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Julija
Devoted October 2023

Garter Toss Drama

Julija, on August 6, 2022 at 11:52 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 1 55
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So I have a peculiar situation. If you want the full detail read the following 2 paragraphs. If you just want the main issue look at the last one. Thank you in advance!


I am Lithuanian-American and we are doing a lot of Lithuanian traditions throughout the ceremony and reception to include my culture as that is a HUGE part of who I am. My FH is totally fine with it and supportive. Has vetoed some and on the fence about others, but the big ones I HAD to include he has agreed to no questions asked with minimal grumbling (he has to learn a traditional folk dance and he, and I quote, “Can’t dance worth a lick.”).
With this being said, he is also very American. I’m talking yee-haw, good old, raised right, southern boy. He actually is why we are doing a big wedding and not just eloping (would rather put the money towards a house but meh, hubby wants a party I’ll happily do a party). With this though, he does have a few American Christian based wedding traditions he wants to do, which I agree to and also have my minor grumbles (mainly about non-personalized vows), but I can’t get on board with one and it’s of course the one he wants to do most… the garter toss.
3 or 4 years ago I think I would have been fine, but I have been corner by all members of his family multiple times a year for over 7 years of dating this man talking about the importance of purity, or talking about is cuddling each other is inappropriate, how we should make sure not to kiss or hold hands in public, or we shouldn’t ever be alone in a room together, how we shouldn’t take trips together, trying to force a confession of sexual sin out of me by saying if I confess to them and then confess to God all will be forgiven, etc. I legit can no longer at his family functions sit side by side with him without having a panic attack. There has to be a space. I also will arrive and leave with him, but I make it a point to talk to other family members and have him approach me and initiate contact with me (my love language is physical touch). I will not DARE to make the 1st move for fear of family backlash (he doesn’t get the trips only I do). I told him point blank that if we do a garter toss at our wedding where he sticks even just his hand under my skirt I’m likely to have a full blown panic attack in front of everyone (his family is just under 100 people). I offered him to do a boutonniere toss, a baseball, football, etc, but he really wants to do the garter. He respects my wishes but I feel awful as he’s been so accommodating towards me, but I just can’t for the sake of my own mental health at the wedding do this one for him.
Does anyone have any advice or words of encouragement for this situation, because I feel so stuck.

55 Comments

Latest activity by Michael, on September 13, 2022 at 6:07 PM
  • W
    VIP September 2020
    Willow ·
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    If the garter toss might cause you an anxiety attack, you're not doing it. Period. No point in feeling guilty about it. A lot of people skip it because it's awkward and cringey.
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    Oh yeah, that part isn’t up for debate. I’m just trying to see if there’s an alternative to it. My Matron of Honor recommended he just have a garter in his pocket but even just alluding to the fact he took it off my body cause fear to strike. 😅
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  • Erin
    Rockstar May 2022
    Erin ·
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    Would he be willing to compromise with no public removal? That’s what my husband and I did. We just bought a Houston Astros themed garter, brought it to the venue, and he only threw it to the guys.
    If you do that, make sure your photographer and videographer (if you will be doing both) are aware. Our videographer forgot and I had to tell him to take away the chair as he was putting it in the middle of the room after my bouquet toss 😬
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  • Erin
    Rockstar May 2022
    Erin ·
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    Ah wait sorry just read your other response. Perhaps a football toss if he’s into sports? Make sure it’s a soft one.
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    His family are huge cubs fans (they do all sports but adore baseball) so I’m hoping that he will be alright with that option.
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2022
    Cece Online ·
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    Don’t feel bad about this at all! You have both been accommodating and respectful of each other‘s cultures and have made concessions for one another. Under the circumstances, I don’t blame you at all for feeling uncomfortable about doing the garter toss in front of his family! However, I think most brides these days don’t really feel comfortable doing the garter toss, and it is becoming a thing of the past. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I went to a wedding where someone actually did a garter toss. They are outdated, awkward, and super cringe worthy.
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    Thanks Cece. 🥰
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  • Orianna
    Devoted December 2022
    Orianna ·
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    Don't feel bad at all about setting boundaries. Especially since his family seems as though they have been quite intent on crossing all of the boundaries over the course of your relationship.

    Personally, I'm not only not doing the garter toss, but I'm not tossing my bouquet either. I find both traditions to be demeaning to the people who are forced to participate, both the couple and the single individuals. I've been dragged (sometimes literally) on to the dance floor to catch the bouquet too many times, and felt absolutely humiliated the whole time, to force anyone to do it at ours.

    Maybe brainstorm together other thing you can do instead of these two things. I like the idea of using a baseball or sports ball of some kind - though if his family is super Cubs fans, maybe look into other things that are traditions at Cubs games (such as some teams do rally towels etc). Or something else like that where it becomes fun for not only your guests, but both of you.

    Above all - don't do anything (or feel bad about refusing!) that will give you a panic attack at your own wedding. Its the only thing you'll remember about it if you do.

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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    Thank you, Orianna. 🥰
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  • Michael
    Super October 2023
    Michael ·
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    I know these are conventional but why are they even done? It maybe is to spur on more engagements and make people hopeful. But, right. We are dragged into these ceremonies so often unwillingly.

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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    I believe historically, during the victorian era, it was very common for people to tear off pieces of the bride‘s gown as they believed that it would be good luck in finding a good match/love if one was to have part of the wedding garments of the bride. To protect the brides of modesty the wedding garter became a tradition where the groom would throw it and go whisking the bride away from the crowd to go on their honeymoon as people fought for the garter. That is a story I heard. Not sure if it’s true or not.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Open communication is a must. Wedding planning gives you both practice to be able to tackle bigger issues down the road. Do not move forward with a decision until you have communicated with fiancé to get on the same page. While his wants as a groom are valid because so many grooms are ignored in the planning process, so is your mental health. You and him need to sit down and have a serious discussion and come to an agreement before moving on to the next thing on the list.


    As a guest, I’ve seen a boutonnière toss done at a super strict religious reception where the garter toss would get the excommunicated, and a decent number of guests participated, but no pressure either. They didn’t miss the garter removal so there was nothing that would upset anyone. Those who didn’t agree with the tradition sat down and didn’t say a word.
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  • Valerie
    Dedicated April 2023
    Valerie ·
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    Can’t you be the one to reach under the gown and remove it and then hand it to him? Not sure whether this would still be uncomfortable to you, but I saw this done at another wedding and it still turned out cute (and less naughty lol).
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    We’ve discussed this at lengths. The post was more so on my own guilt about it. He understands and respects my wishes on this as he knows how bad my anxiety attacks are. I just wish I could find an equivalent for him that he liked. He’s said not to worry about it but I know he’s bummed about it.
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    Yeah, no. No garter at all will be present at my wedding. I one thousand percent refuse.
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  • Valerie
    Dedicated April 2023
    Valerie ·
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    Oh, got it. I thought you ending the post asking for words of advice meant you were looking for creative ideas to compromise! My bad.
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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    No, I’m more so looking for alternative ideas that is along the same line. People have come up with throwing a ball and having a throw boutonnière so far. 🥰
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  • G
    Dedicated September 2023
    Grace ·
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    I absolutely can't stand the garter toss. And I find it truly baffling that it's a tradition within some religious circles. Like, uhhh, what? I'm so sorry that his family has put so much stress on you! If my fiance's family (or really anyone) said things like that, I'd be either out of there immediately, or consumed with anxiety and so worried about appearances. I've also seen some of the most uncomfortable garter "retrievals" ever at Christian weddings. Like way too far up the dress, and there is no way this is appropriate for children.

    I think a good idea - since you've said he doesn't seem enthused with some of the suggested alternatives - is to talk with him about what he likes about this. Because I feel like if you can get at the root of what makes him excited, maybe you can find a substitute that will also make him excited. Even if it's something more creative, like tossing a cowboy hat or part of his attire (no idea if he likes hats, but since you're presumably tossing a bouquet, he could toss something of his).

    Otherwise, I think a themed garter (like the Cubs) that has literally never been on your body may be another good alternative. That way you can look at it, and know that it just came out of it's packaging and never touched you. In case that thought would help you feel less icky and judged. I feel like it would help me. But best of luck! You clearly really want him to have a lovely wedding and love him very much. And I'm sure he appreciates how much you're trying to find a solution. I'm also glad that he's very willing to put your needs above a silly tradition. I'm sure you both will find a good solution. And no matter what - this one moment will not affect how great your wedding will be.

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  • Julija
    Devoted October 2023
    Julija ·
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    Grace…. YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!! Everyone makes fun of his mega hat collection lol. We are trying to keep a bit of a cowboy went down the wrong forest trail at night and met a forest spirit vibe, so the hat would absolutely work!!!! I’ll ask him about it for sure. Also the clearly gimmicky garter MIGHT work. I’d need to find the most ridiculous one possible and battle my anxiety with humor.
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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    While I completely agree with you not doing the garter toss because it will give you anxiety, my concern is that if him just touching you gives you anxiety how are you going to make it through the rest of the wedding? Not trying to cause more stress just genuinely concerned.
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