Cultural Inspiration: Wedding Traditions From Around the World
Your wedding. A perfect time to honor the traditions of your forefathers (and mothers!), but also to begin your own family customs for generations to come. How about making your wedding worldly by adopting (and adapting) some of these cool traditions from around the world:
Forget the glass, break a vase
Similar to the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass, Italian couples break a vase. According to the tradition, the number of pieces represent the number of years they will be happily married.
Birds of a feather
In the Philippines, newlyweds release two white doves to represent peace and harmony in their marriage.
Why have one gown when you can have many?
Chinese brides change gown several times during their wedding reception. It is thought of as a sign of the family’s wealth.
Pull my ribbon
In Victorian England, ribbons with small charms were placed between the layers of the wedding cake. Before cutting the cake, all bridesmaids are invited to pull a ribbon. Whichever charm she gets represents her fortune: hearts, horseshoes, flowers, anchors, and others.
We didn’t start the fire
In South African culture, the parents of the bride and groom bring fire from their own fireplaces to light the fireplace in their new married home – this symbolizes bringing the flames from their childhoods to their life together.
Something borrowed, something blue, red, and yellow
The English folklore is “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” In Mexico, however, brides sew yellow, blue, and red ribbons onto their undergarments to symbolize the food, passion, and money that will grace their marriage.
Duck, duck, goose
In Korea, brides and grooms exchange wooden ducks or geese as wedding gifts. Because the animals are known for their monogamy, the gifts are a symbol of their commitment.
It takes a village
Australian couples pass out stones to their wedding guests before the ceremony. The guests hold the stones as the couples take their vows. At the end of the ceremony, the guests return the stones to the couple, who place them in a decorative bowl that will forever remind them of the support of their family and friends.
Tough it out together
The Yoruba people of Africa have the newlyweds taste four elements that represent the trials and tribulations of marriage. The bride and groom must consume a sour lemon, bitter vinegar, hot cayenne pepper, and sweet honey. This symbolizes their togetherness in getting through all their marriage will bring their way.
Saved by the bell
An Irish couple will receive a bell as a wedding gift and will always have it handy in their married home. When they get in a fight, either of them can ring the bell at any time to end the argument peacefully.
Coming together for eternity
The ancient Celtic tradition of handfasting has the bride and groom join hands while facing each other (her right to his right, her left to his left) to create the figure eight, which represents infinity.
Ready to make your own traditions?
Contact us and together, we can plan which global customs will make your special day one that stands out all over the world.