20 Wedding Traditions From Around the World

8145 180613 6100 Great Hindu Wedding Ritual Hand on Hand

It’s interesting how there are lots of various wedding traditions observed around the world. What’s common in one place might be unheard of in other parts of the world. Some places may have similar traditions, especially if they have been influenced by the same country or group of people.

 Here are 20 of wedding traditions from around the world:

  • Chinese

In China, they have a unique tradition that hides the bride in her mother’s home and the groom has to pass through “obstacles” (from the bridesmaids) to get his bride out. If he needs to bang on the door, he does it and thus, making a fake commotion.

  • Danish

During a Danish wedding reception, if the groom goes to the washroom, all the boys in the party rush over to kiss the bride in the cheek. Vice-versa, when the bride goes to the washroom, too, all the girls in the party rush to the groom to kiss him in the cheek as well.

  • Indian

In Indian weddings, it’s part of their tradition to decorate the bride with henna. The depth of the color of henna symbolizes the depth of the couple’s love.

  • Hungarian

In Hungary, during the wedding dance, some of the bride’s relatives and friends will try to steal her from her new husband.  The groom’s party tries to prevent it. If the action is successful, they will negotiate for a ransom, which is normally taken lightly at first. But as time passes, the groom becomes more uneasy and lenient about the ransom.

  • Pakistani

In Pakistan, the bride and groom both wear flower garlands.

  • Brazilian

It’s usual to give the wedding guests a small cake-like sweet called “bem-casado” meaning ‘well-married’, in Brazil. It apparently represents the joining together of the bride and the groom.

  • Jamaican

 The bride is taken to the street for everyone to see.

  • Japanese

In Japan, the newly-wed couple takes a sip of sake to formalize their wedding.

  • German

In Germany, the family is planning ahead for the financial expenses of their child’s wedding. If a baby girl was born, many trees will be planted. These trees will be sold in the future for their daughter’s wedding expenses.

  • Norwegian

In Norway, the bride is wearing a traditional silver or gold crown with small spoon-shaped bangles that cling when moved. They believe that the music produced from these bangles will push away evil spirits.

  • Wales

A Welsh bride carries myrtle, in her bouquet, that is a symbol of love. She, then, gives a cutting of the plant to her bridesmaids. If the bridesmaid plants the cutting in her yard and it blossom, she’s the next one to get married.

  • American

American weddings always include a garter toss. The bride’s garter will be tossed to all single men in the party. Whoever catches it, will be the one marrying soon.

  • Malaysian

At the wedding, each guest will receive an creatively decorated hard-boiled egg to signify fertility.

  • Russian

In Russia, only civil weddings are considered valid. If the couple wants to have a religious ceremony must also have a civil one.

  • Italian

Part of the Italian tradition is not to marry on a Friday or Tuesday as this will bring the couple bad luck.

  • Mexican

Mexican weddings include a part when the groom gives 13 gold coins to his bride. These symbolize Jesus Christ and His twelve disciples.

Tradition: Something Old, Something New…

When you are planning for your bridal accessories, you may not wish to forget about something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new. Although this is a tradition that has been in existence for centuries, many brides today may forget about this tradition. Even if you have a themed wedding or a casual wedding, you may still want to have these four things in your procession.

For something old, many brides have something that is handed down from generation to generation in the family, such as family heirloom or just something that has sentimental value. Some brides may want wear something from their mothers or grandmothers. Something old might be the wedding dress, handkerchief, necklace or other jewelry or something else.

Bridal accessories also include something new. This is the easiest to have, since you’re bound to buy some new things for yourself for your wedding anyway. It can be your wedding dress, your shoes, your headpiece or anything else you may have just bought.

For something blue, the common choice seems to be the garter. If blue does not match your wedding color scheme, the garter is always a great way to have something blue because it remains hidden the whole time, until the part of the reception where the groom tosses it for the lucky next groom-to-be to catch. More recently, the “something blue” object has come in forms of shoe accents, handkerchief, bouquet accents, etc. However, if your color scheme includes the color blue, then you will already have your something blue.

Something borrowed for your wedding can be open to anything as long as it matches with your color scheme. You might borrow a necklace, bracelet, earrings or even a wedding veil from a family member. You might even borrow something such as a little trinket that you can attach to your bridal bouquet without taking away from the bouquet itself. Many brides also borrow a ring or a wedding band from their mothers to wear on the other hand as something borrowed. These old traditions are still strong when weddings take place more so than any other wedding tradition.

You may have looked forward to observing this tradition at your wedding, but do you know what the symbolism behind this tradition?

Something old symbolizes tradition, continuity and maintaining ties to your family. Something new is that your union will start a new life and new adventures and a hopefully bright future. Something borrowed symbolizes someone or something that you respect or admire, and also a reminder that family and friends will be there to support the bride whenever she may need their assistance. Something blue represents purity, love and fidelity. Finally, there’s the part which most brides have neglected in this line of tradition: “a silver sixpence in her shoe.” This last part seems to be often neglected as having a coin in your shoe does seem rather uncomfortable. A silver sixpence in the shoe symbolizes the wishes of loved ones that the bride may have both financial security and happiness.

This tradition is largely a British custom, as it dates back to the Victorian era and originated from an Old English rhyme which goes,

Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe.

Though the poem is originally British, parts of it are not really purely British. The blue color, for example, has been connected to weddings for several centuries. It probably started back in ancient Rome, when brides wore blue to symbolize love, fidelity and modesty. The silver sixpence part may have been a Scottish custom of a groom placing a silver coin in his left shoe for good luck.