Fascinating Wedding Traditions From Around the World
There are many different wedding traditions people adhere to in the United States.
Most of these are well known. You have the bride tossing up her bouquet to a hopeful bridesmaid who believes if she catches it, then she’ll be the one to get married next.
You have the something new, borrowed and blue traditions, which is all about creating good luck.
A lot of these traditions are still used and looked at as being fun, so much so that even a lot of couples that aren’t so big on tradition will decide to engage in them.
However, Americans aren’t the only people who have wedding traditions or customs they believe are important.
Here we’re going to take a look at some wedding customs from around the world. Some of these are innocent, while others are a little confusing, others might come off as very strange.
The one thing they all share is that they mean well and serve to wish well onto the couple. So let’s get started.
Men who consider catching the women of their dreams a successful hunt might appreciate this one. In some parts of Chin the groom takes the head off of an arrow and proceeds to shoot at his bride to be numerous times. After it’s over he gathers the arrows and breaks them up while the ceremony is taking place. It’s believed that when this is done that the love will endure forever.
If you like eating chocolate and drinking champagne after your wedding reception, then you’re in luck. Oh, one thing, you have to consume it out of a toilet bowl. We don’t know if this is designed to be a glorified haze, but the belief is that it serves as a bonding experience for the couple, something to give them strength right before the wedding night.
In certain parts of French Polynesia such as the Marquesas when the wedding ceremony is over the family of the bride will lie down on the floor side-by-side. After this the bride and groom walk over them as if they were a rug. Can you say ouch? This tradition is in good faith and is designed to offer love and support to the newly married couple.
Want to get started with partaking in housework together? Do you believe it will bring you and your spouse together? Well in Germany they have a tradition where brides and grooms clean up piles of broken porcelain plates and other dishes that the people attending their wedding have smashed. The smashing takes place because it’s believed it will scare away bad spirits. It’s officially called “Polterabend” and couples who partake in it are believed to be able to overcome any challenge they may face together.
If your dad in law hates you, then you may not appreciate this custom if you’re Kenyan. In that country you get all dressed up as a groom only to then have your dad in law to be spit on you. There’s actually a good reasoning behind this though. When a Maasai bride is about to go away with her husband the dad doesn’t want to give off the impression that he’s overly supportive. Spitting on the groom keeps him on his toes so to speak.
This is a good one that we’re sure women who are already insecure about how they look will appreciate. In Jamaica villagers line up alongside the street in order to gaze at the bride. One of their customs is for people to shout out negative things regarding her appearance if something just doesn’t look right. If most people say something negative, then the bride leaves in order to change and makes another go at it. Seems more like a celebratory roasting to us.
If you’re getting married then it’s safe to assume that you’re going to be very excited and brimming with anticipation right? There will probably be a lot of smiles from you and your spouse. Well in the Congo this isn’t how it goes.
In the Congo brides and grooms have to keep a lid on their feelings of happiness and this is for their entire big day all the way until the end. Neither party can smile, because if they do it’s believed that neither is taking the marriage as serious as they should.
How long can you go without going to the bathroom? Would you see not being able to go for three days as a show of strength and bonding for you and your spouse? Well in Indonesia this is exactly how it’s looked at. Brides and grooms have to stay in a house for a period of three days, but the goal is to avoid going to the bathroom. We have no idea what happens if one or both sides don’t succeed. This custom takes place in Borneo primarily.
In some parts of India they have a ritual known as “Joota Chupai,”. How this works is the brides’ sisters and other female family members will steal the grooms’ shoes and hide them away somewhere. After this they’ll demand a ransom to be paid in order to get them back safely. This is a fun tradition and serves to help bond the female members on the brides’ side to the groom better.
In certain parts of China the bridesmaids will mess with the groom the morning of the wedding. In some cases it can be the groomsmen as well. What they’ll do is put him through a litany of different tests which are called “wedding door games”, in order for him to show that he’s worthy of marrying the bride. After all of this is over he has to then offer up cash to the bridesmaids. It may seem cruel, but it’s actually a very lighthearted thing.
In this tradition a Russian man has to go over to the house of the bride’s parents on the day they get married in order to show that he’s worthy. This is done by either offering up a “ransom” for the bride or offering different gifts to the bride’s family. One more option is for the bride to embarrass himself by dancing and singing until the family decides that they just can’t take it anymore.
In Cuba they have a weird tradition that while it may seem fun certainly wouldn’t be for everyone. The custom revolves around pinning money to the dress of the bride for any man who has a dance with her. The money is meant to help the couple finance the wedding. One things for sure, there had better not be any singles on that dress.
At Romanian weddings right before they take place the guests will consort in order to kidnap (playfully of course) the bride. They’ll take her to someplace private and demand a “ransom” to be paid by the groom. The ransom isn’t always cash, it can be alcohol or asking the groom to do something at the party of an embarrassing (but fun) nature.
If you’re the type that gets jealous then you won’t enjoy this custom. In Sweden when one member of the newly married couple gets up from the table for some reason, then other people are free to come in and sneak a kiss from them. It’s all in good fun, as long as it’s just a peck on the cheek.
One custom they have at Peruvian wedding is to put together a cake with ribbons that have charms attached. On one of these is going to be a fake wedding ring. When the reception is taking place every single woman there will take part in what’s called a “cake pull”, where each of them will latch onto a ribbon. The woman who gets the fake wedding ring, as the belief goes, will be the one getting married next.
At some weddings in Spain it’s a tradition for some of the friends of the groom to get a pair of scissors and hack up his tie. After they’ve done this they’ll offer to sell off the increments to guests in order to gather money for the newly married couple. In some instances the tradition can be used with the garter of the bride.
All of these traditions are designed to be harmless, some are more serious than others, but they all mean well in the end. Maybe you can give one of them a try if you really liked it, but you’d have to discuss it with your spouse first.