Borrow customs from cultures around the globe to make your wedding day extra special
As long as there have been weddings, there have been traditions passed along through generations to ward off bad luck and ensure the couple has a long and prosperous life together. Whether or not you’re the superstitious type, these wedding day traditions from around the world can help add a special touch to your big day, and perhaps even honor part of your heritage. And if you end up getting a little extra luck out of the deal, all the better!
Burying the Bourbon Couples planning an out-door wedding should take a cue from this Southern wedding tradition. One month before the wedding day, bury an unopened bottle of bourbon upside down at the venue to avoid wedding day rain. Dig it up later to toast the beginning of your marriage.
Making Headlines In Germany, friends and family create a newspaper or booklet filled with biographies, stories and photos about the soon-to-be married couple. Often it’s sold to guests at the wedding to raise cash for the honeymoon.
A Sweet Gesture “Cake pulls” stem from a Victorian tradition in which the bride hides silver charms attached to strings inside of her cake. Before cutting the cake, each bridesmaid pulls a string to reveal a different charm signifying good fortune like wealth, health or romance. The charm also serves as a memorable keepsake of the day.
A Coin in Your Shoe In Sweden, the parents of the bride take special measures to ensure their daughter will be well taken care of after they give her away. Mom places a gold coin in the bride’s right shoe and dad puts a silver one in the left one to ensure that the couple will never want for money.
Door Games In China, the groom has to earn his bride’s hand. Before the ceremony, the groom and groomsmen face a series of challenges designed by the bridesmaids to win the bride over. Traditionally, this includes tests of patience, strength and devotion. For a modern affair, these tests can be more lighthearted, like singing songs, answering trivia about the bompeting in eating contests—the more embarrassing and ridiculous, the better!
Wedding Lazo In a Mexican wedding, a rope—often a rosary or a floral arrangement—is placed around the couple after they exchange their vows to strengthen the bond. The bride saves the rope and displays it in the household.
Wedding Bells Thought to ward off evil spirits, bells play a big part in Irish and Celtic nuptials. Special bells are gifted to the bride and groom to keep in their home or handed out to guests to ring throughout the day. Some brides even attach bells to their bouquets or wear them on bracelets.
Mendhi Party The night before the ceremony, Indian brides get together with their girls to draw intricate henna tattoos on their hands and feet to symbolize future blessings, joy and luck. Because the bride must sit still while the temporary tattoos are applied, it’s up to her friends to entertain her throughout the process.
The Bride’s Tree Brides in the Czech Republic wake up on their wedding day with brand new foliage. Bridal attendants, friends and family plant a tree in her yard the night before and decorate it with egg shells and ribbon. Tradition says that as long as the tree stands, so will the bride.
Jumping the Broom A tradition commonly thought to have originated in West Africa, the bride and groom jump over a broom at the end of the wedding ceremony. The ritual represents the past being swept away and the joining of two families in unity. Some say that whoever jumps highest becomes the leader of the household.
Jumping the Broom by Lance Omar Thurman Photography
Photo credit: Jumping the Broom by Lance Omar Thurman photography | Henna tattoo photo by Beautiful Mess photography