Here in North America, there are some wedding customs which are pretty much the golden standard: the bride wearing a white wedding dress; the bride wearing something borrowed, something old; something new, and of course something blue. Some newly married couples make a show out of the groom removing the bride’s garter; and most new brides toss their bridal bouquets before the day is done. But what about wedding customs in other countries? Here are some incredibly interesting wedding customs from around the world.
Wedding customs from around the world
In India, weddings can last for days and are full of rituals and ceremonies. Part of the engagement ceremony entails the couple exchanging rings, while family members also exchange gifts and sweets. Another ceremony is the Mehndi ceremony, where the bride’s palms, wrists, arms, legs and feet are decorated with henna ink. On the actual day of the wedding, the couple places gorgeous flower garlands around each other’s necks to symbolize that the bride has accepted the groom. The bride wears either a gorgeous colorful saree or lehenga, depending on the region.
Wedding ceremonies in Cuba are not religious events, due to the country’s Communist rule. Newlyweds celebrate their marriage nonetheless with dancing and parades in the streets! When it comes to the bride’s wedding dress, it is often considered to be the most important element of the wedding – the more extravagant the better! Brides perform a wedding dance with guests, where guests pin money to her dress as a way of helping the newly married couple start their new life together.
In China, both the bride and groom’s families must approve of the union before anything else. The groom’s family is expected to give grand gifts to the bride’s family. Families will likely seek out a fortune teller to set the wedding date, as most families are very superstitious. During the wedding reception, brides may change their outfits as many as five times! Many brides will choose a red wedding dress for their ceremony as red is considered good luck, and also believed to ward off evil spirits.
Orthodox Russian weddings are steeped in rich traditions and customs – in fact, a Russian Orthodox wedding ceremony can last as long as two hours! One of the most significant aspects of the ceremony is the crowning of the couple, whereby the bride and groom wear crowns to signify their roles as king and queen of their home – which they must rule with integrity and honor.
A Filipino wedding mirrors strong family values, including many members of the family and extended family in the ceremony. Bridal dresses are often similar to the white gowns worn in North American weddings; however, most grooms wear a Barong, a traditional Filipino garment typically woven from silks made from plants indigenous to the Philippines, such as banana or pineapple leaf fibers. Additionally, some couples release doves release doves into the air to represent a long and harmonious life together.
This is just a small sample of some wedding customs from around the world. Did you have any different customs at your own wedding? What was the most beautiful wedding custom from the around the world you’ve ever seen?