Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. With a mind-boggling amount of wedding traditions for you to follow, deciding to say “I do” is the easy part of planning your big day. Ever wonder if you’re the only one worrying about getting them all done? Here we bring you four traditions from all over the world, showing that there’s not just one way to demonstrate your love for your new spouse.
The history of China is beautifully doused in mystery and legend. In China, getting married is seen as a very important event for the whole community and because of this; people really focus on the finer details in order to make a truly magical experience for all involved. One of the most important things when planning is the use of colour: invitations, flowers and decorations must be displayed in red, which represents both love and fidelity for the happy couple.
The wedding reception is another vital aspect of Chinese weddings. Tradition dictates that the bride and groom must drink half a glass of wine at their reception in order to ensure that they will enter into marriage with the strength to keep their love forever. What’s more, fish-based meals are normally presented as the main course, which must be eaten to ensure endless happiness and love for the newlyweds.
How much fun can a wedding be? Russian people know the answer better than most! The starting point of a Russian wedding is “the rescue” where the groom has literally to rescue the bride who is kept at her parents’ house. In order to liberate her, the young man has to answer all kinds of questions such as “How old is your mother in law?” Once she is saved by her hero, they can all go to the church to begin the wedding.
During the wedding reception, it is very common for relatives and friends to shout out “gorko” which means “bitter”. According to the tradition, the more it is said, the sweeter the couple’s relationship will be!
It’s well known that this beautiful part of the world is richly steeped in tradition and culture. In Mexico, wedding guests dance around the couple, encircling them in a heart shape before letting them free to begin their first dance. In Brazil, the tradition is completely the opposite of the British or North American habits and they actually choose the best man and the bridesmaid on the very day of their wedding. Other countries such as Chile or Argentina follow rural customs, with fortunate bride and grooms having the special opportunity to be carried in a horse-drawn carriage.
Spain & Italy
As much as Mediterranean people can’t live without sunshine, it’s also well known that they love the nightlife – la fiesta! This is probably the reason why most of the wedding ceremonies there take place during the evening. In these countries, weddings generally start around 6pm with dinner taking place at 10pm – so it is common that the party carries on until the early hours of the morning.
Spain is a great example of a culture where people put a lot of thought, effort and money into their wedding gifts. Paintings are often given to help decorate the couple’s new home and lots of money is spent on holidays and trips for the new husband and wife. Of course, as the economy has suffered, people have started to show how much they care in other ways. Beautifully crafted wedding gifts with engraved messages have become increasingly popular ways of wishing the couple a long and happy marriage. Add in one last essential ingredient of the Mediterranean wedding: throw rice instead of confetti and the couple will never go hungry!
Not a country (obviously!) but the Church of Scientology is immersed in just as many traditions and practices as one – and this extends to their wedding ceremonies too. Scientologists believe that marriage is “part of the second of the eight dynamics of existence“, alongside all creative activity including sex and bearing children.
At the ceremony, the groom is told that he needs to provide his bride with “clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat” because that’s what “girls” need. The couple also make a pact with each other that they won’t go to sleep at night until they’ve repaired any upset they might have had during the day.