Who can forget that lovely wedding tradition where the groom takes off a piece of the bride’s lingerie in front of all the guests, then throws it to a pack of men to see who gets married next? It’s such a time-honored ritual that only now are we beginning to see how thoroughly, completely weird it is. Sure, you might be a stickler for tradition, and if you feel like tossing garters, toss away. But if the whole thing strikes you as a little off, here are five alternatives to the garter toss that don’t involve throwing around lingerie.
Toss Something Else
Instead of pulling off the garter (and especially instead of the groom pulling it off with his teeth, as has become the accepted practice) and tossing it, find another prize that everyone can jump for. One fun alternative is to throw the groom’s “little black book,” symbolizing that his dating life is over. Sure, no one actually keeps names and phone numbers in a little black book anymore, but you can have fun with the premise. Tuck some scratch-off lottery tickets between the pages of a little contact book and toss it to the waiting men. Who knows? The next one to get married might catch the book and win a little something to put towards the honeymoon.
Make it a Game Show
Instead of having all the men run for the garter (or run away from it, as usually happens), invite all the men in a relationship onto the dance floor for a game show. Ask questions like, “raise your hand if you’ve been on a date in the last week,” and “raise your hand if you’ve looked at engagement rings.” You can narrow down the field of contestants until you have the person who actually is most likely to get married. Then you all can celebrate their relationship together, instead of watching a crowd of men run away from the toss.
Make Finding the Garter a Game
We don’t mean that all the guests should take turns finding the garter where it would normally be placed. That’s a rather different kind of party. Instead, buy a couple dozen opaque balloons and hide the garter in one of them. Let the men at the wedding take turns popping balloons until the garter’s found.
Instead of doing a garter toss or finding a similar replacement item, consider handing out sparklers for your guests to enjoy. Wedding sparklers are very inexpensive, can be used indoors, and all of your guests can participate in the fun; not just the guys.
Change It Up
Instead of the bride having a garter on her thigh, have the groom put a garter around his calf. When you announce that it’s time for the garter toss, your guests will be surprised when the groom sits in the chair and the bride goes searching! Then have the bride toss the garter and the groom toss the bouquet. It’s a fun way to subvert those traditions and keep it light.
If the whole garter removal and toss doesn’t really fit in your ideal wedding, there are plenty of options for you to do instead. Your guests might be disappointed to miss seeing the groom crawl up under the bride’s dress, but they can get their kicks on their own time.