The garter toss is a wedding reception tradition where the groom removes the garter from his partner’s leg and hurls it toward a group of male guests. It is the groom’s version of throwing the wedding bouquet.
Catching the garter symbolizes good luck as it indicates the catcher may be next in line for marriage.
However, not everyone is comfortable with this tradition, and it is slowly losing its relevance. Many couples skip the garter toss and choose comfortable alternatives that keep guests entertained.
If you are uncomfortable with the garter toss tradition, we have some creative garter toss alternatives for your wedding.
18 Garter Toss Alternatives for Your Wedding
Do a Garter Toss Without Removing the Garter
Not everyone finds the removal process comfortable, especially with everyone staring.
So, to avoid feeling uncomfortable, you can have a separate garter and hand it to the groom for the toss. You do not even have to wear it or go through the awkward removal.
The groom can toss the garter in any creative way he chooses. For instance, he can throw it like a rubber band or slingshot.
In the end, you still participate in the tradition, and your dignity remains intact.
Have a Couples’ Dance
You can consider giving your bouquet, boutonniere, or garter to the couple with the longest marriage.
Start by inviting all the married couples at the reception to the dance floor and dance with them.
While the dancing is going on, have the DJ count the years of marriage.
As they count, couples will begin to exit the dance floor based on the length of their marriage until one remains. You then gift them the garter or bouquet to show how much you admire their commitment.
Do a Gift Card Toss
You can get a gift card for a store or restaurant and attach it to a bouquet. Invite all the single guests at the reception to the dance floor and toss the flowers into the crowd.
Toss the Boutonniere
The boutonniere is a small flower arrangement the groom wears on the lapel of his suit or tuxedo. It symbolizes love and beauty.
You can have the groom toss another item like his boutonniere to the single male guests.
Tossing the boutonniere ensures you avoid the awkwardness of the garter toss. Remember to remove the pins from the boutonniere before you throw them.
Have a Co-ed Bouquet Toss
If you do not want to toss the bouquet to only the single ladies, you can invite the single gentlemen to the dance floor for the bouquet toss. Your groom can even join you in tossing the bouquet.
Then sit back and enjoy the fun as your friends battle it out.
Give the Garter as a Gift
If you are not keen on making the garter toss a competition, you can gift it to your best man or a close friend about to wed.
You can also save it and pass it to a close relative, friend, sister, or daughter. It is the perfect way to wish them luck.
Toss Something That Fits Your Theme
If your wedding has a theme, you can replace the garter with an item that reflects your theme. For instance, you can throw a signed basketball or baseball for a sports-themed wedding.
If it is an ocean-themed wedding, you can throw pearls. You can also decide to wrap the garter around the item you will toss.
Another garter toss alternative is to hide the garter in a balloon. All you need are opaque balloons that match the color theme of your wedding. Hide the garter in one of the balloons and release them at the reception.
Once the balloons drop, sit back and watch the participants pop the balloons until someone finds the garter.
Another great idea is to put something else in the other balloons to make the search exciting. You can put candy, gift cards, or personal notes thanking your guests.
The breakaway bouquet is a perfect garter toss alternative where everyone wins.
You can break down the bridal bouquet into single stems or smaller bouquets, ensuring everyone gets a piece.
The groom can do something similar and toss multiple boutonnieres.
He can also write good-luck notes and add them to each boutonniere. With this, guests have a souvenir to take home from the wedding.
Musical chairs are another fun alternative to the garter toss. Also known as the trip to Jerusalem, musical chairs is a game where players dance or walk around chairs.
The game starts with one seat less than the total participants. Once the music stops, they all scramble for a seat. The participant without a seat gets eliminated after every round.
The winner of the contest gets the garter.
Another impressive alternative to the garter toss is a game of limbo where participants try to pass underneath a horizontal stick.
After each round, the height of the limbo stick becomes lower than the previous round.
The winner will receive the garter as a prize.
Do a Couple’s Trivia
You can consider asking your guests trivia questions about you or your relationship at the reception.
Listed below are some sample questions:
- Where did we first meet?
- What is our favorite thing to do together?
- What is our favorite song?
- What is the name of our favorite restaurant?
You can entrust someone to tally the scores for each participant. The points you assign to each question are totally up to you.
The garter goes to whoever wins the trivia.
Toss Some Candy
Another alternative for you to consider is tossing some candy. Get a bowl or basket, fill it with candy or chocolate, and throw them to your guests.
This alternative encourages everyone at your reception to participate, especially the attending children.
Toss a Stuffed Animal
Throwing stuffed animals is another unique alternative that is perfect for everyone at the reception, especially kids.
Take your favorite stuffed animal and throw it to the crowd. You can also attach a gift card or money to the stuffed toy.
Toss the Little Black Book
Also known as an address book, the little black book is a book with the phone numbers of your single friends. You can have one for men and another for the ladies.
However, ensure you get consent from your friends before using this alternative.
Toss the Ring Pillow
If you are concerned about throwing heavy or breakable items at the reception, consider tossing the ring pillow as an alternative.
Since the ring pillow is lightweight, there is no risk of breaking if it falls to the floor.
Attach your wedding vows or book of poems to the pillow to make the toss feel more romantic. Note that you don’t have to use the actual ring pillow for this.
Have a Football Toss
A football toss is an alternative that is perfect for an outdoor reception. The groom will toss a football to the single men at the reception. The person who catches it will be the next in line for marriage.
You do not need to tie the garter around the football for this toss.
You do not have to feel pressured to do any toss at your wedding reception. Your wedding should be all about you and what you want, meaning you are free to choose your preferred wedding tradition.
Not everyone wants to witness the awkwardness of the garter toss and will be happy you skipped it.
Your guests may not even notice if you decide to skip the garter toss. They are most likely looking forward to other aspects of your ceremony and reception.