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Global Wedding Traditions

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Over the past few months we have shared a few blog posts explaining Wedding Traditions, where they come from and what they mean.

Inspired by some of our wedding couples who have opted to include elements from their partners or parents cultural heritage, into their celebrations, we have researched some traditions which show how different countries around the world celebrate this special day differently.

Check out the details below and see which you would choose to include in your special day:

Persia

Earlier this year we welcomed guests to the wedding celebrations of Pamela & Reza, our newlyweds incorporated some  Traditions into their wedding ceremony including "The Persian Wedding Table" and they provided cards to explain to guests the reason behind what each item represented:

Item What it represents
Mirror Honesty, Reality, Purity
Candelabra Light, Fire & Eternal Love
Honey, Yoghurt & Rosewater Fertility & Good Health
Sugar Loafs Sweetness & Good Energy
Decorated Eggs Fertility, Strong & Healthy Children
Sweets The Sweetness Of Love, Life, Friendship & Family
Fruit Good Health

 

 

 

persian wedding table

Persian Wedding Table

Armenia

According to the custom, when the bride and groom enter their wedding reception—typically at the groom's house—they break a plate for good luck, then are given lavash (a type of flatbread) and honey by the groom's mother.

They balance the bread on their shoulders to ward off evil and eat a spoonful of honey to symbolize happiness.

Wedding Bread

Congo

For the duration of the wedding day both the bride and groom are not permitted to smile. If they are seen to be smiling it implies that they are not serious about the vows they have chosen to take.

Croatia

In December 2016 we welcomed guests to our hotel to celebrate the marriage of Mary & Jon Paul. The couple chose to include details from Mary's Croatian heritage in their celebrations by pinning a sprig of heather to guests as they arrived for dinner as a sign of good luck. 

alternative irish wedding photographer we can be heroes 0062

They also offered guests a drink of Rajika, a special spirit from Croatia

Rajika

Their wedding celebrations were captured by Tom from We Can Be Heroes Photography and more details from their day can be viewed on his blog post here. 

Fiji

Asking permission from the bride’s family to propose is a daunting task for any groom, in Fiji the task is made even more difficult as the bride’s father must be presented with a whale’s tooth before he will agree!

Germany

German weddings can include some challenges which aim to show that newlywed couples can face challenges together.

Wedding guests may smash porcelain dishes on the ground with the intention of scaring away any evil spirits, the bride and groom must then work together to clear away all the remnants or couples may be presented with a large log and saw and be required to work together to saw the log in half.

Broken Plate

 Japan

On her wedding day, a Japanese bride celebrating a traditional Shinto ceremony wears white from head to toe, including makeup, kimono, and a hood called a "tsunokakushi." White denotes her maiden status, and the hood hides the so-called "horns of jealousy" she feels towards her mother-in-law.

 Norway

Another Norwegian tradition states that the bride will wear an ornate silver and gold crown that has small charms dangling all around it. When she moves, the tinkling sound is supposed to deflect evil spirits.

Venezuela

Don't wait until the reception's over to chat up a Venezuelan bride and groom—they could be long gone. It's good luck for the newlyweds to sneak away before the party's over without getting caught; it's also good luck for whichever guest catches on that they're gone.

Wedding Couple Run Away

Wales

Welsh brides think not only of themselves on their wedding day, but also of their bridal party. The bridal bouquet includes myrtle, an herb that symbolizes love, and the bride gives a cutting to each of her bridesmaids. The theory goes that if a bridesmaid plants the myrtle cutting, and it blooms, she'll be the next bride.

myrtle

Egypt

The bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for the newlyweds for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax.

 

Ireland

In Ireland, when the bride and groom are dancing, the bride must keep at least one foot on the floor at all times. Irish folklore states that if she doesn't, evil fairies will come and sweep her away.

Bride Feet On Floor

Peru

In Peruvian weddings, the cake is typically assembled with ribbons attached to charms, one of which is a fake wedding ring. During the reception, all the single women in attendance participate in the "cake pull," each grabbing a ribbon. The single lady who pulls out the fake wedding ring, per tradition, will be the next to get married.

 

 Mexico

During the exchange of wedding vows, a minister will drape the Bride & Groom, around their shoulders, with a lasso, made of rosary beads and flowers.

The lasso’s shape represents the infinity symbol to signify how long they hope the marriage will last.

 

South Africa

The parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds' hearth.

Wedding Couple Fire Tradition

 Sweden

Traditionally in Sweden the bride and groom will typically enter the ceremony by walking down the aisle together.

When a couple becomes engaged it’s typical for both the man and the woman to exchange rings. Then only the bride will get the second ring at the marriage ceremony. The engagement bands tend to be plain with the wedding ring being more similar to a UK engagement ring with diamonds or gemstones featured in the design.

Wedding Ceremony