Have you ever been at a wedding and wondered where the tradition of the tossing of the bouquet came from? Or ‘something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new’. It seems in Australia when it comes to weddings, we’ve adopted our own set of rituals and beliefs.
In other countries around the world, these traditions might be slightly varied or completely non-existent! From outrageous to heartwarming, here are 10 wedding traditions from around the world that all share one thing in common; the union of two people in love.
Spain – Cortar la corbata del novio (cutting of the Groom’s tie)
In Spain, during the wedding reception, the Groom will be surrounded by his Groomsmen, who will cut his tie from around his neck. The tie is cut into small pieces and auctioned off to wedding guests. It’s believed that owning a piece of the cut tie will bring good luck.
Guatemala – Smashing the bell
Following the wedding ceremony, all guests at weddings in Guatemala head to the Groom’s house, where there is a white ceramic bell filled with rice, flour and other grains hanging over the doorway. These grains all represent abundance. When the couple arrives, the mother of the groom will ceremoniously smash the bell, bringing good luck and prosperity to the newlyweds!
Germany – Baumstamm sägen (sawing the log)
After the wedding ceremony in Germany, the Bride and Groom have to use a two-person handsaw to cut a large log in half. This is believed to symbolise the ways in which they must work together in the future.
Kenya – Spitting on the Bride
In Kenya, as the newly married Bride and Groom leave the village, the father of the Bride spits on his daughter’s head and chest, so as not to jinx their good fortune!
Japan – Sake ceremony
In the Japanese san-san-kudo tradition, the bride and groom each take three sips from three flat sake cups, followed by their parents, which is believed to be bonding the families together.
Wales – Bride abduction
In Wales, a mock abduction game is played before the ceremony. The Best Man will kidnap the Bride and take her to the pub before the wedding. The Groom must find them and pick up the tab.
There are similar Bride-napping traditions throughout Europe, including in Russia, Germany and Romania.
Korea – Goose for a bride
According to Korean tradition, Grooms must give their new mother-in-law a wild goose or duck. These monogamous animals represent the Groom’s pure intentions and loyalty to his Bride.
Czech Republic – Enhanced fertility
Before Czech wedding ceremonies, an infant is placed on the couple’s bed in order to bless and enhance their fertility. Once wed, guests shower the couple with rice, peas or lentils to also promote fertility.
China – Obstacles to Bride
In this Chinese tradition, Bridesmaids give the Groom (and sometimes his Groomsmen) a hard time on the wedding day by putting him through a series of challenges to prove that he’s worthy of the bride. Following this, he must pay off the Bridesmaids with envelopes full of money!
Mexico – El lazo (the lasso)
Once the couple at a Mexican wedding have pledged their vows, guests will lasso them together with a special rope. The rope is tied in a figure-eight shape to symbolise the couple’s lasting unity.