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Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

Lindsay and Bens winter wonderland wedding

“Catherine made a beautiful garter for my wedding day, the lace matched my wedding dress and had a hanging sixpence! (Something Old) Really unique and what I wanted with extra added sparkle! Truly gorgeous thank you once again xx”

Lindsay Orlowski-Hatton

‘Something Old’

The wedding veil was traditionally handed down through generations of the family’s brides.

Having something from a happy bride was thought to bless the marriage and pass on some of their happiness and luck 🙂

 

This is the ‘Butterfly Kisses’ wedding garter and lucky horseshoe set. The soft cotton lace on the garter is made on 100 year old looms in Nottingham. The same way it’s been made for generations! A lovely ‘Something Old’…

 

 

Why Blue? The blue of the rhyme signifies constancy…

Another quote from an old ditty… ‘Those dressed in blue have lovers true’

‘Something Blue’ We have all heard the rhyme…

 

‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence for Her Shoe.’

A blue bridal garter is traditional for a wedding, although the whole garter does not have to be blue. I make a lovely selection of bridal garters and have luxury lace in pure white right through to Goth black. So if you’re looking for something different, Please let me know. You can choose your own colours and all my garters include a tiny blue bow hidden inside 🙂

‘Something New’

The bride traditionally wore new unlaundered underwear, this was to emphasize their acceptance of a new life.

NOTE: This is one tradition we recommend you don’t follow if you are wearing a basque, corset or control garment on your wedding day. Wear it beforehand and make sure you are comfortable, you don’t want to ruin your big day with uncomfortable underwear!

‘Something Borrowed’

One item is usually worn belonging to a happy bride, bringing the happiness of their marriage to yours!

Popular choices are earrings and other jewlery…

A ‘Silver Sixpence’

A dowry was given to the bride. But the ‘silver sixpence in her shoe’ was thought to secure future wealth.

Walking up the aisle with a coin in your shoe, may not be very comfortable, so you can have a sixpence stitched to your garter, or a little sixpence bag made to match your garter with a genuine sixpence inside 🙂

Tanya and her maids in Jamaica… wearing her gorgeous ‘Lauren’ Nottingham lace bridal garter
Wedding Garter Tradition UK
Garters have been worn for hundreds of years… And the tradition of wearing a ‘wedding garter’ has been part of the UK’s rich history, passed down through generations with 85% of brides carrying on with the tradition and the ‘something blue’ superstition as an essential part of their wedding*.

Freya, with her maids, wearing her beautiful Meg garter, handmade in pure silk and Nottingham lace

Can I Still Wear a Garter?

Even if you’re not wearing stockings, the choice is yours whether you want to wear a garter or not 🙂 When brides show off their garter photos at least half of them aren’t wearing stockings… and when sites like ours photograph them on a leg, it’s not usually with stockings because you don’t see the garter as clearly…

Which leg do I wear a garter on?

If you’re wondering how to wear your wedding garter…Traditionally you wore garters on both legs, since the invention of suspender belts and hold up stockings, it’s really just a token and so can be worn on either leg, whichever feels most comfortable 🙂 If you’re having a garter photo, think about how you’d like to be standing/sitting.

How High Up?

Again this is totally up to you, but if you intend having a garter photo, just 4″ above the knee is good…If you’re holding up a large skirt for your photo, you can’t always see from your position quite how much you’re showing off! If you don’t intend having a garter photo, just wear it wherever you feel comfortable.

This set was a special order for a bride, a gift from her mother… They had always called her ‘Poppy’ and on her wedding day she had this secret poppy hidden under her dress 🙂 Isn’t that lovely!

Garter History

The purpose of a wedding garter was traditionally to hold up stockings, there was no elastic until 1820 and even then it was mainly used for fastenings on gloves etc. Stockings were knitted in ‘stocking stitch’ giving a smooth finish, the tops were knitted in ‘garter stitch’ which is less likely to curl over, but has no real elasticity. Garters were made of ribbon and tied tightly around the leg at the top of the stocking to keep the leg of the stocking smooth. Urgh! it doesn’t sound comfortable at all!

Throwing your wedding garter or bouquet is thought to be a direct descendant of the game ‘fling the stocking’

Can you imagine it’s 1733, ‘flinging the stocking’ was a favourite wedding chamber sport: Yes, in the ‘Honeymoon suite’ unmarried men seized the bride’s stockings and single girls the groom’s, each group took it in turns to sit at the bottom of the bed and in turn to toss the stockings over their heads to fall, on the bridegroom if thrown by a girl, on the bride if thrown by a man. Success was meant to indicate an early marriage for the young person.

 

”Then all the younger folks in,

With ceremony throw the stocking

Backward, o’er head, in turn they toss’d it;

Till in sack-posset they had lost it.

Th’intent of flinging thus hose

Is to hit him or her on the nose,

Who hits the mark o’er the left shoulder

Must be married be ere twelve monthes older.”

(Progress of Matrimony, 1733)

Throwing the garter and bouquet are believed to be direct descendants of ‘flinging the stocking’.


Moving on to the 1800’s, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the male guest who had won the ‘race for the garter’ (from the church to the bridehouse).

In 1820 Lady…. on stepping from her bridal coach, enquired who had won the race. She called to the lad, ‘come Tom and claim your prize. For I intend to be properly married, and to have the luck I am entitled to.’ Smiling she added ‘Take it off, Tom, and give it to your sweetheart, and may it bring luck to both of you.’
But frequently the men got too drunk and would become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time.

Later in Victorian times, with a young Queen Victoria, it’s thought that in the interests of decorum the custom in the UK changed to tossing the bridal bouquet. Tossing the garter has continued in America, where two garters will be bought one to toss and one to keep.

Wearing a Wedding Garter / Etiquette

 

Do Brides Still Wear a Wedding Garter?

Yes, in a recent poll, 85% of brides said they would be wearing a wedding garter. *Survey by British Bride 2014

Can I Still Wear a Garter?

Even if you’re not wearing stockings, the choice is yours whether you want to wear a garter or not 🙂 When brides show off their garter photos half of them aren’t wearing stockings… and when sites like ours photograph them on a leg, it’s not usually with stockings because you don’t see the garter as clearly…

Which leg do I wear a garter on?

If you’re wondering how to wear your wedding garter…Traditionally you wore garters on both legs, since the invention of suspender belts and hold up stockings, it’s really just a token and so can be worn on either leg, whichever feels most comfortable 🙂

How High Up?

Again this is totally up to you, but if you intend having a garter photo, just 4″ above the knee is good…If you’re holding up a large skirt for your photo, you can’t always see from your position quite how much you’re showing off! If you don’t intend having a garter photo, just wear it wherever you feel comfortable.

Who Should Buy the Wedding Garter?

Some say it should be bought by the ‘Maid of Honour’, but we’ve asked who’s buying ours at SilkGarters.co.uk and they’re fairly evenly split between, bridesmaids, relations, the groom and the bride herself 🙂

Wedding Garter Definition…

There is confusion between terms suspender belt, garter belt and a garter…A suspender belt, translates into French ‘port-jarretelles’ ‘around the hips’. The US garter belt is worn around the waist or just above the hips. A garter is worn on the leg.

One Garter or Two

It’s usual in the UK just to have one wedding garter, in the USA where the garter toss is more common, two are usually bought as a set. An elaborate garter for the bride to keep as a keepsake and a simpler version to be tossed to the male guests… So you only need two garters if you’re going to use one to throw.

How to Remove Your Wedding Garter

Again this is totally your choice, don’t feel you have to do anything on your special day that makes you feel uncomfortable…
In the USA the ‘garter toss’ is popular and there are hundreds of You Tube videos showing the bride seated in the middle of the room, with her skirts hitched up and the groom kneeling in front of her removing the garter with his teeth, while the guests look on clapping and singing…(who ever decided he should use his teeth on a delicate little piece of silk and lace!!!)

This isn’t for everyone…you may choose to discreetly remove your own toss garter for your husband to throw, or you may decide to keep it for his eyes only, the choice is entirely yours!

  1. It’s ‘traditional’ to have a garter… but personalise it and make it unique to you!

  1. Solve your ‘Something Blue’ with blue embroidered text

 

 

  1. Choose a vintage lace or add a lucky sixpence bag, from the ‘added extras’ section, for your ‘Something Old’

 

 

  1. Your ‘Something New’ garter will be lovingly handmade for you from start to finish x

 

We have all heard the rhyme

‘Something Old, Something New
Something Borrowed, Something Blue
and a Silver Sixpence for Her Shoe.’

Below you will find a short explanation of what they symbolise

 

 

Yellow Garters superstition

Yellow garters were thought to attract lovers, remember ‘Twelfth Night’? In the 19c an obliging bride would wear a yellow garter placed there by a hopeful girl-friend, to ensure marriage for the friend within the year. One Boston bride went to the alter wearing 7 yellow garters from hopeful friends!

Throwing the bouquet / wedding garter

Flinging the stocking was a favorite wedding chamber sport: Men seized the bride’s stockings and girls the groom’s, each group took it in turns to sit at the bottom of the bed and in turn to toss the stockings over their heads to fall, for an early marriage, on the bridegroom if thrown by a girl, on the bride if thrown by a man.

Then all the younger folks in, With ceremony throw the stocking Backward, o’er head, in turn they toss’d it; Till in sack-posset they had lost it. Th’intent of flinging thus hose Is to hit him or her on the nose, Who hits the mark o’er the left shoulder Must be married be ere twelve monthes older. (Progress of Matrimony, 1733)

Throwing the garter and bouquet are believed to be direct descendants of ‘flinging the stocking’

It was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the male guest who had won the ‘race for the garter’ (from the church to the bride house). In 1820 Lady…. on stepping from her bridal coach, enquired who had won the race. She called to the lad, ‘come Tom and claim your prize. For I intend to be properly married, and to have the luck I am entitled to.’ Smiling she added ‘Take it off, Tom, and give it to your sweetheart, and may it bring luck to both of you.’

But frequently the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time. In the interests of decorum the custom changed to tossing the bridal bouquet. Recently the toss of the garter has been revived in America, where two garters will be bought one to toss and one to keep.

ref: Blakeborough, Richard, Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire(1898), 100-1

Valentines Day

In 19th Century London postmen claimed a special meal allowance to sustain them during the Valentines postal rush!

A Dozen Red Roses

More red roses are bought at Valentines Day than at any other time of year. A custom said to have begun in France when Louis XV1 gave his Queen, Marie Antoinette red roses on 14th February.

Although we have a lovely selection of bridal garters ,we have sexy garters too……great for your Honeymoon!

Leap Year

In a leap year women can traditionally propose to men. If rejected the girl can claim a compensatory silk gown!( I don’t know if the men have heard the last bit!)

Choosing 1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts – Getting it Right

The first year of marriage is often described as the hardest and so it is vitally important to celebrate your 1st wedding anniversary in style, just so that your partner knows how much you love and appreciate them. Unfortunately, you may be too busy to think about finding the perfect anniversary gift and so a few favorites are listed below to give you inspiration. Most include some kind of paper product as this is traditionally considered to be the symbolic material for the 1st wedding anniversary.

For Him

You could name a star after him so that he has a lifelong certificate to remember the day by or alternatively you can order a commemorative newspaper from either the date of your wedding or the date of your 1st anniversary. If he is a family man then you may want to consider buying a special gift set that highlights the history of his family name, all on a framed certificate complete with his own coat of arms. Another idea, but this time for the more adventurous man, is to send him on a day out to a rally driving school or white water rafting for example. You can buy gift packs with a paper voucher that entitles him to a great day out doing something he wouldn’t generally do in day-to-day life.

For Her

It is no secret that women are generally more romantic than men and so a gift such as a personalised poem complete with your favorite wedding photos in a silver frame can be a great idea. Alternatively you might want to put your own photo album together for her that contains all of the photos that mean the most to you. This continues with the paper theme but is something that she can keep as a memento forever. Another idea is to buy her a piece of jewellery or something similar that comes with a certificate of authentication. If you are feeling really enthusiastic then you can arrange a treasure hunt day which has you both visiting the places that bring back special memories. The paper clues can either lead to the most special place where you can leave a bottle of personalised champagne or to a surprise party with all your friends and relatives.

Conclusion

With a little bit of thought you can easily find the perfect gift 🙂

Wedding Anniversaries

Wedding Anniversaries

Traditional Modern
  • 1st…..Paper
Clock
  • 2nd…..Cotton
China
  • 3rd….Leather
Crystal
  • 4th….Silk
Linen
  • 5th…..Wood
Silverware
  • 6th….Iron
Sweets
  • 7th ….Copper
Wool
  • 8th….Bronze
Appliance
  • 9th….Pottery
Leather
  • 10th…..Tin
Aluminum
  • 11th …Steel
Jewelery
  • 12th Linen
Silk
  • 13th   Lace
Textiles
  • 14th   Ivory
Gold
  • 15th     Crystal
Glass /Watches
  • 20th…China
Platinum
  • 25th…..Silver
Silver
  • 30th…..Pearl/Ivory
Diamond
  • 35th…..Coral
Jade
  • 40th……Ruby
Garnet
  • 45th…..Sapphire
Sapphire
  • 50th……Gold
Gold
  • 55th…..Emerald
Turquoise
  • 60th…..Diamond
Gold
  • 75th…..Diamond
Gold

How about causing a giggle at an anniversary party with a custom made garter with their names/ initials and their wedding date or wedding anniversary! Oh…. Fun & Games…

The earrings you wear for your wedding day, will bring you happiness and good luck in the future

 

It’s lucky to have your birthstone in your engagement ring

 

Pay the person who takes the wedding ceremony, an odd sum of money for luck!

 

Marry in September’s shine, Your living will be rich and fine

 

Suspend for one day your cares and your labours, And come to this wedding, kind friends and good neighbours!

 

It’s good luck to have doves at your wedding, ensuring a happy home

 

Wednesday is the luckiest day of all to be married

 

It’s good luck for the groom to drink a champagne toast from the brides shoe at the reception

 

The groom should wear new odd socks, for the wedding for luck!

 

Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man

 

Up until a few years ago you also received extra tax relief!

 

In Japan, the grooms family give the bride her wedding kimono, embroidered with her husbands crest

 

Until the 17c the bride would brew a strong ‘bride-ale’ for sale to friends and neighbours. Although the ‘ale’ was old English for festivities!

 

Marry when the year is new, Always loving, always true

 

Marry on Tuesday for health

 

It’s lucky to get wedding gifts wrapped in red and white

 

A rainbow is good luck on your wedding day

 

Those dressed in blue have lovers true

 

It’s lucky to have your birthstone in your engagement ring

 

Marry in white, everything right

 

It’s lucky if the sun shines on your wedding day

 

You’ll always be lucky, if you accidently break a glass on your wedding day

 

Tossing rice on the newly married couple, symbolises fertility

 

As the groom puts the ring on the brides finger, he should make a wish

 

It’s good luck for the bride to wear her Grandmothers pearls on her wedding day

 

A diamond engagement ring symbolizes eternal love

 

Married in pearl, you will live in a whirl!

 

Catch the bouquet from the bride and you will marry next

 

Shower ribbons…use them to stuff a pillow to bring the bride good luck

 

Marry in tan, he’ll be a good man

 

Marry in October for love

 

Marry in November for a joyous life

 

Marry when the year is new,

 

Always loving, always true

 

When February birds do mate,

 

You wed nor dread your fate!

 

A dressmaker will sew a hair into the brides wedding dress for good luck

 

An even number of wedding guests, brings good luck

 

In old China, red is chosen for wedding happiness

 

When December’s showers fall fast,

 

Marry and true love will last!

 

The full moon was considered lucky for weddings in ancient Greece

 

You should make a wish, while the happy couple cut the cake!

 

Write the names of unmarried friends in the sole of your shoe, the first to rub off, will be the next to marry