Weddings have so many traditions that if you really think about, are weird. Wearing a white dress (any other occasion completely unpractical), Being given away by your father, wearing a veil. However in comparison to some other wedding traditions out there, these nuptial customs seem pretty mild. From elaborate costume changes, humiliating the groom and regimented weeping; worldwide wedding traditions are a varied bunch. Although some of them are a tad extreme, I think a few of these traditions could be incorporated to make a pretty awesome day! I present to you my multicultural wedding day schedule, would you adopt any of these for your wedding day?
In India, a few days before the wedding, the bride is decorated with intricate henna designs on her hands and feet. Other females in the family and female friends also apply henna in a ritual that can take hours to apply and dry. The Bride and groom also exchange rings and sweets. This tradition is called a ‘menhdi party’ and sounds like a great excuse to extend the festivities and give all the females gorgeous henna designs for the big day.
A Russian tradition dictates that the groom must go to the brides house before the wedding and ask her family and friends for her. They naturally refuse until he has presented gifts, money, jewellery and sufficiently humiliated himself. Grooms are forced to do silly dances, answer riddles, and perform goofy tests of worthiness like putting a nappy on a baby doll. Once the crowd is satisfied, he may meet his bride.
Another great wedding tradition from China is to have 3 wedding dresses; one traditional, embroidered cheongsam that is usually red to represent luck and strength, then a white wedding dress not unlike what we are used to in the west and then a cocktail dress for the reception. Any excuse for a costume change sounds like a good idea to me!
In Sweden, during the wedding reception, if the groom leaves the room all the other men can try and kiss the bride and vice versa! Think kissy-cats for grown-ups. This one sounds hilarious and is bound to keep everyone awake and alert during the reception. Although hopefully won’t end up with cheating rumours so early on in married life!
The final wedding tradition I’d incorporate comes from South Korea. Here the grooms friends beat his feet with dried fish before he is allowed to leave the wedding with his beloved, in an apparent test of strength and knowledge. Not sure how good a test this is of these qualities, but I do want to see someone getting beaten with dried fish.
While these wedding traditions all sound like fun and games there are some I am so relived not to have to do, respect for betrothed couples in these countries, they must really want to get married:
In China the bride starts to cry for an hour DAILY a month before her wedding. Ten days later the mum joins her daughter for some tears, after a further ten days the grandmother joins in and by the end of the month every female in the family is weeping. I know married life can be tough but surely a month of regimented crying is a bit pessimistic, I think I’ll stick to the hen do thanks!
On the Maruesas Islands of French Polynesia after the wedding reception is over the relatives of the bride all lay side by side in the dirt, face down. The bride and groom then walk across them like some sort of human rug. Hmmm well this isn’t the worst tradition I’ve heard of, but pretty sure my family would not be up for it.
Charivari: In France the friends and family of the newlyweds congregate outside the newlyweds home on the first night of their marriage while proceeding to bang on pot and pans, yell, and just in general be as annoying as possible. Whoever thought of this tradition is just MEAN and also think of the neighbours!
In Malaysia newlyweds are not allowed to go to the bathroom for 3 days and 3 nights after the wedding to avoid bad luck. Yikes this painful tradition should definitely not be part of your wedding itinerary, although I guess if a couple can get through this, they can survive anything.