Alternatives To The Garter Toss

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Throwing a garter is a tradition for wedding receptions called the garter toss. But traditions can be skipped or changed to your tastes, after all, it’s your wedding! If you’re looking for alternatives to the Garter Toss, keep reading to see other ideas you can try.

Alternatives to the garter toss, with groom throwing the garter

What is the Garter Toss at a Wedding?

Typically the garter toss involves the groom removing the bride’s garter. He then tosses the garter at his single pals, and the one to catch it will be the next to get married. It’s the male version of the bouquet toss. The garter is usually worn a couple of inches above the knee. It doesn’t matter which leg it is worn on! The tradition is sometimes a little cheekier, where the groom goes ‘no hands’! He will then remove the garter only using his teeth.

Is the Garter Toss Necessary?

The Garter toss has become less popular in recent years. Probably because it can make some budding brides feel awkward or uncomfortable. Lifting up your dress in front of older relatives can be a little bit cringy! A few brides even feel the practice is a little tacky, perhaps if a little sexist. If you don’t want to include it, don’t! It’s unlikely anyone will even notice. 

If you do wish to go ahead with the garter toss, try your garter on in advance. Sizing issues with garters can be easily fixed if spotted well in advance. You don’t want to the garter to rub as this will be uncomfortable. If the garter is too loose, it may slip down, which will ruin the removal! You can wear your garter all day, or keep it in your purse to put on in the evening.

Here are some alternatives to the Garter Toss: 

  • Just throw a bouquet- Less embarrassing than the Garter toss but just as fun! Have all single men and women gather on the dance floor and throw your bouquet into the crowd. 
  • Toss the garter and bouquet at the same time! Have all the single guys group together on one side of the dance floor, and the single girls on the other. Then have the bride and groom stand facing each other, and toss both at the same time.
  • Play a prank on the catcher – have the girl who caught the bouquet sit down on a chair, and tell the guy who caught the garter, that he has to put the garter on the girl, blindfolded. After blindfolding the man, switch the girl out with a man, and watch the funny reactions from all the guests.
  • Give your bouquet away and skip the toss- This would be a lovely gesture for your mother or perhaps the Maid of Honour. 
  • Have a separate garter- If it is the idea of removing the garter which is putting you off, simply have a separate one, perhaps around your wrist, and skip the whole lifting up your dress to have the groom retrieve it.  
  • Keep your garter as a keepsake- The perfect souvenir from your big day.
  • Do an anniversary dance- Instead of tossing the bouquet and garter, invite all the married couples up to dance. The DJ can call out couples to sit down if they’ve been married less than a year, then 5, 10, and so on. The last remaining couple (who has been married the longest) gets to take the bouquet.
  • Keep your garter or bouquet as a prize- Arrange for the DJ to hold a dance competition or game to find the winner!
  • Display your bouquet- Once you have walked down the aisle and have your photographs taken, why not display your bouquet. You could prepare a vase, perhaps next to the cake, to make a lovely display. This also provides an excellent backdrop for additional photos.
  • Replace the item the groom throws- You could make a joke of your groom losing his bachelorhood by throwing another item at his single friends- such as a little black book!
  • Throw a football instead! Have the groom toss the football to the single guys rather than a garter.
  • Or simply spend that extra time on the dancefloor!

No matter what you decide to do, just remember it’s all up to you. If you prefer to skip it all together, no one is going to miss it. If it happens to be something you really want to do, try mixing it up with some of these fun ideas.

Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.

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