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Perform a Garter Toss

How to Perform a Garter Toss as MC

Learn how to perform a garter toss as an MC in this article. The garter toss is a popular wedding reception tradition full of fun and excitement. As the wedding MC, it will be your job to host and facilitate this event. While it may seem simple, there are important steps to follow for a successful garter toss that builds anticipation and gets guests involved.

What is the Garter Toss Tradition?

The garter toss tradition dates back centuries to distribute good luck and fertility to wedding guests. During medieval times, wedding guests would try to grab a piece of the bride’s dress for luck. This evolved into the groom removing and tossing the bride’s garter to select men in the crowd. The Bouquet Toss is the Bride’s Version of the Garter Toss.

Today, the garter toss is more of a playful tradition and fun reception activity. The groom reaches under his bride’s dress to remove her garter. He then tosses it to a group of male guests, with the person who catches it supposedly being the next to get married. Ready to know more about how to perform a garter toss?

Perform a Garter Toss

Garter Toss Symbolism

The garter toss at a wedding symbolizes a few different things:

  • Good luck and fortune to the person who catches the garter
  • The groom moves the garter from the bride’s leg to the leg of the next woman to get married
  • The groom’s privilege to remove the garter, signaling intimacy between the newlyweds
  • A fun transition of removing the garter towards the couple’s private wedding night

While the history and symbolism may seem outdated today, most couples choose to embrace this tradition in a playful spirit.

What is a Garter? How to Perform a Garter Toss

A wedding garter is a decorative elastic band the bride wears around her leg, usually just above the knee.

Traditionally white or blue, today’s garters come in all colors. The bride may wear a garter solely for the toss or wear it all day under her wedding dress.

The garter the groom removes is then tossed to the male wedding guests.

Alternatives to the Garter Toss

Some modern couples choose to forgo the garter toss, as its symbolism and origin can be sexist or inappropriate. Here are some popular alternatives:

  • The groom removes the bride’s garter but does not toss it – he keeps it as a sentimental memento.
  • The bride wears a second decorative garter that the groom removes and tosses.
  • The bride hands the garter to the groom rather than having him reach for it under her dress.
  • The groom throws a bouquet to single male guests rather than a garter.
  • The couple combines the garter/bouquet toss into one mixed-gender toss.
  • Skip it – no garter removal or toss.
Perform a Garter Toss

How to Perform a Garter Toss and make it Fun, Not Awkward

If the classic garter toss makes the bride or groom uncomfortable, the MC can take steps to modernize it:

  • Keep the groom’s “garter search” brief – a few seconds maximum. Don’t draw it out.
  • Have the bride discreetly pass the garter to the groom rather than reaching under her dress.
  • Eliminate any trailing lacy garter suspenders – opt for a single elastic garter band.
  • Play upbeat music as the groom removes the garter to keep the mood festive.
  • Transition quickly to the actual tossing rather than focusing on the removal.
  • Set parameters ahead of time for who can participate in catching the garter to avoid any inappropriate behavior.

Is the Garter Toss Inappropriate?

Some argue the garter toss promotes negative stereotypes and unwanted male attention on the bride. Others see it as a tradition done in good fun. There are steps you, as the MC, can take to keep it tasteful:

  • Don’t allow groping, grabbing, or any aggressive actions during removal.
  • Keep the groom’s part brief and focused only on the garter itself.
  • Eliminate any raunchy or suggestive remarks – keep the tone fun.
  • Only single adult males who appear interested should participate in catching the garter.
  • Keep the mood upbeat as you would with any other reception game or activity.
Perform a Garter Toss

Why Does the Groom Remove the Garter With His Teeth?

Using his teeth shows the groom’s playful impatience for the honeymoon. This started when brides wore long, intricate garters that couldn’t easily be slipped off.

Today, simple elastic bands don’t require teeth. If the groom or bride is not comfortable with the groom putting his head under her dress, he can use his hands to slip off the garter quickly.

How to Perform a Garter Toss as the Master of Ceremonies

Follow these 8 tips for how to perform a garter toss that builds anticipation and gets guests cheering:

1. Prep the Garter

Make sure the bride has an easy-to-remove garter that can be tossed. Have it ready to go for the event.

2. Coordinate Timing

Discuss the timing with the bride and groom. The garter toss usually happens mid-to-late reception after other events are done.

3. Rally the Crowd

Build momentum by inviting “all single gentlemen” present to assemble on the dance floor for an event they won’t want to miss.

4. Bring Out the Bride’s Chair

Have a chair for the bride to sit and place her leg on for easy garter removal access.

5. Cue the Music

Play a high-energy song with a fast tempo as the groom removes the garter and during the toss.

6. The Removal

Keep this brief – the groom reaches for the garter, finds it, and pulls it off quickly.

7. How to Perform a Garter Toss ‘Toss’

The groom turns his back and tosses the garter over his shoulder to the group. Whoever catches it is the next lucky groom-to-be.

8. Present the Winner

Congratulate the garter catcher and invite him to put the garter on his leg or arm to cheers from the crowd.

Transition smoothly to the next event – dancing, cake cutting, farewells, etc.

How to Perform a Garter Toss as MC Summary

The garter toss is a chance to build fun and excitement during the wedding reception. Follow these MC tips to create those lively moments guests will remember!

Special Thanks

MC Guide - How to Perform a Garter Toss

Gary is dedicated to ensuring that wedding officiants and wedding emcees like you excel in creating unforgettable wedding experiences! With a passion for celebrations, he is an enthusiastic, down-to-earth, and fun Wedding Celebrant and Professional Wedding MC, operating in Australia.
Count on Gary to provide expert guidance and a relaxed approach to help you deliver remarkable ceremonies and receptions. His goal is to empower you to curate the best possible wedding day for couples, where every detail is thoughtfully arranged, and the party atmosphere is electrifying!