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bride having the garter since there's no garter toss at reception

10 Unique Garter Toss Ideas For Any Wedding Reception

Unlike most wedding festivities, the garter toss is a practice that most couples either love or hate to include on their special day. 

Although weddings are all about following traditions to celebrate the love between a couple, they’re not always necessary to make a day feel memorable and exceptional. Brides and grooms shouldn’t worry about breaking away from this tradition in favor of garter toss alternatives that make them feel less awkward and uncomfortable.

What Are The Most Popular Garter Toss Alternatives?

As brides and grooms continue to ditch this wedding tradition, they’re using this opportunity to find garter toss alternatives so they can create a celebration that reflects them more accurately as a couple. 

Social media is full of alternative ideas to the garter toss and we’ve organized some of our favorite choices in this list!


Balloon Drop


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For couples who want alternative ideas to the garter toss that don’t involve throwing anything into the crowd of your wedding party, plan on having a balloon drop that matches your wedding colors and hide the garter in a random one. 

Let your guests go wild with trying to find the prize. To heighten the competition among your wedding party, place ribbon and lace in the other balloons to make them believe that they’ve found the garter.


Use a Second Garter For Tossing


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A post shared by La Gartier Wedding Garters (@lagartier)

If you’re looking for unique garter toss ideas because you feel uncomfortable with the sexual overtone of the removal process, just know that you don’t have to completely exclude the tradition from your romantic celebration. 

Purchase a second garter that still matches your wedding attire but don’t wear it throughout your special day. Use this piece of bridal lingerie only for tossing to your guests.


Make the Bouquet Toss Co-ed


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For the brides who want alternative ideas to the garter toss but still want to throw a bouquet into a crowd of guests, update that tradition by including everybody in the competition. 

Both of these traditions are usually reserved for guests who are single, since catching the item indicates that they will be married next. Invite everybody to participate in the bouquet toss so the single people in your wedding party won’t feel awkward about being in the spotlight.  

Be sure to purchase a breakaway bouquet, which separates into smaller arrangements when thrown, as your garter toss alternatives. This nice surprise feels even more inclusive since more than one person in your wedding party can feel like a winner.


Pillow Toss

using the ring pillow as alternative to garter toss

For couples who are afraid of throwing heavier or breakable items as alternative ideas to the garter toss, think about tossing your ring pillow into the crowd. Tie a book of classic poems to reflect the romantic atmosphere of your wedding day. 

If you’ve already decided to keep your ring pillow as a memento for your special day, purchase another pillow sewn with a romantic quote and toss that one towards your wedding party. 


Sport Toss


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A post shared by Jillian Hogan Photography (@jillianhoganphoto)

Having an outdoor ceremony allows you and your partner to consider funny garter toss ideas that wouldn’t work with indoor venues. 

Wrap the garter around a football or tennis ball before tossing it into the crowd. If your wedding party already enjoys sports, they’ll definitely enjoy this creative spin to the garter toss tradition.


Candy Toss


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A post shared by Joy Ximenez (@amomentofjoyphoto)

If you’re searching for alternative ideas to the garter toss that will encourage younger guests to participate, consider throwing some candy instead of a piece of your bridal lingerie. 

Feel free to mix and match flavors so everybody in your wedding party can enjoy what they have caught from the toss. 


Stuffed Animal Toss

using a stuffed animal as funny garter toss ideas

Unique garter toss ideas are all about replacing the garter but not the fun of tossing something into the crowd. 

Find a stuffed animal that holds sentimental value and it’ll become even more of a memorable gift for whoever catches it. Attach a twenty dollar bill or gift card to the plushie and not many people in your wedding party will say no to participating.


Boutonniere Toss

getting ready to throw the boutonniere as garter toss alternatives

Some brides plan their wedding attire without wearing a garter in the first place. If you feel the same way about excluding this piece of bridal lingerie, ask your partner about throwing his boutonniere instead. 

As one of many garter toss alternatives, this festivity proves itself to be fun especially when done at the same time as the bouquet toss. Be sure to remind the groom that he should take the pins off his boutonniere before throwing it into the crowd.


Skip it completely


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There’s no shame in skipping out on the garter toss altogether. This tradition has been slowly going away as couples focus more of their special day on other kinds of wedding reception games

Your guests are already looking forward to other parts of your reception and ceremony that they might not even notice that you haven’t incorporated some funny garter toss ideas to replace the tradition. 


Anniversary Dance


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A post shared by Jessica | PNW Wedding Photog (@jessicajeanphotographer)

Hosting an anniversary dance has become one of the more popular choices for garter toss alternatives in recent years. 

Invite the married couples to join each other on the dance floor. The wedding band or DJ plays a few romantic songs while counting up the years, asking couples to stay if they’ve married for longer than that time. The last couple to remain on the dance floor can receive your bouquet as a prize. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re still undecided on alternative ideas to the garter toss for your upcoming celebration, feel free to reach out to your married friends and family members to see how they approached this tradition during the wedding planning process. They might be able to provide some creative ideas that align perfectly with your wedding theme.


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For couples who have found their inspiration for garter toss alternatives from this list, don’t forget to let us know about which ones you are planning to incorporate on your special day! If you do opt for a garter toss, consider making your own garter with these tips!

If you have any other ideas for replacing this wedding tradition, tell us in the comments!

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Lauren Peterson

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