Do I wear one wedding garter? Should I wear two wedding garters? Which wedding garter goes where? So many questions for such a small wedding keepsake! Fear not, I'm here to answer your wedding garter wearing questions. This question of how many wedding garters to wear on your big day is the next in my garter 101 blog series of advice posts. In this series I answer all of your bridal garter questions – from placement to fit to how many garters to wear!
Photo credit: Renee Hollingshead
It is really up to the bride on how many wedding garters to wear. You can wear one or two and be fine either way. The main question comes down to this: Are you going to do the wedding garter toss ceremony at your reception or not?
If you are going to do the wedding garter toss at the reception, some brides choose to wear two wedding garters. First, there is the main wedding garter, which is usually a bit larger and more detailed. This is generally the garter that brides will wear on their wedding day and then save as a keepsake or and heirloom to pass on.
Many brides who wear two garters don't want to loose their main garter and would rather not think about having to get it back after the toss, so they opt to wear a second garter. (As someone once told me at a wedding show: "One to show, one to go!") The second wedding garter is the tossing garter, which is a smaller and less detailed garter. It is intended to be tossed during the garter toss and never to be seen again by the bride.
A wedding garter set generally refers to a main wedding garter and a tossing garter together. Some garter design companies will pair the two garters together and sell them as one package, just to make it easier and perhaps match the garter designs. So, if you see a garter advertised as a "set" it should include two garters – one to to keep and one to toss.
Here are a few pictures of a custom wedding garter sets that I recently designed and hand made. You can see that the tossing garter is a simple version of the main garter that is intended to coordinate.
If you are going to do the garter toss, you don't have to wear a tossing garter though. Brides can easily wear one garter and then toss it as a part of the ritual. However, if you wear one, but you know that you want it back to save, just make sure to ask for it from whoever caught it. Or better yet, give this task in advance to one of your bridesmaids or a family member!
Many couples decide in advance that they don't want to do the garter toss. They want to take part in the wedding garter tradition without the garter toss part of it. This is completely fine and something that lots of couples are opting out of these days. In this case, the bride generally wears just one wedding garter.
If you are wearing two wedding garters, I recommend that you wear the tossing garter below your main garter. If the tossing garter is on the bottom, it will be easier to find and take off during the garter toss…your partner will thank you for the extra help!
More questions about the wedding garter? Check out my Wedding Garter 101 series!