No matter where you are in the world, weddings are a special celebration that call for fun, laughter, and lots of interesting customs and traditions. Every country, culture, or tribe has its own unique way of sending off the bride and groom and preparing them for a life of happiness and prosperity.
To demonstrate the diversity of how this joyful day is celebrated, here are some interesting wedding traditions from around the world.
France’s chamber pot soup
For a fun, messy prank, turn to the French. An old tradition has newlyweds sent to the bridal suite after the wedding while the party cleans up the mess. All the leftover food and drinks are tossed into a chamber pot and taken to the bridal suite, where the bridal party will barge right in. They’ll refuse to leave the newlyweds alone until they’ve finished eating the leftover chamberpot soup. These days, the leftovers chamberpot soup is replaced with a much more appetising option of champagne and melted chocolate – but still taken from a chamberpot!
India’s shoe game
In Indian tradition, the groom will remove his shoes before entering the manap (wedding platform). When he does this, the oldest single ladies on the bride’s side will run away with his shoes and hide them somewhere tricky. As per tradition, the groom has to leave the mandap with the same shoes, and so a bargaining process begins. He’ll typically bribe the girls with money and offerings to look after them as he would his own sisters. The game, known as Joota Chupai, is a fun and non-serious charade that encourages both families to prepare for a life of fun and laughter.
Armenia’s bread balancing
When entering the wedding reception, it’s Armenian tradition for the bride and groom to first smash a plate for good luck. Then, the groom’s mother will give them honey and lavash, an Armenian flatbread. The couple will have to balance the bread on their shoulders to ward off evil spirits, and eat spoonfuls of the honey to bring in happiness. After that, the party begins!
Cuba’s dancing at a price
If you want to dance with the bride in Cuba, you’ll have to pay for the experience! If you’re a man at least. Typically, males who want to dance with the bride have to pin money onto her dress before they’re given the privilege. The Cuban custom helps the newlyweds to pay for their honeymoon and new marriage.
Norway’s tinkling crown
A Norwegian tradition has the bride wearing a crown made from gold and silver. Dangling from the crown will be several small charms. As the bride moves down the aisle, the charms will hit one another and make a tinkling sound which repels evil spirits.
An Irish goodbye becomes a Venezuelan good luck… According to cultural tradition, in Venezuela it’s considered good luck if the bride and groom manage to sneak out of their wedding reception without being noticed by the guests. If you want to avoid getting teary at your wedding, this is a custom to adopt!
The Dutch wishing tree
Do something a little different and skip the guestbook for your wedding. Instead, you can adopt the Dutch tradition of a wishing tree. In this custom, the newlyweds display a small potted tree or large tree branch. Leave lots of note tags and pens for your guests to leave their well wishes and blessings. Once they have written their note, the guests hang their tag from one of the tree’s branches.
Get a Greek shave
This is one for the best man to get involved in! In typical Greek tradition, the groom’s best man (or koumparos) will shave the groom’s face on the wedding day. You’d hope he does a good job… After the shaving is over, the bride’s mother will serve the groom honey and almonds as a reward for freshening up.
Usually the Greeks are known for their tradition of smashing plates, but this is a German wedding custom, too. During the wedding, guests will throw porcelain plates on the ground to repel evil spirits. After the wedding, the bride and groom will engage in their first housekeeping together: cleaning up the smashed plates! The idea of this custom is the lesson of polterabend, which signifies that two partners can face any challenge if they work together.
How’s this for a bit of adventure on your wedding day? In Romania, one tradition calls for the bride to be ‘kidnapped’ by guests and taken to a secret location. To prove his devotion and love for the wife, the groom has to find her and negotiate with the kidnappers for her freedom. This tradition is mostly practiced in Bucharest, the capital, and the brides are typically held in a public place to gather an audience. The whole scene is very dramatic but light-hearted, with the ransom being alcohol or declaration of love from the groom.
Peruvian ribbon cake
Traditional wedding cakes in Peru are made with ribbons hanging out of the sides. Most of the ribbons will be attached to a lucky charm, but one will be attached to a fake wedding ring. When the cake is sliced up and served, whichever lucky lady finds the false wedding ring is thought to be the next to walk down the aisle.
Start planning your wedding
Time for you to walk down the aisle? Make your day perfect in every way imaginable. We can help you with a bespoke catering experience created by a private chef just for your wedding. Customised gourmet menus, interactive dining, extravagant grazing tables, and wine pairing are just some of the ways we can make the food at your wedding special. We can also help you source an exclusive venue for your special day.