From keeping something old and wearing something blue to throwing a bouquet for your unmarried female friends to catch- even the most modern of brides don’t hesitate to partake in these established wedding rituals that have been normalized for us. These are only a few of the hundreds of wedding customs practiced around the world.
What most human cultures have in common is the celebration that accompanies a wedding. People from various traditional backgrounds strive to give the bride and groom the best possible beginning to their journey together in the way they see fit.
So, how do people from other cultures rejoice in this auspicious joining of souls that is marriage? Let’s discover some of the sweetest, and wackiest, wedding traditions from around the globe.
Indonesia- Strengthening the Bond
The first three days after a wedding, the Bornean bride and the groom are supposed to spend time confined in their house together. This sounds kind of sweet and romantic- except that the point of this tradition is to keep the newlyweds away from the bathroom! All this is done to strengthen their newly formed, lifelong bond.
Spain- Chop the Tie
At a Spanish wedding, the groom’s friends will take the liberty of cutting up his tie into pieces. Sounds mad, doesn’t it? They later sell these cut up pieces to wedding guests to raise money for the newlyweds. Sometimes, the bride’s garter suffers the same fate. A little extra money never goes amiss!
Ireland- Stay Grounded
When the bride and groom have their first dance in Ireland, the bride must keep one foot on the floor at all times. Irish folklore warns that if she doesn’t, evil fairies will appear and sweep her off her feet faster than her husband can.
Romania- The Kidnapped Bride
In Romania, the bride is ‘kidnapped’ playfully by the wedding guests before the actual event takes place. The groom is the expected to fulfill the demands of the kidnappers to rescue his betrothed. The typical requests include a few bottles of alcohols, or making the groom sing in front of the entire gathering to really make him sweat! Rest assured the groom will have to work hard to bring his new wife home.
Sweden- Kiss the Groom
In Sweden, common wedding tradition dictates that all the ladies at the reception will kiss the groom every time the bride leaves the table. The tradition has evolved to become gender-neutral, so when the groom decides to leave the table, all the gentlemen are free to plant a kiss on the bride too!
Greece- Grooming the Groom
The chosen few close friends of the groom take the liberty of shaving his face on the wedding day. They are groomsmen for real! The tradition has a sweet aftertaste as the mother-in-law feeds the groom some almond and honey right after.
Germany- Saw the Log
When a German couple gets married, they are gifted a large log with a saw. The two then have to prove their ability to work together as a team by cutting the log in half. This is representative of the hurdles the duo will overcome together in the future.
Another tradition calls for the bride and groom to clean up piles of broken shards from porcelain plates thrown on the ground. The china is flung on the floor by guests to ward off evil spirits. The lesson learnt from the ‘Polterabend’ is to establish that the couple working together can achieve anything!
Italy- Serenade the Bride
On the night before the wedding, an Italian groom brings a band of musicians to serenade his wife-to-be outside her window. ‘La serenata’ begins with singing but turns into a full-blown pre-wedding party with a lavish dinner and the happy couple’s family and friends.
China- Dress to Your Heart’s Desire
If you are a Chinese bride, you have the opportunity to flaunt not one, but several dresses on your wedding day. Brides are expected to walk down the aisle in a slim-fitted, intricately embroidered dress called the qipao. At the reception, she changes into a fashionable gown with a Western touch. By the end of the night, the bride changes into a cocktail dress.
Even if you are not Chinese, you can choose to wear a different dress to the ceremony and the reception; there is no one to stop you!
Venezuela- Sneak Away
Have you ever fantasized about sneaking off with your bae at your own wedding party? Well, in Venezuela, the bride and groom are expected to slip away before the wedding party is over. However, they must do this without getting caught!
Despite being vastly different from each other in approach, all these wedding customs represent togetherness and love in their own ways. There is no rule book that tells you which one you can pick; you can choose exactly what you want to do on your wedding day!
If you are located close to the Greensboro area and would like some amazing photos of you doing crazy, wacky things on your wedding day - contact us at 336-486-9932 and Doug Burke Wedding Photography will have your back.