Michelle Obama recently shared an adorable, never-before-seen snapshot from her wedding day. The bride had one leg up as a young Barack removed her garter with an expertly placed napkin at his knee. They couldn’t have looked more in love, but there’s nothing surprising about that—what did surprise me was the fact that a garter toss made it into the line-up for the Obama’s wedding. Equal parts shocking and cute!
The garter toss, like the bouquet toss, is a wedding tradition that dates back to medieval England. Guests would take pieces of the bride’s dress or bouquet as a token of good luck, a sentiment that became an ingrained ritual in the reception. But in Dallas weddings today, we are seeing it less and less. Sara Fay Egan of Jackson Durham says while garters are popular, the toss itself is on its way out. “I would say the garter toss has become more and more obsolete,” she says. “We have brides that may wear a garter as their ‘something blue’ or because of tradition, but we rarely have brides toss the garter anymore on the dance floor.”
This is especially true if the brides are older. Elizabeth Gonzalez from After Yes says brides who don’t have many single friends are skipping both the garter toss and bouquet toss completely. “I find that people don’t want to break up the dance party for anything anymore,” she says.
For those who do go for the toss, Beth Murray of Two Girls in Pearls Events says it’s fine as long as you keep it clean. But ultimately, it comes down to the personality of the bride and groom. “If you have a lot of single guests, and you have a playful personality, then it is a fun tradition,” Sara Fay Egan says. “But I am also a big fan of skipping this entirely if it makes more sense for the couple’s personality.”