The wedding ceremony is an important tradition across generations and cultures. While the legal agreement to marriage is simply a contract, the ceremony is the public declaration of your love . Many cultures have their own wedding traditions and rituals. Sweet, tender traditions such as the veiling of the bride; funny traditions like placing the Child of Prague in the garden for good weather; and ancient wedding traditions such as a tea ceremony or hand-fasting. Then there are traditions that are absolutely bonkers!
Here are some of the bizarre and brilliant wedding traditions from around the globe.
China: shooting the bride
In China’s Yugur culture, grooms shoot their future brides with a bow and arrow (minus the arrowheads !!) three times. The groom then breaks the arrows to ensure the couple stay in love forever.
Scotland: blackening of the bride
Scottish brides-to-be are taken by surprise by their friends ahead of the big day, and pelted with all sorts of rubbish such as curdled milk, dead fish, spoiled food, tar and feathers. She is then tied to a tree and afterwards is taken for a night of drinking. The belief is that if she can withstand this kind of treatment, she can handle anything that comes her way in her marriage. Sounds like one or two hen parties I have been to over the years!
Korea: beating the groom’s feet
Korean tradition dictates that the groom has his feet beaten with fish or a cane (ouch!) before his first night as a married man — to test his true strength and character.
India: marrying a tree
In parts of India women born as Mangliks (an astrological combination when Mars and Saturn are both under the 7th house), are apparently “cursed” and thought to be likely to cause their husband an early death. To counter this, they must first be married to a tree and the tree cut down to break the curse.
France: drinking from the toilet
Newlyweds in France were forced to drink leftovers from their wedding out of a toilet bowl! Nowadays, chocolate and champagne are used as a substitute, but still served out of a toilet, so not much of a consolation. The idea was to give the bride and groom strength before their wedding night.
Ireland: feet on the ground
In Ireland, the bride’s feet must stay on the floor at all times when she and the groom are dancing. The belief was that if they don’t then evil fairies will come and sweep her away.
Germany: smashing plates
Guests to traditional German weddings bring the happy couple any type of porcelain except glass, and then smash them in the belief that this will ward off evil spirits. The couple are then expected to clean up the mess together, learning that married life will not be easy, but by working together, they can overcome any challenge.
These are just some of my favourite wacky traditions from around the world. There are many others and incorporating traditions, whether the weird and wonderful or sweet and sentimental, is a great way to add some uniqueness and personality to your wedding. For more advice on wedding traditions to include in your day, please get in touch here.