If you are looking to get married, but the “Traditional” wedding isn’t what you are looking for, then maybe you are in need of some new traditions. When we want to break out of the normal traditions, we often look to other cultures for inspiration. In reference to weddings, there can be found a great deal of traditions from other cultures that we could use to mix things up. Below we will discuss some interesting and strange traditions that are found across the globe at weddings.
While many traditions in weddings come across as sweet, others can come off as just plain weird. Even though they are strange, that doesn’t mean that they are not fun to learn about or try at your wedding.
Serenading the Bride – Italy
The Italians have a romantic and creative approach to wedding day traditions. Serenading the bride is common practice in Italy. On the night prior to the wedding, there is a spectacle arranged by the groom to serenade his bride-to-be. It is like a scene from Romeo and Juliet, only it is a party under her window. This party is known as “La Serenata.” While outdated, it is still a fun tradition to practice. The neighbors may complain about the noise.
The Blackening – Scotland
If you are wanting to throw a bachelor/bachelorette party but want a different take on it, The Blackening may be something to look into. It is a Scottish tradition that is essentially considered to be minor public humiliation of the bride/groom. This is arranged by the bridal party and normally done only a few days prior to the wedding.
The belief behind the tradition is for good luck. It is a messy tradition involving a mixture that covers the bride/groom. Then they are set loose on the town. The mixture itself consists of syrup, mud, feathers, honey, or anything else that will be overly difficult to clean up. While this is one of Northern Scotland’s traditions, there is a variation found in parts of Ireland.
Bourbon Underground – Southern United States
Something to know about the Southern United States, they are something different. They are known for their rowdy and unique ways of having fun and celebrating. Weddings are no exception to this. One of their traditions involves bourbon being buried underground a month prior to the wedding. The bottle is buried upside down at, or near, the location of the ceremony. This tradition is based on superstition, believing that doing this burial will prevent bad weather on the day of the wedding. However, the booze doesn’t remain buried long. During the wedding day, it is dug up and shared among the bride and groom, as well as the guests.
Cake Prediction – Denmark & Norway
Made from egg whites and almonds, the cake is known as “kransekake,” which consists of a number of stacked rings in a cone shape that is upside down. The point to this is that there is normally a bottle of liquor or wine hidden in there. When removed from the cake, the number of rings that stick to it is said to be a prediction of the number of kids the couple will have.
The Breaking of Plates – Germany
Breaking plates in Germany is considered to be a bonding exercise for newlyweds. This is where guests take part in “Polterabend,” a long-time tradition. However, it isn’t exactly as fun as it sounds unless you are a guest. The guests will take delicate dishes (Ceramic or Porcelain usually) and smash them; the newlyweds then work together to clean it up.
This isn’t a humiliation tradition; it is a tradition that ensures good luck to the couple. On top of that, it teaches the newlyweds an important lesson about working together. It is really a representation of overcoming the difficulties of life together.
Kissing The Bride or Groom – Sweden
This is not a tradition for the jealous or insecure types. Only in Sweden would you find a tradition that makes the bride and/or groom “fair game” on their wedding day. Yes, you read that right. It is custom for the guests to line up and have their way with the bride and/or groom on their wedding day when their significant other has left the room. However, you don’t have to worry about things going too far; the only thing that is allowed is kissing.
Doves – Philippines
If you are looking for something more sweet and simple, this is probably the one for you. As a Filipino tradition, the newlyweds will release a pair of white doves. Why? For a life of harmony and peace.
Ring Toss – Peru
If you are not the bouquet tossing type, but the tradition interests you, then you may approach it from a foreign angle. In Peru (And England), it is actually a tradition for single ladies to pull a ribbon from the cake at the wedding. The ribbons are then tied to a charm; one of the charms is a ring. The lady who manages to get the ribbon-adorned ring is the next lucky one to be married.
Proving Your Love – China
Instead of a bachelor party, enjoy putting your groom through a series of games and challenges to prove his commitment and love to his future wife. The challenges are planned out by the bridesmaids, and the games/challenges take place before or on the day of the wedding. If you want to add an extra level of fun, then you can involve the groomsmen as well.
Escaping Early – Venezuela
For a fun way to end your reception night, and start your honeymoon early, consider this Venezuelan custom. In Venezuela, it is customary for the bride and groom to attempt to sneak off during the reception long before it’s over. If the couple succeeds in running away unnoticed, then that means they will receive additional good luck. Also, the first person to notice they are gone gets some extra good luck too.