In the UK traditional weddings see the bride walked down the aisle by her father and confetti thrown as the newlywed couple leave the church. We aren’t the only ones who have wedding traditions though. Here are a few facts you may not know about wedding ceremonies around the world:
Brides in China traditionally have costume changes throughout their wedding day with 3 dresses rather than just the 1. The first is a qipao or cheongsam which is a red embroidered slim fitting dress. Next is a more western style dress which is white and puffy. Lastly the dress of her choice – any colour, any style she wants. This is usually a cocktail or party dress.
Indian brides and their close female family and friends have their hands and feet decorated in mehndi patterns made of henna. These incredibly intricate designs can take hours to apply but will last for weeks.
In Peru, brides don’t throw their bouquet instead charms attached to ribbons are hidden amongst the layers of the wedding cake. These ribbons are then pulled by single female guests and at the end of one will be a fake wedding ring. The lucky lady is then said to be the next to marry.
People like a good party and a wedding will kick-off with music, dancing and shouting outside the groom’s doors. This escorting crowd called a ‘zaffe’ will be made up of friends, family and professional performers. And it is used to follow the groom from his home to the house of his bride, before sending them off together.
Russian grooms like their British counterparts ask their bride-to-be’s father for permission for their hand in marriage. The Russians, however, make the grooms work for it. They will not give permission until he pays his way with gifts, money and humiliating tasks. Once impressed the family will give up the ransom or vykup nevesty and he is allowed to see his fiancé.
Pakistani grooms have to protect their shoes after their wedding. When they return from wedding the couple will take part in a ‘showing of the face’ ceremony. While this takes place and the groom is distracted the bride’s female relatives will try and steal the groom’s shoes. If they’re successful they will demand money for their safe return.
In Brazil, brides write the names of their single female friends on the inside of their wedding dress to wish them luck in finding a partner. We think we’d pin labels in instead of ruining our expensive dress!
In Greek culture, during a wedding, the bride and groom will perform a ‘money dance’ where guests throw money at them hoping to bring prosperity. Some couples also have money pinned to them in long lines of cash.
During the reception at an Italian wedding, a drinking glass is smashed and the number of shards it creates is said to symbolise the number of happy years the married couple will have together. Let’s hope it is smashed well!
If you would like to bring a little culture into your wedding then why not take a look at our Celtic wedding rings?