Britain has some charming wedding traditions: the tossing of the bouquet, that supposedly falls at the feet of the woman who is destined to get married next, ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’, and the exchanging of vows and wedding rings.
Different cultures celebrate marriages in different ways and there are many colourful and endearing wedding traditions from around the world. Read on for our favourites.
Releasing doves from the Philippines
In the Philippines the newly married couple release a pair of white doves into the sky. The release of the doves symbolises their hopes for and commitment to a marriage which is harmonious, loving and long-lasting.
A crown with charms from Norway
In Norway a bride wears a gold and silver crown, which has been decorated with charms; the sounds the charms make when she moves supposedly ward off evil spirits.
Straight faces required from the Congo
Many brides and grooms can barely keep the smiles off of their faces on their wedding day, but in the Congo couples are required to keep a straight face all the way through their wedding ceremony. Brides explores this wedding tradition in more depth:
“While most about-to-be marrieds brim with excitement and anticipation, Congolese brides and grooms must keep their happiness in check — during their entire wedding day, from ceremony to reception, the two are not allowed to smile. If they do, it would mean they weren’t serious about marriage.”
Bride kidnapping from Romania
At a Romanian wedding it is tradition for the bride to be captured and hidden by the wedding party guests. The kidnappers typically demand a ransom of alcohol from the groom, after which the bride is returned to her husband.
Blackening from Scotland
In Scotland it is tradition to take the bride and groom out the day before their wedding and cover them in ash, flour, feathers and treacle. This messy wedding tradition was originally undertake to ward off evil spirits and guarantee the couple luck and fortune once married.
Henna from India
Before an Indian wedding the bride has her arms and hands decorated with elaborate henna tattoos; these beautiful designs are meant to symbolise the joy of marriage and are believed to bring good luck to the bride and groom.