We’re in the middle of wedding season, and it’s hard to not love a wedding. Spirits are high, everyone is happy and around the world, there are lucky traditions taking place.
Weddings are different for every culture around the world, and 888Poker has found the most interesting and most colourful – would you be willing to include them in your own special day?
A Different Type of Wedding Bell
Some of the rituals might be more familiar – like throwing the bouquet or breaking a glass – but others won’t be. While nearly 75% of unmarried couples wouldn’t get married without the (Western) traditional collection of things old, new, borrowed, and blue, would they be willing to borrow an old tradition like:
- Running away? – in Venezuela, it’s good luck for the newly-married couple to attempt to escape undetected during the reception.
- Baumstamm Sägen? – in Germany, the couple works together with a two-handed saw to cut a log, representing the first obstacle the couple must jointly overcome.
- Bell breaking? – in Guatemala, the groom’s mother breaks a specially-made ceramic bell filled with grains, as a symbol of prosperity. Not to be confused with Irish bells, where you’re only meant to ring it.
- Wedding ducks? – a Korean tradition in which caved wooden ducks or geese are thrown to the bridge by her mother-in-law. Mandarin ducks mate for life, representing the marriage, and whether the bride catches it or not supposedly affects the gender of her first child.
Unusual wedding traditions from around the world
Whether you’re looking for a bit of extra luck at your wedding, or have some unusual traditions of your own, have a look at some of the other rituals and traditions from around the world.
Belgian brides have a handkerchief that's stitched with her name, it then goes on display in a frame until the next family wedding. The next wedding will see it embroidered again, and passed from bride to bride.
The married couple will jump over a broom at the end of the ceremony, it's said that whoever jumps higher over the broom is the decision-maker in the household.
The guests smash porcelain dishes, which are then cleared up by the bride and groom. The smashing wards off evil spirits, and the clearing up proved the couple can deal with any challenge together.
At the end of the ceremony, the couple will release two white doves, said to symbolise a loving and successful marriage.
To symbolise a prosperous couple, the groom's mother will break a ceramic bell that's filled with grains.
The Irish Bell – A bell is rung after reciting the vows. The chime of the bell is said to ward off evil spirits.
The mother of the groom will throw carved wooden ducks at the bride, if she catches the duck her first child is said to be a boy, if she doesn't it will be a girl. They do this as Mandarin ducks mate for life.
The couple will attempt to sneak out of the wedding party, if they're successful it's meant to be good luck.
The groom's best man will give him a shave which is said to symbolise the trust, whilst other friends help to dress him to give them a role in getting him ready.
In Scotland this tradition is referred to ask the Blackening of the Bride, which happens a couple of days before the wedding. The bride is captured by family and covered in feathers, beer, flour and more, and has to walk the streets. It's said that if she can do this, she can survive marriage.
Sugar coated almonds are given to the wedding guests, which are sometimes thrown at the couple. A tradition dating back to Roman times, the almonds are a thank you to guests representing health and happiness but are usually replaced by scraps of paper in modern times.
The couple saw a log together with a two-handle long saw. It represents the first obstacle the couple must overcome together.
For the formal bonding of families, the couple and their parents will take three sips from three sake cups.
Usually, by the man, a goblet will be broken by the foot. It's said to be done for a number of reasons, one of them as a reminder of the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem, or to scare off demons.
On the wedding cake there will be ribbons with charms tied to them, with one being a fake wedding ring. The cake is served and if a single lady gets the slice with the ring, it's said they'll be the next one to get married.
During the reception the groom will have his tie cut off and split into small pieces, it's then auctioned to the guests, and those who get a piece are said to have good luck.
The groom will try to recover his shoes which have been stolen by unmarried girls from the bride's family, the will eventually be ransomed back.
Instead of a veil, the bride will wear a crown that has metal charms, as they move and create noise it's said to ward off the evil spirits.
Unmarried women will attempt to catch the bouquet as the bride throws it, the person who catches it will be the next one to get married.
As a symbol for having to work together, the couple will be wrapped together in a sheet and eat their first meal, a bowl of soup from one bowl and using one spoon.
For good luck, the father of the bride will spit on her chest and head.
Chinese brides wear red veils, and a red umbrella is held over their head. Said to symbolise luck, love, boldness and wealth.
The family will add stones to a bowl which goes on display at the couple's home. It’s a display to show how the family has ‘coloured’ the couple’s life – and to remind the newlyweds of their family.
To propose, the groom-to-be presents a wreath of whale’s teeth to either the bride or her father. A tabua is a traditional gift in Fijian culture with high value, often used in the past in negotiations between rival chiefs.
The groom will wear a head dress, which is said to protect from the evil eye, as well as adding prestige to the groom.