Getting married is the day a lot of people dream of. There are many traditions that will be followed on the big day, both culturally and familially. Around the world though, there are very specific traditions that need to be followed from the color of the wedding dress to specific practices that need to be done during the ceremony. Keep scrolling to see some of the most interesting traditions from around the globe. You may just want to incorporate a few of these into your big day.
In Armenia, there is a very specific tradition that is used to keep away any spirits who might wish the happy couple some ill will. First, the bride and groom must have a giant slab of lavash bread placed across their shoulders.
Before this though, they will be given a plate that must be tossed onto the grown and broken to invoke good luck. To make sure this luck stays with them, the bread will be worn by them, and they will feed each other some honey which is meant to be spoonfuls of happiness.
The Democratic Republic Of Congo
Congo is the kind of country that often finds its way onto the news, but it’s wedding traditions are also something to be studied. When it comes to the wedding day, the bride and groom might want to grin at each other and display some affection, but this is a huge no-no.
Congolese weddings are very serious affairs. The bride and groom are expected to display no emotion, except for a serious expression on both of their faces. Any glimpses of a smile on their faces will mean that they don’t view the wedding as a serious occasion, and that would imply they don’t see the marriage that way.
We all imagine French weddings to be lavish affairs, full of champagne, delectable cheeses, and lots of desserts. While these are all present, there is a rather strange tradition when it comes to consuming these goodies. You might think that the bride and groom get to eat them at the wedding table with all of their friends and family watching.
This is not the case though, instead they are expected to eat them out of a toilet bowl. This is to provide them with some much-needed endurance for the wedding night festivities. That is if they don’t get very sick afterward.
This Chinese wedding tradition actually sounds like it has some ancient Roman roots. Making sure that the love felt between a bride and groom can outlast anything is very important. The tradition the Chinese have developed to ensure this involves the firing off of multiple arrows, minus their arrowheads.
These arrows are directed at the bride, and designed to bounce off of her wedding attire. Once multiple arrows have been fired, they are ready to be picked up by the groom. Once he has them all, he can break them and their love will be everlasting according to tradition.
In Fiji, things are not exactly simple when it comes to asking someone to marry you. Before you get down on one knee and ask your beloved to spend the rest of their life with you, you need to talk to their father. This is not a simple gesture though, a certain gift must be presented to show that you are serious about your choice of bride.
The potential groom is expected to procure a giant tooth from whatever whales they can find. Then, this tooth must be given to the father as a token of seriousness, and hopefully, the father will then give his permission for the groom to ask his chosen life partner.
Getting married is the fun part, learning to live together and share your life with someone else is what comes after. In Germany, they want to make sure that the bride and groom can deal with whatever life throws their way.
That’s why they have a special tradition of smashing dishes on the ground outside of the wedding venue. All of these dishes need to be cleaned up, and not by the venue staff, but the bride and groom. They have to learn to always work together.
When a couple decides to make the leap and get married, they usually need to be of a certain age. In England, that age is 21, but for those who are a tad on the younger side, the popular marriage town of Gretna Green allows you to get married at almost any age.
The romance of the place is what makes Scottish couples continue to flock there to say, “I do.” Plus, you can wear a kilt which makes weddings a lot more fun for the groomsmen.
It is important to look your best on your wedding day, and in Greece, this is not done with the help of a stranger, but instead a very close friend. The best man will have all of the normal duties, like carrying the rings, but he will also have to act as a barber.
The groom needs to have a nice hot shave, along with some delicious sweets from his soon to be mother-in-law. All the groomsmen crowd around and enjoy sharing stories as they get ready for the ceremony.
After the wedding ceremony, tradition reigns strong in Guatemala. Smashing seems to be the symbol of luck or love depending on the culture, and for Guatemala instead of smashing plates, a porcelain bell is what is selected.
This is no normal bell though, it has been crafted to have a mixture of rice and flour inside. When it cracks all of the rice and flour flows out and is said to coat the newly married pair in prosperity.
White is the typical color of wedding attire for a lot of countries, and Japan is no different. The color white symbolizes purity, which is why a Japanese bride needs to be clothed entirely in the color. This includes her traditional white make-up which is also seen on geishas.
The one thing that is a bit different though, is the giant hood she is expected to wear. This hood is to hide the metaphorical, “horns of jealousy” that some brides might have in regard to their husband’s mothers.
In Jamaica, a wedding is the kind of event that an entire village comes out for. Everyone is invited, and the bride’s procession from home to the church or venue is watched by all.
If her clothing is not deemed appropriate or befitting of the occasion, the crowd will critique her until she returns home to change. A second chance is given, which is why most Jamaican brides in villages will have more than one outfit to choose from on the big day.
A Zaffe, or wedding as it is called in English, is a lot of fun in Lebanon. These are not stuffy affairs, with long speeches, but instead a party full of dancing, and music. Belly dancers are hired for the occasion and will come out and perform at the beginning of the reception.
By the end of the night, the entire bridal party will go to the bride’s family home, where they will throw petals at them and send them on their way to their new life together.
In Norway, it is all about the wedding cake. It is pretty easy for the bride and groom to choose what they want, as it needs to be a traditional “kransekake.” It is a cake made of almond paste rings, with a bottle of champagne in the middle of it all.
The rings form a cone and can be removed for easy eating. Seasonal berries and flowers are also placed around it as decoration. Norwegians like to incorporate nature into their festivities.
A Maasai wedding is pretty beautiful to witness. The bride is covered in colorful beaded clothing, right down to her sandals. However, this special clothing while traditional is not a unique custom.
Once the ceremony has been completed and the newlywed couple is ready to go off to the husband’s home, the father of the bride has to do one thing. He must spit on the bride, in all of her fineries to show that he is not totally okay with the match, as she is still his daughter.
Getting married in the Czech Republic is a lot of fun, but there is a big emphasis placed on fertility. When the bride and groom are ready to have their ceremony, there is one tradition that has to be followed if they are planning on having children.
A family or close friend’s baby needs to be put in the marriage bed. Once it has sat there for a few minutes it can be removed, this is said to help the couple eventually conceive their own.
After the wedding ceremony, an Indonesian bride and groom do not head out on a honeymoon. Instead, they sequester themselves in the groom’s house for a total of three days. During these three days, the couple is not expected to use the washroom, as they are supposed to share every experience together, with the exception of that.
That is one way to get to know your new partner very well, although it sounds a bit uncomfortable.
In another tradition involving bread, Russians also like to use a sweet kind called “karavay” during their wedding receptions. This bread is used to show who will be the head of the household. Both the bride and the groom will have to take a bite of the bread.
The only caveat is that they cannot hold the bread when they bite it. This means that it is a lot harder to take a big bite, but the bite sizes are measured. The larger bite means you are in charge of the family.
When your wedding day dawns, you want everything to go off without any major complications. For Indian grooms, this complication is expected as it is a tradition. A groom needs his shoes if he is going to make his way down the aisle, and dance the night away.
However, on the morning of his wedding he will find his shoes being held for ransom. He has to pay it to the female family of his bride in order to get his shoes returned to him.
Wedding dances are a big deal for a lot of weddings. Usually, it is the bride and groom who will be at the center of these dances, but in Niger, it is a camel. Music with a strong beat will begin playing in the room, and a camel will be led into the center of the dance floor where it will start grooving along to the music.
The guests attending the wedding will then circle around the camel and begin dancing themselves.
Birds have been used to represent peace, and at a wedding in the Philippines, they are used to present unity between a bride and groom. There are two white doves, kept in an ornate cage during the ceremony. Once the ceremony has finished the bride and groom will make their way over to the cage.
They will open the door to the cage together, and release the doves. As the doves fly off, the bride and groom should expect to have a life where they are united.
While you are usually expected to gift a newly married couple with something from their registry, or some cash depending on the culture, Cuba is a bit different. The bride will dance with members of her family, the groom, and whoever else asks for her hand.
However, if you dance with the bride during the reception you should have some banknotes on you. During the dance, you have to stick one of these notes to her dress as your contribution to the festivities.
In Turkey, you will see the Turkish flag placed all over the city, and this includes at weddings. The flag is actually used to show people where the wedding is in terms of the ceremony and reception.
The flag is usually placed outside of the groom’s house, and depending on how far the ceremony has progressed different objects will be placed on top to let passerby and guests know what is going on.
Lastly, we come to Venezuela which has a very special tradition for the bride and groom. A bride and groom will attend their wedding reception, but as the night progresses they will most likely sneak out into the night.
This leaving without saying goodbye is tradition, it means they are ready to be alone and is considered lucky. The first person to notice they have departed will also be blessed with some luck. So, keep an eye out!