Weddings are practiced with amazing traditions among various cultures around the world. What celebrates the union of two individuals in love is represented in unique and wholesome ways, especially when two different cultures come together. There are different wedding traditions within a country, and even a state, and many of them will not be familiar to everyone. Understanding different cultures to understand unique wedding traditions is warm and soulful, especially if you are planning to marry someone who belongs to that culture, or are attending a destination wedding. Embracing another wedding tradition into yours is quite a special way to express your love and respect for cultures and diversity. Today, we bring to you some unique wedding traditions from around the world.
France – Groom walking with his mother down the aisle
A French wedding ceremony also known as “cortege” is different from other cultures where a trusted witness is selected by the bride and groom for the ceremony instead of having bridesmaids and groomsmen. The groom walks with his mother down the aisle followed by close family to the wedding procession and the flower girls and ring bearers make way for the bride. There will be a cocktail hour, featuring a magnificent champagne tower for ceremony guests and extended friends followed by an exclusive dinner for close family and friends. The most exciting part about a French Wedding is the dessert hour that showcases “Croquembouche”, a sought-after dessert for many French milestone parties.
Australia and New Zealand – Groom seeing the bride before the wedding is a bad luck
Many of the wedding traditions in Australia and New Zealand are borrowed from the British and mimic other western traditions. They have the same western belief that the groom seeing his bride before the wedding is bad luck. Their wedding traditions include lavish church ceremonies where the groom dresses in dark pants with a white shirt with a dark overcoat while the bridesmaids dress in white. At Australian weddings, a bible is handed down to each generation as a gift to treasure. In New Zealand, weddings are incorporated with traditional Maori customs which include the ceremonial “Powhiri welcome” to the bride and groom and the traditional warrior challenge.
America – Bride’s brother places money in her shoes
In Armenia, the celebrations start the night before the wedding ceremony when the groom’s family brings to the bride’s family beautifully wrapped boxes that contain different gifts like a veil, wedding day shoes, chocolates, Armenian cognac, perfume and flowers that the bride will use on the wedding day. The bride’s brother places money in her shoes before the ceremony for good luck. An elegant red silk gown with a wing-shaped headpiece covered with feathers will be worn by a traditional Armenian bride, and a veil will be placed on her head to wish her luck in her married life.
Congo and Nigeria – Bride Price
In Congo and Nigeria, marriages are traditionally arranged by the family members of the bride and groom. This tradition is not commonly practiced nowadays, but there will not be affection or romance between bride and groom during the entire wedding day. Smiling during the wedding ceremony or reception means that they do not take their marriage seriously. Another tradition that is still popular is the dot, or “bride price” where the groom must pay the bride’s family to marry her. Trusted women from both sides of the family will check on how the wedding night was for the newlyweds and visit the bedside to find proof of, you know…
Japan – Exchanging nuptial cups filled with a sake called “san san kudo”
Japanese weddings can be of different religious cultures such as Shinto, Buddhist, Christian or non-religious, but one thing that they commonly focus on is the joining of two families. Most Japanese weddings are performed at a shrine by a Shinto priest and attended by only family and a few friends. The bride and groom exchanging and drinking sake called “san san kudo” filled in three different sized nuptial cups three times, is a popular Japanese wedding tradition that represents the exchanging of vows. The parents also take sips from the cups to indicate the bond between the families.
South Korea: Beating the groom’s feet
South Korean wedding tradition involves grooms being subjected to the ritual of beating their feet before they can leave with their new wives. The ritual is symbolized as a test of the newly wedded husband’s strength and character. The groom’s shoes will be removed and ankles bound with rope by groomsmen or family members before taking turns to beat his feet with a stick or in some cases a dried fish. This is a painful ritual, but rather than a punishment it is meant to be more amusing where the groom is often quizzed and questioned during the act.
Kenya: Maasai marriage spitting
The wedding tradition of the Maasai people in Kenya involves the custom of the bride’s father spitting on her head and breasts before she leaves with her new husband. The custom of spitting may seem strange and disrespectful to others but is seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune in the Maasai culture. Maasai tribesmen practice this custom in other ways like spitting on their hands before shaking hands with elders as a sign of respect and spitting on newborn babies to ward off bad luck.
These wedding traditions from around the world have evolved from an intricate mix of beliefs and traditions. Some of these traditions seem impressive to you, some others seem quite strange. Which tradition do you think is the most unique? Let us know in the comments below.
Liked these wedding traditions from around the world? You’ll also like these bridal traditions from around the world