Wedding Customs from Around the Globe
Weddings are an exciting time for not just the happy couple, but their families and friends. Traditions vary around the globe and in today’s world, it’s not uncommon for two people with vastly different backgrounds to meet and combine their worlds. Here are some wedding traditions from around the world and ideas on how to incorporate them in your big day.
In China, traditionally, weddings are planned in accordance with an astrologer’s advice. The astrologer would come up with a favorable day based on the couple’s birth dates. Brides traditionally wore a qipao, a beautiful high-necked red dress with gold embroidery and often changed several times throughout the day to show off the wealth of the family. Wedding feasts are often grand and opulent. Fish is a popular choice because the word for fish is yun, a word that has an association with abundance.
Ideas to incorporate this into your wedding day: If your budget allows, opt for two dresses, one similar to the customary qipao, and another that may be more contemporary in style for the wedding reception. Choose a wedding venue that offers a fish dish such as salmon or tilapia as one of the entrée choices.
Swedish weddings typically are held during the summer due to the extended daylight hours. Rather than a veil, brides often wore crowns of myrtle and carried bouquets of weeds (in some regions) to ward off trolls and bad luck. Wedding feasts tended to last three days as everyone celebrated the new Mr. and Mrs.
Ideas to incorporate this into your wedding day: Try wearing a crown of flowers. And since there don’t seem to be trolls in Melbourne, a bouquet of wild flowers will do. Since a three day feast tends to be expensive, try inviting guests for a wedding weekend—especially if you’re choosing wedding venues away from your home towns.
Traditional Moroccan weddings are often held in the fall and last up to seven days as everyone celebrates this momentous occasion. The bride and groom perform a lovely march called a zaffa at the wedding reception complete with dancing and flaming swords.
Ideas to incorporate this into your wedding day: Choose wedding venues that will allow you to serve tajine (a chicken, beef, and lamb stew) alongside couscous for a regional flair. Hiring dancers, drummers, and other types of entertainers can also add to the fun of the wedding venue and uniqueness of the experience for guests.
Before Czech weddings, the bride’s friends will traditionally plant a tree in her yard and decorate it to wish the bride longevity. During the wedding ceremony, Czech women, particularly matriarchs will surround the bride while dancing and singing, removing the bride’s veil and replacing it with a babushka (a type of cloth headscarf) to symbolize her new status as a married woman.
Ideas to incorporate this into your wedding day: If you plan on moving, planting a tree in your backyard might not be the way to go, but during the bachelorette party the bridesmaids and bride can decorate a house plant (potted tree, fern, etc.) to honour this tradition. Rather than placing the babushka on during the wedding ceremony, why not make it a party and do it during the wedding reception?
There are many ways to honour your heritage on your wedding day. Which elements you choose to incorporate at your wedding venue and how, is up to you. The important thing to remember is your wedding day is all about you and what makes you happy.