You can’t deny that the British love a good wedding and all the pomp and ceremony that goes along with it, from the first dance to the Groom carrying his new Bride over the threshold. However, we’re certainly not the only country to have wedding customs, they may differ hugely from one country to the next but they all have one thing in common – guaranteeing the Bride & Groom their ‘happy ever after’.
Many wedding day traditions were originally based on symbolism and superstition and were meant to help the new couple get off to the best possible start in married life, for example, in the Philippines it is customary for the happy couple to release a pair of white Doves to represent the start of their harmonious life together.
Many Western cultures now throw confetti over the Bride and Groom as they leave the church and while this makes for a beautiful photo it actually stems from friends and family throwing rice or seeds at the couple to encourage fertility.
In the UK the throwing of the bouquet is well-known tradition and there is a similar custom in Greece where the bridesmaids write their name on the sole of the Bride’s shoe and the last name to remain after a long night of dancing will be the next lucky lady to wed!
We all know how expensive a wedding can be and the Polish have come up with a creative way to get the guests to help out with the cost a little. Instead of the first dance we all know and love, the Bride will wear a specially made apron and guests will pay for a dance with her by pinning money on her dress. Every little helps!
Marriage may be a universal custom – when it comes to love there are no borders, however when it comes to Wedding Traditions, there are some which you may be glad you don’t have to participate in.
One such tradition is the Blackening of the Bride which is making a comeback all over Scotland and involves the Bride and Groom being captured by friends and covered in soot, flour, treacle and feathers. This is supposedly to signify that any couple who can cope with being covered in gunk can face any challenge life may throw at them in the future.
While we like to think of a Wedding Day as the happiest of the Bride & Grooms life, in the Congo it’s serious business! So serious that the wedding party are not allowed to even crack a smile during the ceremony.
Even though Cupid has already struck the happy couple, in parts of China it is tradition for the Groom to shoot his new wife with 3 arrows, with the heads removed thankfully! He will then break the arrows in half, symbolising their eternal love.
There’s certainly plenty of options to choose from when planning your big day, whether you go with age-old customs or start your very own family traditions.