The history & how to's of the Garter Toss
Article from theknot:
Tossing the garter may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be tricky when your bride is wrapped in that cream puff of a gown. Luckily, we're here to help with our easy guide to slipping off that garter and whipping it to your buds.
It's believed that the tradition of tossing the garter dates back to fourteenth-century France. Medieval French revelers considered pieces of the bride's attire lucky, and guests would literally rip off pieces of her gown. To defend herself, she began to throw them her garter! In modern times, her bashful groom does it for her to fend off those hordes of luck-hungry reception guests.
Historically, it was said that a man who gave his sweetheart another bride's garter could guarantee her faithfulness. Now it's thrown to single men for good luck, and legend holds that the lucky bachelor who gets the garter will be next to get hitched.
The garter and bouquet tosses generally take place near the end of the reception, either before the cake is cut or just before the couple makes their getaway. The garter is often thrown after the bouquet is tossed, but tradition dictates that the garter toss should come first.
Doing it Right
All the single guys should gather around the bride as she sits on a chair. You (the groom) will then lift up her skirt (just a bit) to remove the garter. Tip: The garter is usually placed on the bride's right leg, just above the knee. Don't grope aimlessly under 20 layers of tulle; if you can't find it right away, ask her to help (don't worry, it's easier than unclasping a bra).
Once you've located the slippery little critter, ease it off her leg with your hands (not your teeth) and whip it at the men standing behind you. If your bride is of the more modest variety, she may choose to remove the garter herself and demurely hand it to you -- then, whip away! The lucky garter-catcher poses for a photo and either dances with the winner of the bouquet toss or slips the garter onto her leg.