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I remember in my twenties, how the Garter Toss and subsequent putting the Garter onto the woman who caught the Bouquet Toss was such a fun and exciting moment at Weddings. As young guys, anything that involved competition, better yet, competition for a single woman, was totally a blast. Half the fun was laughing at each other while diving for a little garter from the leg of the woman a friend had just married added to the goofiness of the event. I doubt very much any of us knew the tradition behind the Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss.
It used to be believed that the woman who caught the Bouquet Toss at Weddings would be the next single woman to get married. BUT, did you know the same was true of the man who caught the Garter Toss as well? It’s true, the man who caught the Garter Toss was also believed to be the next single man to marry. I am sure that if we knew this tradition back then, none of us would have put in as much effort to catch the Garter Toss. Another Garter Toss tradition includes the Garter being raffled off after being removed from the Bride to help offset the financial burdens that the young couple would now endure. This is instead of having the Garter Toss placed on another woman. Of course today, couples get married older and often are financially solid already at the time of their wedding.
Is the Garter Toss & placement on leg of the woman who catching the Bouquet still OK?
Let’s take a closer look at The Garter Toss based on experience as a professional Wedding DJ in the New Jersey, New York and Philly area and some social shifts that may have made the Garter Toss a little behind the times. I am not going to explore issues related to how this may or may not devalue women, that is a different topic than what is being reviewed in this piece.
When men and women were typcially only single till their early to mid-twenties, the man and woman that would be the participants in the man placing the Garter Toss on the woman’s leg would be of similar age and ‘readiness’ to get married next. It was fun, playful, sexy and represented a set of values at the time. Today, we have many men that are single due to divorce and lifestyle choices in middle age. This creates a unique situation when the female that catches the Bouquet is possibly in her late teens or early twenties and the man who will be putting his hands and the Garter Toss up her leg in middle age. It can feel and be somewhat yucky, and maybe even creepy to watch.
A Possible Solution To The Garter Toss Problem
As a professional Wedding DJ, I have a found a solution to those Brides and Grooms that still want to have the option of the Garter Toss being placed on the woman. If this kind of situation occurs, we have a predetermined, non-verbal hand signal that we give to each other to acknowledge and agree if it is good to go ahead or not, depending on how things worked out. I know this sounds funny but it works!
I have experienced this a few times and the Bride and Groom were both so grateful we had come up with a plan in advance, to save everyone. This is especially true for the young woman, and an uncomfortable situation. In fact, I had a wedding this past Spring that the man and woman that caught the Bouquet Toss ad Garter Toss were a couple that just broke up recently and both were at the wedding with other dates! We all laughed later on after the Reception but at that moment, it was such a relief to have a system already in place.
Each Bride and Groom must make your own decision whether to include the Garter Toss and/or Garter Placement but I invite you to create a system you and your Wedding DJ agree on, in case something goes in a direction that you do not want at your wedding.
One of the benefits of being a professional Wedding DJ is that I get the opportunity to participate in events at all kinds of neat and interesting places. In the same weekend I can be found playing music at a small cozy place like The Clubhouse in Montclair, New Jersey. A sensational and elegant venue like The Manorin West Orange, New Jersey or the quaint, simple touch of The Mill at Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey. I have many favorites throughout the New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania region. I recently performed at a wedding at a really beautiful place in New Windsor, New York called The Mountainville Manor that had such charm and an excellent staff! Another favorite is The View at The Hudson in Piermont, New York, which overlooks the Hudson River and is stunning at night with the lights from the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background. Tonight I will be Wedding DJ in The Poconos at Mountain Springs Lake Resort in Reeders, Pennsylvania!
I have the honor of working with such interesting and creative Brides and Grooms and they have been no exception. I don’t know why I get so many great folks to work with but I do. I know many professional Wedding DJs complain about the Brides, Grooms and Planners they work with. I feel so lucky to meet and perform music and Wedding DJ services for people I would work with for free if I was independently wealthy. I’m not, so that is why you pay what you pay for my services:) Some offer to give me rooms to stay in for the night so I do not have to drive back at night. Something I do several nights a week, so not a problem for me, others ask me to join them for their ‘family breakfast’ in the morning to celebrate the first day as a married couple. In fact, a few weeks ago I had the mother of The groom call me on my way to camping to apologize for not giving me a tip, since she had to go home for a small family emergency and asked if she could mail it to me! I laughed and let her know I do not expect or need tips to do my job exceptionally. She insisted and mailed it out that day. I thought that was so sweet, considering she was so excited with her son “Finally getting married to a nice girl at age forty-five”.
Tonight will be Wedding DJ at a resort in The Poconos with great people and a Bride and Groom who truly love each other. My vehicle is packed with gear, suit and tie ironed and music prepared! Sometimes I think I get as excited as they do!