Wedding traditions are interesting to say the least, studying its history and how it may have evolved over time is fascinating to me. My daughter did a lot of research prior to her wedding and I saw a very sentimental side of her come through in her planning; she especially wanted to bring personal keepsakes to her wedding from previous generations of our family; those who are still with us as well as those who had already passed. A sixpence in each shoe from the birth year of each Grandmother; brooches from my Mom's jewelry box in her bouquet; my original wedding ring (I upgraded at the 20 year mark) worn on her right hand; a picture of my folks on their wedding day on the guest book table to name just a few.
A question that I've been curious about....will the garter and bouquet toss live on with future generations, or will these traditions fade away and become a thing of the past? I've already had many conversations with my daughter that began with "When we got married.....", I wonder if my daughter will be having those same conversations with her kids?
I recently read "a 2010 study by the Wedding Inbox suggested that the bouquet toss is as popular today as it was in the 1960's --23% of brides who married in the 60's said they did a bouquet toss, as did 24% of brides who married in the 2000's". So, not too much has changed, other than the "toss" bouquet didn't exist back in the 60's, the bride's actual bouquet was tossed.
As a professional photographer, my daughter saw approximately 50% of the weddings she shot in 2013, included the garter and bouquet toss, while the other 50% did not. It will be interesting to see what her 2014 weddings will show.
I would suggest to a bride, specifically when it comes to her decision about a garter....if you don't want to have a garter toss at your reception, then absolutely don't! But, I would also offer don't let that stop you from wearing a garter on your wedding day. It's the one occasion in your life when you get to wear one ....so why not? I've never felt more beautiful, regal and pampered than on my wedding day; in large part due to what I wore and how I looked on my wedding day....the gown, shoes, hair and makeup and yes, the garter which for me, seemed to make the ensemble complete. The day I had looked forward to from the time I was a little girl was everything I had dreamed of. (Interesting bit of trivia and quirky coincidence that I'm posting this on my 31st wedding anniversary!)
So, wear a garter and make it your keepsake too! You'll enjoy looking back on the pictures, and you can save the removal of the garter for a private moment between you and your groom! .....and, if you'd like, hand it down to your daughter as a cherished memento of a very special day in your life. I've seen brides wear their Grandmother's or Mother's veils, earrings, a necklace, or in my own case my Grandmother's watch. It's your day, don't bend to what is expected, make your day something heartfelt, personal and memorable...and start a new tradition!