Weddings are a joyous occasion, celebrated in different ways by cultures around the world. When planning your own wedding, it is always a good idea to explore the different wedding traditions from around the world, as you may stumble upon one that seems meaningful to you, giving you time to incorporate it into your own celebrations. OROGOLD highlights some of the best wedding traditions around the world.
Wedding traditions in Germany begin as soon as a little girl is born, when several trees are planted for her. These are then sold once her engagement has been announced, with the proceeds going towards the bride’s dowry. A wedding newspaper is also created by close friends and family of the couple, with photos and articles about the bride and groom. The newspaper is sold on the day of the wedding to the guests, and the money is put towards paying for the honeymoon. The actual wedding ceremony is split over three days, with the first being a city hall civil ceremony, the second being the party, where guests bring old dishes to break for good luck, and the third is the religious ceremony, where a flower girl is the only one to walk down the aisle in front of the bride.
The law in Russia states that only civil ceremonies are legal, and if a couple wants to have a religious one, they must first have a civil ceremony and then wait for a month before they can hold a religious wedding. If the couple are Orthodox, they are usually crowned as royalty for the day of their religious ceremony. Before reciting their vows, the couple races to a special carpet, with the winner of the race considered to be the head of the new household. Another Russian tradition to determine who the head of the household will be is for the couple to both take a bite out of the wedding loaf of bread, called the Karavay, and the one taking the biggest bite will be the one in charge.
Although under Communist law, weddings in Cuba are not allowed to be religious events, the newly-weds and their friends and family still find ways to celebrate and honor their culture’s wedding traditions. There is usually a parade with lots of dancing on the way to the venue, with the guests bringing along music. The bride’s dress is extravagant, with many layers of silk and satin, full skirts and lots of ruffles. At the ceremony, a money dance usually takes place, where every man who dances with the bride pins money to her dress, with the proceeds going towards paying for the honeymoon.
In Greek wedding ceremonies, the bridge and groom will usually perform some of the wedding rituals three times, representing the Holy Trinity. The tradition of mixing aromatic herbs into the bridal bouquet is still common, and in ancient times this was thought to bring fertility to the couple. At the wedding reception, the guests usually bring along cakes and desserts, or even just a recipe, turning part of the reception into a cooking competition of sorts! Like Cuba, a money dance is often performed, but in Greece the couple dance in the middle, with their guests around them, throwing money at the couple.
No matter what sort of wedding you are planning, it is easy to bring in customs from other cultures. Whether you want to have a fun competition to determine the head of the household, or borrow the idea of creating a wedding newspaper to help pay for the honeymoon, there are so many fascinating traditions to choose, and they could easily make your big day even more special.