Most of us are aware of the more common wedding traditions – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue for example – but what about the traditions of other cultures? Following are some of the wedding traditions practiced around the world.
In China, the bride will go through many wardrobe changes. Even prior to the wedding day, the bride and groom will go out dressed in their wedding gown and suit to have photos taken, so that they can be displayed at the wedding. On the day, the bride will typically walk down the aisle in a traditional, embroidered and slim-fitting dress known as a qipao or cheongsam. During the reception she will adorn a fuller, more traditionally Western gown. And finally, she’ll change into more of a cocktail dress in the evening.
To display that they are serious about marriage, the bride and groom are not allowed to smile during the entire day of their wedding.
To enhance fertility, before the couple are wed an infant is placed in their bed as a blessing. The newlywed’s fertility is further blessed with a showering of rice, peas or lentils by the guests.
Porcelain dishes are thrown on the ground by guests wishing to ward off evil spirits. The resulting mess is to be cleaned up by the bride and groom. The idea behind this is to demonstrate that as long as they work together, they can face any challenge thrown their way.
The term “groomsman” comes into literal play with this tradition. The groomsman becomes a sort-of groomer when given the task to shave the groom’s face with a razor.
In Indonesia the newlyweds are confined to their home together for the first three days of their marriage.
Irish folklore states that the bride must keep both feet on the ground whilst dancing with the groom, otherwise the evil fairies will come and sweep her away.
In a traditional Shinto ceremony, the bride will wear white from head to toe, including her makeup. The white represents her maiden status.
Unlike what we’re traditionally used to, in Mauritius, young girls must put on weight before their weddings. The bride’s weight is thought to be an indication of her husband’s wealth. The chubbier the wife, the more wealth he must have as she is so well-fed.
In Norway, it is common to serve a traditional special-occasion cake known as a kransekake. This conical-shaped cake is made by stacking iced almond cake rings, often hiding a wine bottle in the centre.
In a show of the harmonious life they will now share, the bride and groom release a pair of white doves – one male and one female.