional rhyme, which suggests that a bride should wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” for good luck. The blue garter can be a standalone piece or combined with other colors for a unique twist.

4. Personalized Garters: Many brides opt for personalized garters that reflect their personalities, hobbies, or interests. These garters can be customized with embroidery, charms, or even monograms. Incorporating meaningful elements like the couple’s initials, significant dates, or symbols that represent their relationship adds a personal touch to the garter and makes it a cherished keepsake.

5. Themed or Destination Garters: For couples having a destination wedding or a wedding with a specific theme, choosing garters that align with the theme or location can be a fun option. For example, a beach-themed wedding could feature a garter adorned with seashells or starfish, while a vintage-inspired wedding could incorporate a garter with lace and pearls. These themed garters add an extra layer of detail and cohesiveness to the overall wedding aesthetic.

From classic to personalized options, there is a wide array of choices available for brides when it comes to wearing garters on their wedding day. The key is to select a garter that resonates with their style and vision, while also adding a touch of charm, symbolism, or sentimentality to this cherished tradition.


Alternative Ideas to Wearing a Garter

While the tradition of wearing a garter is widely embraced, some brides may choose to put a unique twist on this age-old tradition. If you’re looking for alternative ideas to wearing a garter on your wedding day, consider these creative options:

1. Bridal Leg Jewelry: Instead of wearing a traditional garter, opt for bridal leg jewelry. This can include delicate anklets, bejeweled leg chains, or intricately designed leg bracelets. These pieces can add a touch of elegance and glamour to your ensemble while still drawing attention to your legs.

2. Ribbon or Sash: Replace the traditional garter with a beautiful ribbon or sash tied around your thigh. Choose a ribbon in a color that complements your wedding theme or a satin sash personalized with your initials or wedding date. This alternative adds a soft and romantic touch to your bridal look.

3. Floral Accents: Incorporate flowers into your bridal ensemble by wearing a floral garter or attaching small blooms to a ribbon that wraps around your leg. This alternative is perfect for brides who wish to embrace a bohemian or garden-inspired wedding theme. You can choose flowers that match your bouquet or opt for contrasting blooms for an eye-catching effect.

4. Embroidered Keepsake: Instead of wearing a garter to be tossed during the reception, consider wearing a custom-embroidered keepsake on your leg. This can be a piece of fabric with meaningful embroidery, such as your names, wedding date, or a special quote. It allows for a personal, intimate touch that can be treasured long after the wedding day.

5. Family Heirloom: If you’re looking to incorporate sentimentality and family traditions, consider wearing a family heirloom on your leg. This could be a lace handkerchief, a piece of jewelry, or even a vintage garter passed down through generations. Not only does it add a unique touch to your bridal look, but it also carries the love and history of your family with it.

6. Non-Traditional Garter Colors: If you still want to embrace the garter tradition but with a twist, consider opting for non-traditional colors. Instead of the traditional white or blue, choose a garter in a bold and vibrant color that complements your wedding theme or personal style. This alternative allows you to stand out and make a fashion statement.

Remember, your wedding day is a reflection of your unique personality and style. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and explore alternative ideas to wearing a garter. Whether it’s through leg jewelry, floral accents, embroidered keepsakes, or family heirlooms, the key is to choose an alternative that speaks to your individuality and adds a special touch to your wedding ensemble.



The tradition of wearing a garter on the wedding day has a rich history and carries significant symbolism. From its origins as a functional accessory to its evolution into a romantic tradition, the bride’s garter adds a touch of charm and excitement to the celebration of love and union.

When deciding on how many garters to wear, it is important for the bride to consider factors such as personal preference, wedding dress design, cultural influences, and practicality. Whether she chooses to wear a single garter or opts for multiple garters, the decision should reflect her individual style and the overall theme of the wedding.

There are various popular options for brides, from classic single garters to personalized and themed alternatives. Brides can also explore non-traditional ideas such as bridal leg jewelry, floral accents, embroidered keepsakes, or the use of family heirlooms. These alternative choices allow brides to put their own unique twist on the garter tradition and create a meaningful and memorable bridal look.

Ultimately, the decision on how to incorporate the bride’s garter into the wedding day is a personal one. Whether rooted in tradition or personalized to reflect the couple’s style and values, the bride’s garter serves as a beautiful symbol of luck, unity, and romance.

As you plan your wedding, consider the significance of the garter tradition and how you can make it your own. Whether you choose to wear a single garter or embrace a more creative alternative, treasure the symbolism and sentimentality behind this beloved tradition. Enjoy the journey of choosing the perfect garter, as it adds another layer of magic and memories to your special day.

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