Most fascinating wedding rituals from around world
GBnews 24 desk//
There’s no denying it: the joy that a wedding brings is universal, irrespective of cultures and borders. And while the celebratory fervour is unanimous, the modes of expressing it are often varied.
A lehenga, a white gown or a cheongsam (the traditional Chinese wedding dress) isn’t the only element that differentiates one nuptial from another. Every country boasts a wealth of time-honoured wedding customs that have been lovingly preserved (and practiced) through the generations.
Here is the wedding hopping around the globe
Spain: Cortar la corbata del novio
Spanish groomsman gather around the groom after the ‘I dos’ to cut off his tie. Small pieces of this are auctioned off to the wedding guests during the reception, and are supposed to bring good luck to those who snag one.
Russia: Vykup nevesty
Russian bridesmaids take great joy in their role as the third wheel between the couple. When the groom arrives to pick up his bride, he is presented with a list of challenges and tasks, which he must successfully perform to finally get to her.
Germany: Sawing of the log and cleaning the dishes
The German folk believe in preparing the couple to overcome obstacles as a team from the wedding day itself. They are presented with a saw and a large log soon after the ceremony, which they must split into half together. Guests at the reception are encouraged to throw porcelain dishes on the ground, which the couple must clean up to ward off evil spirits.
France: Drinking from the chamber pot
The French have a unique way of preparing the bride and groom for their wedding night. They are fed leftover alcohol (read: champagne) from the wedding, as well as chocolates and bananas, but here’s the clincher—they must have this from a (presumably clean and new) chamber pot or toilet bowl. The idea behind this is that it gives them strength for the night ahead.
Peru: Next in line
Catching the bouquet isn’t the sign of being the next in line at a typical Peruvian wedding. Instead, the wedding cake is baked with ribbons attached to charms, one of them being a fake wedding ring. Similar to the chooda ceremony at North Indian weddings, the woman who gets the ring could find herself playing the bride soon.
Ireland: The sundial ceremony
On the Aran Islands of Ireland, the couple is asked to touch their fingers through the Celtic sundial’s hole as a confirmation of their union. Guests then pass a silk scarf through the hole three times to wish the newly-weds well.
Norway: Drinking the cake
Move over alcohol-infused bachelorette cakes. Norwegians believe in letting the groom join in the revelry too. The typical celebratory cake in the country is cone-shaped and called kransekake. Made with iced almond cake rings, it has a wine bottle placed in the hollow centre.
Cuba: Pin the bride
No cash-filled envelopes for Cuban couples. Every man who dances with the bride must pin money to her gown, which goes towards the couple’s honeymoon fund.
Venezuela: Sneaking out
While some cultures frown upon the couple sneaking out, Venezuelan custom encourages it. It’s good luck for the couple to slip out without getting caught before the party is over, and it’s good luck for the guest who catches them while they are making their escape too.
Guatemala: Smashing the bell
Just wishing the happy couple well is not enough in Guatemala. Instead, the groom’s mother breaks a white ceramic bell filled with grains like rice and flour at the wedding reception to bring the duo prosperity.
Mexico: El lazo (Lasso ceremony)
After the vow exchange, two linked rosaries or a floral rope are draped across the bride and groom’s shoulders in the form of the number eight (infinity sign) to represent their unity. They are to wear the lasso for the rest of the service, until it is removed and handed to the bride as a symbol of their commitment.
Turkey: Bridal shoe-signing
Much like the throwing of a bouquet, this is Turkish who-will-marry-next tradition that has been practised for generations, dictating that the bride gets her single bridesmaids to autograph the soles of her shoes before walking down the aisle. Legend has it, after the end of festivities, the person whose name has been rubbed off will be the next to marry.