How to Wear a Garter for Your Wedding

Learn more about wearing the traditional garment.

Some wedding traditions have been around so long that they seem completely normal until you really stop to think about it. Why do brides carry bouquets? What’s the deal with veils? And why in the world do brides wear a garter when it’s no longer holding everything up? It’s easy to forget, but a garter once had an actual purpose, primarily to hold up stockings. Hosiery has both fallen out of fashion and been updated so as to no longer require a garter, so one would think the garment is doubly irrelevant. Yet, thanks to the tradition of the groom tossing the garter to single men at the reception, it endures. 

do you have to wear a garter for your wedding, why do brides wear garters
Photo by Amy Anaiz Photography

Even as more brides decide not to take part in customs such as the bouquet or garter toss, they still may choose to wear the delicate undergarment. After all, there are some absolutely gorgeous garters out there, and it can be a pretty token from your wedding day. For some, it’s viewed similarly as a bridal veil – when else will you get to wear one? Those who do choose to get a fancy garter may even decide to get a separate, simpler version to use in the garter toss if they take part in it. 

Despite the traditional elements related to wearing a bridal garter, it does not matter which leg you wear it on, and where on your leg it is placed is largely based on comfort and look. If you’re wearing an A-line or ball gown, the garter can be worn as high as you’d like. However, if your dress is more fitted through the thighs, it might be better to place it just above the knee. Should the garter still show through the gown and it will be tossed during your reception, then you may want to sneak out to put it on right before the tradition takes place. In the instance where your frock is form fitting and you are not partaking in the garter toss, you should consider forgoing the garment entirely.

For more ideas, get gorgeous garter inspiration and discover chic lingerie for your wedding day

Authored by: Emily Lasnier