Wedding customs from around the world that may just inspire you…
In Western society, the popular wedding traditions of old dominate the weddings of today with many of us so familiar with them that we know what happens next! Though these wedding traditions are recognised and practiced all over the world, there are numerous cultures that still incorporate the beauty of their own wedding traditions with that of the Western culture.
Nigerian traditional weddings
Like many other countries in West Africa, elders and officials take charge for a formal ceremony of introductions and negotiations where the bride and groom are presented along with their families together. The groom presents gifts to the bride and her family, usually consisting of drinks, money, textiles and jewellery after which everyone then engages of a long night of singing, dancing and feasting which are all a big part of the festivities.
Peruvian wedding traditions
Much like throwing the bouquet to the bridesmaids, this tradition is centred on the wedding cake. Pieces of ribbon are tied around the base of the cake with one of the ribbons holding an expensive ring. Before the commencement of the cake cutting, single female guests are called up to take turns pulling pieces of ribbon; whoever then obtains the ring is considered the next one to get married.
Greek wedding traditions
Up to three days before the wedding, the happy couple organise a Krevati a celebration basically meaning bed. Family and friends of the couple place young children and money on the bed of the couple in the home they will live in once they are married symbolising prosperity and fertility and after which much feasting and celebration begins.
On the day of the wedding, the bride may be serenaded as she makes her way to the ceremony which may usually consist of an Greek Orthodox ceremony in two parts: the betrothal where the priest blesses the rings and places them on the couple’s fingers three times. At the altar, the bride and groom hold candles and crown joined together by ribbons which will be placed on the couple’s heads three times after they’ve kissed to symbolise their intertwining lives.
After the ceremony, the reception can commence and the Greeks are famous for their plate smashing tradition, although little used nowadays and if at all used then with plaster plates making them easier and safer to break.
Dancing is also a big part of celebrating a Greek wedding with everyone holding hands and dancing in a large circle. The bride and groom will dance last at the end of the night while guests pin money to their clothes! Each guest usually leaves with a small favour bag of Jordan almonds.
Indian wedding traditions
Depending on religion or region, Indian weddings can take up to several days. The bride will traditionally wear red while the groom may wear traditional garments and there will usually be a ceremony where the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with henna and the groom’s head is anointed.
The groom’s family and friends will arrive at the ceremony singing and dancing in a large procession. At the ceremony, after the bride has been given away by her father, the bride and groom exchange garlands of flowers and perform a number of rituals including tossing rice together into a sacred fire, taking seven symbolic steps together to signify the beginning of their new life together and blessing of the couple by the parents with a rose dipped in water to sprinkle over them.
Finnish wedding traditions
A popular Finnish tradition, involves the bride going from door to door holding a pillowcase to collect wedding gifts, usually accompanied by an older male. Later on at the reception, the idea is that every man, woman and child must dance with the bride starting with the women while the men dance with the groom, they will then swap over and so on until every guest has had a chance to dance with the bride!
Whilst at the reception, instead of throwing the bouquet, the bride will pass her crown to the next single female while blindfolded and the eligible bachelorettes dance around her while she attempts to catch them. Also, at some point throughout the night, either the bride or groom must stomp their foot on the floor to symbolise becoming the ‘boss of the house, ’ ultimately the game being who can do so before the other!
Japanese wedding traditions
Like other cultures, Western wedding traditions are a popular choice, otherwise traditional Shinto ceremonies. The couple will be dressed in beautiful traditional kimonos and such ceremonies are usually held at shrines, often in hotels where a Shinto priest and only close relatives are in attendance. During the ceremony, the couple are purified and drink sake after which the groom reads his words of commitment.
At the reception, many guests will attend and enjoy much song, dance and feasting during which the couple may change their attire many times throughout the night. At the end of the ceremony, the couple will thank their guests formally together.
Unsure about having a traditional wedding, why don't you check out our blog: Wedding Traditions, To Ditch or Not To Ditch!