The ceremony for marriage is sacred in all countries, a celebration of love that everyone can indulge in. However, different cultures have their own unique ways of preparing for and celebrating the happy couple’s nuptials. QUIZ MAN, blazers for men retailers, tell us a few weird and wonderful Wedding Traditions From Around The World.
There are a lot of wedding traditions in Germany, some that might just surprise you. For example, before a future bride-to-be is even engaged, she saves away pennies, which will then be used to purchase her wedding shoes. This tradition is said to help the happy couple get off on the right foot.
Forget postal invitations, Germans like to do things differently. They send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!
German couples must have a civil ceremony in their town registry office. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.
For church ceremonies in particular, a Polterabend tends to take place. Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.
Believe it or not, most newly-weds in Germany saw wood after the ceremony. A log is set up on a sawhorses and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!
When it’s time for the first dance, the bride and groom will dance beneath the veil. When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.
Everyone in Spain celebrates weddings differently than those in the UK. For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
Forget all white, the veils are typically made from black lace! However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.
When it comes to timing, weddings in Spain usually start in the early evening. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.
As well as this, flowers play a big part in the ceremony. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!
Because China is such a big country, traditions usually depend on the region. Tujia brides must cry for an hour a day every day for a month in the run-up to their wedding. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.
Yugur brides will be shot at by their grooms with a bow and arrow, without the arrowheads! After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.
In China, brides usually have a ‘good luck woman’ appointed who will help the bride fix her hair before the big showdown. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.
Once the bride is ready to go, the groom will pick her up from her home — but the bridesmaids will try and block his passage! The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.
Northern China brides will often wear a red dress, which has golden detail — so make sure your going out dress does not clash. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing. Other traditions include that on the wedding night, the bride is given a half-cooked dumpling. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.
Similar to Chinese weddings, Indian weddings also depend on the region of the family. It’s not uncommon for Indian weddings to take place over several days — different to the couple’s one special day in other countries.
Before the wedding is set to take place, the bride will attend a Mehendi ceremony. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.
In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.
The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.
All weddings are a celebration of love and happiness and are special in their own ways. Will you take any inspiration from these traditions for your special day? Just remember, don’t forget the wedding rings…