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Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Garter Belts

  |   By Samantha So

To toss or not to toss, that is the question. Have you ever wondered what the garter belt means and why it gets tossed in the first place? We asked Jaime Lawson, the designer from Bleu Garters, to give us all the details concerning common garter toss practices and burgeoning garter belt trends.

1. What does the tossing of the garter belt mean?

The garter toss is an old French tradition that dates back to the medieval times. Tradition states that the single man that catches the garter will be the next to marry. As the male counterpart to the much anticipated bouquet toss, it is often a comedic and exciting activity done before the dancing begins and can be played up as the more scandalous portion of a formal affair.

2. Have the garters always been very distinct and original to the bride's personality? Or have they typically revolved around a traditional design and structure?

Our garters have always been tailored to the bride's style and taste; however, one common theme is that they want to incorporate their "something blue" in the garter! In terms of design and structure, the garters chosen by brides have a wide range from tie style to fabric to ribbon to lace.

3. Why is the "something blue" so important?

Blue is the colour of purity, fidelity, good luck and loyalty, and it has been worn by brides for centuries to bring good luck on their wedding day.

4. Traditionally, brides wear a single garter on the right leg. More recently they have taken to wearing two so that one can be kept as a keepsake. Do brides often purchase a pair of garters or would you design a set for them with this practice in mind?

All bridal garters on our website have the option of being sold with a "Toss Garter." The "Toss Garter" is a simple elasticized ribbon garter created in colours that complement the original garter. The elasticized ribbon makes the "Toss Garter" do exactly what it is supposed to do: toss easily so the groom can fling it to the single men!

5. Lace garters have always been the most common choice among brides but have you noticed any trends regarding the material?

Occasionally we have brides request a garter in silk taffeta or silk charmeuse. The result is a very luxurious and sophisticated garter with beautiful colour dimension. Also, some brides prefer ribbon garters. The ribbon garters are more simple and carefree than lace or fabric, but twice as cute!

6. What is the most unique request you have had for a custom design? We made a gorgeous garter using lace from the bust of a bride's grandmother's wedding dress. She sent us the top, and we cut out small pieces of lace and attached them to a beaded garter the bride had chosen earlier. We then embroidered her initials and her wedding date on the ribbon of the garter. It turned out so sentimental and special, not to mention beautiful!

7. If you had one message to our readers concerning the garter toss or the garter itself what would it be?

There is a garter out there to suit everyone's style. You don't have to participate in a garter toss in order to purchase a garter. Garters are beautiful keepsakes that can be kept private, under your dress, and saved to pass on to future generations.  They are much easier to fetch out of your lingerie drawer than a large, packaged bridal dress when wanting to reminisce about your wedding day!

This article was originally published on Nov 30, 2011
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