Wedding Traditions From Around The World

Weddings are different across the world, with different traditions and ways of doing things. It may be quite different to how we do things in the UK, but they mostly tend to wish good fortune, fidelity and fertility to the newlyweds.

Have a look at our list and if any of these apply to you.

 The Money Dance

The Money Dance or Dollar Dance, typically featured in European weddings, first came to prominence in the early 20th Century and is believed to have evolved from a folk dance performed by couples married during Europe’s harvest season.

Traditionally, the bride wears a purpose-made apron over her wedding dress, and guests must then pin money to her in exchange for a dance. Like most traditions, there is an order of etiquette that should be observed; the groom being first, followed by the father of the bride, relatives then close friends. Traditionally it involves male guests paying to dance with the bride, however these days many female guests will do the same for a dance with the groom.

In Spain, it’s customary for the groom to present his bride with a bag containing thirteen gold coins on the eve of their wedding. The 13 coins represent Christ and his 12 Apostles. The bride must then carry her bag of gold coins during the ceremony or pinned to her dress.

The Plate Smash

Plate-throwing is a custom synonymous with lively Greek wedding receptions, but they aren’t the only ones who know how to have a good time smashing plates. In fact, the German tradition of Polterabend is alleged to be older, originating in a time when it was customary to smash a clay altar immediately following a sacrifice to the Germanic gods. The action of smashing either is thought to bring luck to the couple, with many modern brides incorporating the tradition into the wedding reception.

Mehndi and Varmala

Indian weddings are full of inspiring traditions and rites, many of which have specific meanings. Perhaps the best know is the Mehndi ceremony where the bride-to-be’s hands and feet are painted with intricate henna tattoos. Another lovely custom is that of Var Mala, which refers to the gifting of floral garlands between husband and wife after the initial vows have been exchanged. This is one of the most important rites in the entire wedding ceremony, representing the bride’s acceptance of the groom as her husband for life!

Marrying on the half-hour

China follows the tradition of couples marrying on the half-hour rather than on the hour as it is said to bring luck to their marriage because they are marrying on an ‘upswing’ since the hands of the clock are moving upwards rather than downwards.

Moroccan Bath

Morocco have a spa speciality of Moroccan baths, but they have a specific one for a bride to be. If you like baths, take after the Moroccan tradition where women bathe in milk to purify themselves before the wedding ceremony.

Draping a lasso

In Mexico, Mexican couples will drape a lasso, or lazo, of rosary beads and flowers around their shoulders in a figure of eight while exchanging vows. This infinity symbol symbolises how long they want the marriage to last and the joining of the couple.

Tasting of the Four Elements

Africa have a tradition called the Tasting of the Four Elements. The couple get a literal taste during their ceremony of four flavours that represent the stages in a marriage. A slice of lemon for sourness to represent the disappointments they will face; a sip of vinegar for bitterness they must overcomes; cayenne pepper for heat to show the spice and passion and their relationship; and a spoonful of honey for the sweet joy in marriage. Tasting they all shows the couple will be able to overcome anything.

Wearing Sai Sins

In Thailand, wedding guests tie white strings, known as sai sins, around the bride’s wrists for luck. If she can wear them for three days, even better fortune will come their way!

Zaffe dance

In Lebanon, they have a pre-wedding celebration, known as the Zaffe, is a performance made up by a zaffe group, consisting of dancers, singers and drummers in traditional costumes. They lead the guests to the bride’s house, where the couple is showered in flower petals, before being escorted to the ceremony with music and drums. Then they’ll lead them from the wedding reception to the dance floor before the first dance.

Asoebi matching family outfits

Forget matching bridesmaid dresses! Especially popular in West Africa is the tradition of Asoebi: matching ceremonial fabric that the entire family and close friends of the bride and groom will wear during the wedding. The bride and groom’s families will each have their own asoebi making it very easy to tell who is with who!

Wearing a red wedding dress

In Japan, the bride typically wears a pure white kimono for the formal ceremony, which symbolizes purity and maidenhood. After the ceremony, the bride will change into a red kimono that symbolizes good luck.

We think it’s great, the traditions are still be followed Today, with the addition of modern twists or modern extra’s!

October 4th, 2022 | Blog Post, | Testimonial