So you’ve found your dream gown, to-die-for shoes, the stunning hair accessory and perhaps you’re opting for a veil…. but have you thought of one of those very traditional items that not too long ago was on every brides’ shopping list… the garter?
Traditionally, a garter is worn by the bride on her wedding day and the groom removes his new wife’s garter, which he tosses to the unmarried male guests. As with many traditions, the origins of removing the garter started in the Middle Ages where the groom’s men would rush at the new bride to take her garters off – believing than an article of the bride’s clothing would bring good luck! As you can imagine, this may result in the dress being somewhat damaged (and perhaps pyschological trauma to the bride!) so the tradition changed so that the bride would remove articles of her clothing, including the garter, and toss them to the male guests for good luck. Thankfully, this practise has further evolved and nowadays, the bride is usually only expected to throw her bouquet to unmarried females, and the groom may remove the garter (if the bride will allow!)
We love traditions and have searched high and low to find beautiful garters that we think are special enough to be worn with our gowns, and we are delighted to have found Atelier Rousseau. Charlotte, designer at Atelier Rousseau, designs exquisite, unique high quality garters – destined to be heirloom pieces - all hand-made using the finest fabrics in Kent, England. Forget any preconceived ideas you had about garters based on what you may have come across elsewhere (I’m talking about horrible low quality fabrics, poor finish and scratchy laces) the pieces that Charlotte makes are truly unique and very special. Finished in the finest silk dupions, French laces and with exquisite details such as freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals and silk satin ribbons, these garters are beautiful couture pieces of jambe-bijoux (leg jewellery)!
So whilst we were perusing the veritable treasure trove of garters that Charlotte makes, we also came across horseshoes. Not something we’d set out to source, but seeing them sparked a memory of when I was about six years old of being ordered by my mum to run up to the bride and present her with a ‘lucky horseshoe’. Again – tradition. A tradition that we don’t see as much these days (and frankly, when you look at some ‘lucky horseshoes’ you probably wouldn’t want them in your wedding pictures – thinking of those tacky silver plastic things that you see in novelty shops. Yuck). No, the horseshoes by Atelier Rousseau are a frippery that you would quite happily have in your wedding pictures and again, are made with the highest quality materials using authentic traditional lightweight silver horseshoes.
So here’s the legend bit: It’s been told that the 10th Century Archbishop of Canterbury, Dunstan, who was a former blacksmith managed to outwit the devil. The devil was thought to have asked Dunstan to shoe his hoof but clever old Dunstan realised in the nick of time that his customer was the devil and nailed the shoe on as painfully as he could, and the devil begged for mercy. Dunstan agreed to remove the shoe on condition that the devil agreed never to enter a place where a horseshoe was hung over the door. Horseshoes have become a symbol of good luck and you’ll often see (particularly in old houses in the countryside) a horseshoe above the door. The legend is that in order to retain the good luck the horseshoe should be hung with the shoulders pointing upwards otherwise all the luck in your marriage would fall out. Harsh, but true. Apparently. Horseshoes are also thought to help with fertility – I’m guessing that’s why my mum was so insistent on my running up to the bride and handing over that horseshoe when I was young – must’ve worked as the bride had a healthy little baby boy within a year of the wedding! OK, that’s probably coincidence, but it’s a nice story….
All of the garters and horseshoes will be available in our Farnborough boutique from 1st November 2011, but are available to order beforehand if required. We’ll also have them (and an extended selection from Atelier Rousseau) at our fabulous Accessories Evening on Thursday 3rd November (as well as bubbly, cupcakes, free makeovers and 10% off all accessories purchased that evening)! Each Atelier Rousseau accessory is beautifully packaged in bespoke boxes also making them an ideal present for the bride-to-be – and whilst not an ‘essential item’ – they are a rather lovely addition to the wedding trousseau. We hope you love them as much as we do!