many people like to add personal touches to their big day, most weddings are in
fact just a string of traditions that are pieced together to create a
spectacular event. Rituals that seem completely normal to natives of a
particular country can seem utterly bizarre to those unfamiliar with the
routine, so with this in mind let’s take a look at five unusual wedding
traditions you might not be aware of.
1. A Goose For The Bride
In British culture it’s common for Christian couples to exchange wedding rings as a symbol of their love and commitment. 77Diamonds wedding rings, for instance, are given in church after the couples have made their vows, but things are slightly different in other parts of the world. In Korea, grooms used to give their new mother-in-law wild geese or ducks. These monogamous creatures would symbolise the husband’s purity and loyalty and were the ultimate symbol of respect. These days, the bride and groom tend to exchange wooden varieties of ducks and geese as a sign of their commitment.
For many years, people have thrown confetti over the bride and groom to help ward off bad spirits and to bestow fertility and prosperity. This tradition comes from Italy and while flowers, petals, grains and rice were once used, they now tend to use sugared coloured almonds. These are available in many different colours but white and ivory are usually used for weddings and are served in multiples of five symbolising the five well-wishes for newly-weds: Health, prosperity, happiness, fertility and longevity.
The Japanese culture is rich in tradition and weddings are the perfect opportunity for some of their rituals to be performed in all their glory. The sake sipping ceremony of san-san-kudo is performed by the bride, groom and both sets of parents and involves each individual taking three sips from each of the three stacked sake cups totalling nine sips. Nine is a lucky number in Japanese culture and the process of drinking together is thought to bind the two families together.
Stealing The Groom’s Shoes
Believe it or not, in many South Asian weddings it’s the duty of the bridesmaids/bride’s sisters/cousins to steal the groom’s shoes – all while the groomsmen/ groom’s brothers/cousins try to stop them from doing so. This tradition is called Joota Chupai and results in the bride’s entourage bringing back the shoes in return for some money.
It featured in many popular Indian movies and songs and brings a sense of fun
to wedding ceremonies.
5. Pre-Planned Crying
If the bride started to weep before her wedding day in the UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a serious problem – after all, this should be the happiest time of her life, right? Well, in China, the pre-planned crying of Chinese brides-to-be is well known. In fact, they are expected to cry for at last an hour each day for a month before their wedding and other female friends and relatives also tend to join in for a couple of days.
Wedding traditions are as fascinating as the cultures they derive from, so if you’re attending a wedding in a different country this year, brace yourself for a potentially new experience.