A couple’s wedding day is often one of the happiest days of their lives. However, this day looks a lot different as you travel the world. Some of them are beautiful, some of them are funny, and some of them are wonderfully silly! If you want to have a multi-cultural wedding which incorporates lots of different facets of your family’s culture, here are some of the best ones that you can take inspiration from.
In Norway, many brides wear crowns to ward off evil spirits. This crown is often passed down through the family and is an important heirloom. They are often made of silver and have a veil attached. Sometimes, small decorations will dangle from the crown. When the bride turns her head or moves, the decorations will chime and make a sound. This is meant to warn off evil spirits on the wedding day, according to Norwegian tradition.
‘El Lazo’ is a unity ritual which includes a large loop of flowers or silk material. This is placed over the couple as they make a promise to commit to each other. This signifies their new status as unified in the eyes of God.
It is a tradition in Armenian weddings for the Groom’s mother to bake bread called Lavash. But this isn’t eaten as part of the wedding buffet- the couples place it on their shoulders! They also eat a spoonful of honey. This is to warn away evil spirits and to bring them good luck on their wedding day.
Similarly, in Russia bread is baked to be eaten as part of the wedding feast. Karavay is a sweetbread traditionally cooked for weddings- the bride and groom both eat it at the wedding! The person who can take the biggest bite without using their hands is considered the head of the family.
In Fiji, when a young man wants to propose, he has to get an engagement ring for his partner. However, he also has to present his bride’s father with a whale tooth! It is seen as a symbol of respect for his wife’s family.
Historically, England had made it illegal for couples under the age of 21 to be wed. However, many people got around this rule by eloping to Gretna Green in Scotland, which had different rules. This was a great way for couples all over the UK to get married even when it wasn’t allowed.
Many German weddings include a tradition called Polterabrend. On the night before the wedding, the soon-to-be husband and wife break their porcelain. This is believed to bring luck to the couple’s marriage. This comes from an ancient Germanic belief that pottery shards bring luck.
Joota Chupai is an Indian tradition where the bride’s sisters steal the Groom’s special wedding shoes and hide them somewhere! The Groom has to negotiate to get his shoes back, and often pays a tidy sum to the Bride’s family to get them back. This fun tradition is meant to symbolise the laughter both families will have together now the couple are married and demonstrates the families accepting each other.
Beware of the faeries in Ireland! In Ireland, both the bride and groom traditionally drank mead to keep them at bay. Whiskey would also be sprinkled on the ground to ward off bad spirits. However, during the first dance, Irish brides must not lift both feet off the ground. The tradition states that if she did, the faeries would carry her away! Guests to traditional Irish weddings must be aware of wearing the colour green- believed to be the favourite of faeries.
Love spoons are a historic art that originated in Wales over 350 years ago now. Carved from wood, these spoons came from a tradition of creating utensils that were aesthetically pleasing for the home. Over time, they became a betrothal token, with young men whittling them while thinking of the young lady they liked. This meaningful symbol, which is often meticulously crafted, is now presented at many events such as weddings in Wales.
The old wedding rhyme in England goes ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue.’ This refers to what the bride must wear to bring luck on her wedding day. The ‘Something Old’ might be something she’s had for a while or something vintage that was presented to her, such as a vintage sapphire engagement ring. The ‘Something New’ is often part of her wedding dress. The ‘Something Borrowed’ is often an heirloom that has been traditionally worn by the women in her family, and the ‘Something Blue’ is usually a Garter or Ribbon worn underneath her wedding dress. This is meant to bring luck to the bride on her wedding day.
If you think it’s hard picking one wedding dress, Chinese brides have to pick three! They choose a white traditional Western gown, often for the wedding banquet. They also pick out a traditional Chinese dress, a cheongsam or qi pao, red in colour. This is often worn during the ceremony. She also gets a white cocktail dress, ready to dance away at the reception! This is a beautiful way that Chinese brides can incorporate all parts of their culture into their wedding day.