Many American traditions reign supreme in the Western world when it comes to weddings (bridal showers, the throwing of the bouquet, the cutting of the cake) and Hollywood has helped to catapult these traditions into the mainstream. But what weird and wonderful traditions occur in the rest of the world?
The Congo: No smiling
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.
Cuba: Money Dance
Since it is still a communist country, weddings in Cuba are nonreligious, civil ceremonies. The money dance allows guests to give the bride and groom a helping hand with their honeymoon and their new lives together. After the formal ceremony is over, men who wish to dance with the bride must first pin money to her dress. This interactive – and highly profitable – custom is also common in parts of the southern United States, Poland, and Greece.
Fiji: An unusual gift
In Fiji, men have to find an unusual gift before they can ask for a woman’s hand in marriage: Before asking for the hand of his beloved, the groom must present his father-in-law with a whale’s tooth! Now that’s love!
Korea: A goose for the mother-in-law
In the traditional Korean wedding, the groom will give his mother-in-law wild geese signifying the groom’s intentions and loyalty to the bride…
Germany: Get me to the church on time
We know it’s fashionable for the bride to be late on the wedding day but in some German villages, the poor groom has a real …. That his bride-to-be won’t show up as it is customary to kidnap the bride! Now, that is pressure when you’re standing at the altar…
China: Cupid in waiting
In China’s Yugur culture, grooms literally become Cupid, shooting their future brides with a bow and arrow (thankfully minus the arrowheads, we hasten to add). This happen three times. The groom then breaks the arrows to ensure the couple stay in love forever.
Scotland: Blackening of the bride
Scottish brides-to-be are taken by surprise by their friends ahead of the big day, and pelted with all sorts of rubbish such as curdled milk, dead fish, spoiled food, tar and feathers. She is then tied to a tree and after taken for a night of drinking. The belief is that if she can withstand this kind of treatment, she can handle anything that comes her way in her marriage! If that’s what happens on the wedding day, we don’t want to know what goes on at the hen night!
India: Shoe stealing
The wedding altar (mandapa) is built the day of and the groom is welcomed by his future mother in law where his feet are then washed and he is offered milk and honey. His sister in law will attempt to steal his shoes and if she succeeds, the groom must pay her to get them back!
Pic c/o Hello Magazine