From jumping the broom, to signing the Ketubah the world is full of beautiful wedding traditions. Totally unique and often signifying similar well wishes from nation to nation, each tradition pays cultural homage to connect guests with the couple.
For example, according to Renee Strauss of WedAways, in Italy gift registries don’t exist. Instead wedding guests give packets of money to the bride and groom.
In India, the day before the wedding the bride gets a mehndi, known in the West as henna . The wives tale is that, the darker the mehndi the more your in laws will like you. Traditions in Greece for weddings includes the bride writing the names of their single friends on there shoes.
In Germany, a common wedding tradition is to drink from a chalice at the same time without spilling. This comes from an ancient fairy tale where a powerful nobleman forbade his daughter from marrying a young goldsmith. To win his hand the young goldsmith was tasked with making this impossible chalice, and to the father’s dismay, accomplished a double sided chalice.
Sharn Khaira of Desi Bride Dreams shared that a Hindu wedding includes lots of different games. One game that they play is called “Aeki, Beki”. This game is when a tray is filled with water, milk and sindoor. It is also filled with rings and coins. And whichever the bride or the groom picks the wedding ring is said to rule the household. It is said to be a noisy event with tons of cheering.
A Polish tradition is a salty welcome. As the newlyweds enter the reception hall, their Polish parents will welcome them with salt and a loaf of bread. The bread is a symbol of prosperity which is dipped in salt, a reminder of tough times ahead. After the newlywed couple have ripped off a chunk of bread and ate it with the salt, the guests are invited to do the same and share in their fortune.
In China, either the couple or the bride serves tea to the groom’s family immediately after the ceremony as a symbol of respect. Speaking of drinking, the southern tradition in Lexington, Kentucky is to bury a full bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and groom are to be married, to avoid wedding day rain showers. The bottle is buried upside down and is dug up post-ceremony and enjoyed with the bridal party.
In the Filippino culture, immediately following the ceremony, the bride or groom has to step on the other persons foot, to prove who will wear the “pants” in the relationship. Its more common to see women follow through with this to let her husband know that she is his equal.
Written by Emani Campbell. Edited by Emore Campbell.