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Best Songs for your Garter Toss

Find your frisky, inner burlesque with these fun and playful garter toss songs.

Wedding traditions (and weddings themselves, for that matter) evolve and change with every generation. Historically, customs like the garter toss and bouquet throw divide along gender lines, and it’s difficult to talk about them without directly referencing the roles of “bride” and “groom.” Of course, today, many newlywed same-sex couples incorporate these traditions into their wedding day, some couples choose not to divide guests by gender for a bouquet throw, and there’s no reason that a bride can’t toss her own garter and a groom chuck the bouquet. Wedding traditions have meaning, but they should also bring you joy. So, on your big day, incorporate the traditions that make you happy and make them your own.

The garter toss is one of the more playful wedding customs, and garter removal songs add some lighthearted mischievousness to the moment.

Traditionally, a bride wears a single garter under her wedding dress, slightly above the knee. During the reception, the groom removes the garter (in some traditions, using only his teeth) and tosses it to the single men in attendance. Just like when someone catches the bride’s bouquet, the person who catches the garter is believed to be the next one to wed.

However, this custom also holds some symbolism for the newlywed couple. A garter is a playful, youthful accessory. Throwing it away is a physical representation of the couple moving away from single life and committing to a new adventure as a pair.

History of the garter toss

Before the invention of elastic, both genders wore garters to keep their stockings up. Today, people wear them primarily as decorative accessories. For weddings, garters are usually a band of lace or frilled satin of any color (they are frequently used to double as the bride’s “something blue”).

The wedding tradition of throwing a garter to a waiting crowd dates back to the medieval period—and its origins are … not great. Back then, the clothes worn by a woman on her wedding day were considered lucky. So, once the ceremony was over, the scene became a mad dash of attendees attempting to tear away scraps of the bride’s clothing. Things could get out of hand, and often, the poor brides ended up in tattered rags.

Unsurprisingly, most couples—especially the brides—were not super stoked about this inane practice. Hoping to divert the onslaught, women began wearing easily accessible garters that the groom would toss to the masses, trying to placate the crowd as the couple made a mad dash to safety. The tradition of tossing the bouquet also evolved from this time as the bride would throw her flowers in one direction while she ran the other way.

Tradition evolves

Today, the garter toss is much tamer—thankfully. However, some couples choose to forgo the custom, either because it makes them uncomfortable, they think it’s silly, or they completely forget about it. Other couples wish to make it less provocative, so the bride wears the garter below her knee or around her ankle. Finally, some couples make it as lighthearted as possible; for example, instead of removing a garter, the groom pulls a series of never-ending handkerchiefs from the bride’s dress.

However you and your partner approach the garter toss, there’s a song to fit the mood. Because this custom is meant as a playful event, selecting a song for garter toss should also be a lot of fun. So, grab a beverage of your choice, throw on a couple of these wedding garter toss songs, and have yourselves a music-selecting party.

Here are 11 of the most popular garter toss songs.

Spicy garter throw songs

“Let’s Get It On,” performed by Marvin Gaye

According to Gaye’s producer Ed Townsend in the song’s liner notes, “Marvin could sing the Lord’s Prayer, and it would have sexual overtones.” Written by Townsend, “Let’s Get It On” initially had heavy religious overtones inspired by Townsend’s stint in rehab. Over time, Gaye reworked the lyrics to make them political, but Townsend protested that the song was about brotherly love. So, Gaye and Townsend took another pass. However, during recording, a woman named Janis Hunter visited the studio. Gaye immediately became infatuated and sang directly to her, creating the funky, sex-positive song we know today.

Sample lyrics:

I’ve been really trying, baby.
Trying to hold back this feeling for so long.
And if you feel like I feel, baby,
Then, c’mon, oh, c’mon, whoa,
Let’s get it on.

“SexyBack,” performed by Justin Timberlake, featuring Timbaland

In a 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert, Timberlake revealed the story behind “SexyBack.”

“Sexy was actually just the name of my neighbor’s rabbit,” he said. “You see, they were in Nebraska for the weekend, and I was pet sitting, but they were worried I wouldn’t return the rabbit. So, I wanted to assure them, via song, that I was indeed, bringing Sexy back.” He was joking—the song’s about being sexy.

If you use “SexyBack” for your wedding garter song, be aware that the uncensored version drops a couple of F-bombs after the first minute.

Sample lyrics:

I’m bringing sexy back.
Them other boys don’t know how to act.
I think you’re special. What’s behind your back?
So, turn around, and I’ll pick up the slack.

“Legs,” performed by ZZ Top

According to Billy Gibbons, vocalist and guitarist for ZZ Top, a chance encounter inspired this song. While driving in Los Angeles during a storm, Gibbons spotted an attractive woman trying to find shelter. Read on to find out what she had; you may be surprised.

Sample lyrics:

She’s got legs. She knows how to use them.
She never begs, knows how to choose them.
She’s got a dime all of the time.
Stays out at night, moving through time.

“Hot in Herre,” performed by Nelly

The extra “R” in “Hot in Herre” intimates a St. Louis accent, which is the city where Nelly spent his formative years. From an interview with MTV, “It was just like, ‘Put the beat on, stand back and let’s go to work.’ It was hot in there. ‘Hot in Herre.’ Gotta keep the slang on there.”  

Sample lyrics:

Give that man what he askin’ for
‘Cause I feel like bustin’ loose.
And I feel like touchin’ you,
And can’t nobody stop the juice.
So baby, tell me, what’s the use? I said,
It’s getting hot in here.
So, take off all your clothes.

Kind of sweet garter songs

“Oh, Pretty Woman,” performed by Roy Orbison

Like about 90% of the people reading this, we just found out there’s an “Oh” in this song’s title. “Oh, Pretty Woman” is Orbison’s most enduring hit, and in 2008, The Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry. Regardless of its legacy, the inspiration for this ditty is pretty underwhelming; Orbison’s wife, Claudette Frady, left their house and walked to a store. Seriously, that’s it. While she shopped, Orbison wrote the hit.

Sample lyrics:

Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street.
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet.
Pretty woman.
I don’t believe you. You’re not the truth.
No one could look as good as you.
Mercy

“Foxy Lady,” performed by Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix likely wrote this song for his girlfriend, Lithofayne Pridgon (a name worthy of a “Harry Potter” novel). Although Hendrix never confirmed this as fact, according to The Los Angeles Times, “the song’s title alludes to a kitten he gave Pridgon, and later a poodle, both named ‘Foxy.’”

Sample lyrics:

Now I see you come down on the scene
Oh, foxy
You make me want to get up and scream,
Foxy. Oh, baby, listen now,
I’ve made up my mind.
Yeah, I’m tired of wasting all my precious time.
You got to be all mine, all mine,
Foxy lady.

“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” performed by Michael Jackson

Jackson had a few talented (and famous) singers providing backing vocals for this song, his sisters Janet and La Toya. “P.Y.T.” was the sixth single released from Thriller and the sixth Top 10 hit from the album. Despite the song’s popularity, Jackson never performed “P.Y.T.” live.

Sample lyrics:

Don’t you know now is the perfect time?
We can make it right, hit the city lights.
Then tonight, ease the loving pain.
Let me take you to the max.
I want to love you,
P.Y.T., pretty young thing.
You need some loving,
T.L.C., tender love and care.

“Hot Stuff,” performed by Donna Summer

Sure, we could file this under “spicy garter throw songs,” but it’s always nice to refer to your partner as “hot stuff.” This song is a disco classic, which makes it surprising that Summer won a Grammy Award in 1980 for “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.” Her competition was Carly Simon, Tanya Tucker, Rickie Lee Jones, and Bonnie Raitt. Leading us to conclude that the 1980’s Grammys had zero comprehension of “rock.”

Sample lyrics:

Gotta have some hot love, baby, this evening.
I need some hot stuff, baby, tonight.
I want some hot stuff, baby, this evening.
Got to have some loving,
Got to have love tonight.

Funny garter toss songs

“Milkshake,” performed by Kelis

It turns out, “Milkshake” is not about the cold, thick, delicious, ice cream dessert. Instead, according to Kelis, “It means a lot of things. I think that’s why the song has lasted so long, because, like any other art, you can turn the metaphor into whatever you want.” Uh-huh, sure. Also, Kelis never made a milkshake herself until 2017.

Sample lyrics:

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
And they’re like it’s better than yours
I can teach you, but I have to charge

“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk, featuring Pharrell Williams

Stephen Colbert introduced a 2013 performance of “Get Lucky” as “the song of the summer of the century.” Well, the song certainly took over 2013. It hit number 2 on the Hot 100 chart, was in regular rotation on pop, alternative, and adult contemporary radio stations; and won “record of the year” at the Grammy Awards.

Sample lyrics:

We’ve come too far
To give up who we are.
So, let’s raise the bar
And our cups to the stars.
She’s up all night ‘til the sun.
I’m up all night to get some.
She’s up all night for good fun.
I’m up all night to get lucky.

“Yeah!,” performed by Usher, featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

While this song is a banger and helped many clubgoers get through the mid-2000s, it is perhaps most (in)famous for providing Dave Chappelle with a hook for his Lil Jon impersonation.

Sample lyrics:

Conversation got heavy.
She had me feeling like she’s ready to blow.
She’s saying, “Come get me.”
So, I got up and followed her to the floor.
She said, “Baby let’s go.”
When I told her, I said,
Yeah!

At DFW Celebrations, we can’t wait to hear what you chose for your wedding garter song. So, reach out to our expert event planners in Dallas and discover how we can turn your dream of a wedding reception into a reality. To schedule a tour of our Dallas wedding venues, please contact us here.