This isn't so much a classic, as just one I've always been extremely unnerved by, and I just wondered: has anyone else EVER heard of this? I've heard of a lot of things, but never this . . .
I have always found the garter "tradition" of having your father put it on you and your husband take it off and throw it to his friends to be in poor taste, but when my dearest friend got married back in the early 1980's, I nearly threw up. You see her father had sexually abused her when she was in junior high, not long after her mother died of a lingering disease. She was trying to forgive him and fuse her stepfamily into a real one, so she did the "traditional" garter thing. But the sight of her sicko father with his hands up her skirt was almost more than I could take.
At my wedding next year (I hope) I will be throwing neither garter nor bouquet, and if anyone finds that tacky or untraditional, tough.
You know, some of these "traditions" seem very recent. No one I know who got married before the late '70s threw any garter, or did more than wear one for the "something blue." And no description of weddings from the first half of the century describe bouquet-tossing. Frankly I don't consider either one of them true traditions, just modern tackiness.
From Ms. Jeanne: I've never seen nor heard of the tradition where the father of the bride puts the garter on his daughter. That one is rather bizarre.