The Elaborate Removal of the Garter
groom taking off bride's garter

They're happy and oblivious, but what about you, the innocent bystander?

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Let's face it. Some aspects of the wedding reception are going to be uncomfortable for bystanders no matter what. Some are sweetly awkward, like the father-daughter dance or table-to-table flirting among groomsmen and bridesmaids. Others, like the garter removal, are just plain disturbing.

Officially, taking off and throwing the garter is akin to the throwing the bouquet -- there should theoretically be a group of handsome superstuds waiting to catch it and be the next to marry. However, this custom is a toned-down throwback from when the groom had to provide proof of consummation on his wedding night. At wedding receptions, a crowd gathers to watch him lustily remove the garter from his bride's thigh (in some traditions with his teeth!). That in and of itself is enough to make everyone in a 20-foot radius back up a step. Yipes.