Cultural wedding traditions and rituals have evolved over thousands of years all over the world. Even today, many wedding traditions are still linked to other customs, superstitions or the environment around you.
Here are some of the most interesting wedding traditions from different countries across the world.
Indian weddings are big, bold and beautiful. An Indian wedding is jam-packed with traditions and customs, guests, and celebrations which can span across 3 days!
Traditional Hindu wedding dates are determined by a pandit (priest) who uses the stars to find the couple's most favourable date to get married.
On day one of the celebrations the bride and her female family members take part in ‘mehndi’, where they have their hands and feet henna-ed, and ‘sangeet’, a small reception where the bride’s and groom’s families come together for the first time to celebrate.
The third day is the ceremony and reception, which can last a whopping 16 hours! There is a procession where the groom greets his parents and bride's parents at the ‘manadap’ where everyone removes their shoes to enter the sacred space to wait for the bride’s arrival.
During the wedding ceremony the couple are physically bound together and step around a sacred fire followed by greeting their guests and receiving blessings.
When setting the date, the couple will visit a fortune teller, Feng Shui Master or Monk to determine the best date to get married based on their birth dates and star signs.
Interestingly the bride and groom have a wedding photoshoot prior to the wedding so they can get the perfect shots and display the photos at the ceremony. It’s also becoming increasingly popular for newlyweds to book a European trip for their honeymoon so they can have photos taken wearing their wedding attire in front of famous European landmarks!
On the morning of the wedding, it is customary for the groom to pick up the bride - often a lively affair which can involve fireworks, gongs, drums and dancing. A child walks in front of the procession with the groom to represent fertility. Upon arrival, the groom is greeted by the family to put him to the test where Chuangmen (door games) take place. The games typically include eating something spicy, sour or bitter and answer lots of questions about the bride to win approval of the bride’s family.
After winning the game the groom hands over a red envelope containing money to the bridesmaids so they can ‘surrender’ their friend. The groom’s final challenge is to find the bride’s missing shoe and place it on her foot, he then carries her to the traditional Chinese tea ceremony held within the bride’s family home.
The wedding banquet is an opulent eight hour event hosted by the bride and groom's parents. The food served to the guests is symbolic - a fish course represents abundance, a suckling pig signifies the bride’s purity, a poultry dish is served for peace and a sweet lotus seed symbolises fertility.
Prior to a Danish wedding, the bride has a pine archway built outside her home either on her pathway or attached to her doorway, this is known as a ‘Gate of Honour’.
The groom traditionally buys the bride her wedding bouquet but the bride must buy her own shoes (and not sell them after!).
After the wedding ceremony, the male guests take off the groom’s shoes to cut holes in his socks. Some say this is to prevent other women from seducing him, and others say the bride should repair the socks to prove she is a good wife.
Danish weddings are filled with kisses! During the wedding reception if one guest starts to stamp their feet and the rest of the party join in, the bride and groom have to duck under the table to kiss. If guests start tapping their cutlery against their plates or glasses, the married couple stand on their chairs to kiss. And, when the bride leaves the room, the female guests rush to kiss the groom on his cheek and vice versa, if the groom leaves then the male guests kiss the bride on the cheek.
All guests are expected to eat a slice of the wedding cake as it is deemed as bad luck for the marriage if they don’t.
The day before an Italian wedding, the bride must isolate - no not because of Covid! She must stay away from the groom and can only look at her reflection in the mirror if she removes an accessory - a shoe, glove or earring.
On the night before the big day the groom arranges to serenade his bride underneath her window. The bride doesn’t know what time this will be and is awoken by the sound of music being played by musicians outside. Friends and family are notified what time this will take place so they can witness the event unfolding.
Traditionally bomboniere, an organza bag filled with sugared almonds or confetti, is stacked in groups of five. The bomboniere are given to guests as wedding favours and represent health, wealth and fertility.
During the wedding ceremony the newlyweds must smash glass, the more pieces shattered on the floor, the better as they represent the longevity of their marriage.
Regardless of where you’re getting married you can be sure to experience a whole host of interesting traditions that are unique. The dress, the music, the entertainment and especially the food will all have their own unique touches to make your day truly special.
Our team at Wherstead Park love nothing more than supporting couples in honouring their cultural traditions, rituals and beliefs for their special day.
Our beautiful Georgian mansion set in the Suffolk countryside, overlooking the river Orwell, lends itself perfectly to host your beautiful wedding. We can seat up to 350 guests per sitting, and with our dry hire option you have free reign to bring in your chosen caterers. To find out more contact email@example.com