In the UK, we have loads of wedding traditions, such as the bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, the throwing of the bouquet and the playing of Come on Eileen during the reception. We did a little bit of research and found out that other countries had some interesting wedding customs too.
If you’re heading overseas for a wedding, don’t forget your travel insurance.
During the celebrations, the groom will disappear, at which point the male guests will all kiss the bride. When the groom returns the bride then disappears, only for the girls to all kiss her new husband! Another tradition involves the guests cutting the groom’s socks and tie with scissors.
Before the wedding, the bride’s mother gives her a gold coin to pop into her right shoe. And her dad gives her a silver coin to slip into her left shoe. This old custom is supposed to symbolise the bride never going without. I can’t help thinking however that this would be mighty uncomfortable for the bride… Who wants to hobble down the aisle?!
The close friends of a traditional Czech bride plant a tree in her garden, the day before the wedding, and decorate it using ribbons and painted eggshells. It is believed that the bride will live as long as the tree. I wouldn’t trust my friends with this. They would probably “trim” its roots, or overwater it. The tree would be dead by the time I came back from my honeymoon… which wouldn’t bode well for me!
At the start of the reception, a relative, or close friend, makes a toast to the bridegroom. But instead of raising a glass, the party-goers throw their glasses to the floor! If the glass breaks then it is considered good luck! Let’s hope they don’t use their best stuff!
Now this German tradition is genius! If you are getting married soon, take it on board! In the run up to the big day, the friends and family create a wedding newspaper, filled with pictures, stories and anecdotes about the engaged couple. This newspaper is then sold at the wedding reception to help fund the honeymoon! Brilliant!
This one is a bit like the throwing of the bouquet, in a way. Before the bride goes down the aisle, the young single ladies write their names on the soles of the her shoes. At the end of the night, after all the dancing, the bride checks her shoes. The name that has been rubbed off the most indicates the next person to get married! Surely if you were really desperate to take a husband, you’d write your name where the ball of the foot goes. The toe would be no good!
In Greece, the pomegranate symbolises fertility and good luck so it is not uncommon to have them as ornaments in the home. (I have, in fact, brought a delightful ceramic pomegranate back from Greece before. But it wasn’t that lucky… I smashed it on the plane.) So seeing as they symbolise luck and fertility, it’s not hard to understand why they would play a part in a wedding ceremony. As well as throwing the bouquet, the bride also launches a pomegranate, smashing it to the ground, releasing its lucky seeds.
In the UK, tiered fruitcakes are standard at a wedding. In Lithuania, they have a far more exciting affair. They have a pastry/cookie type thing that is made in the shape of a Christmas tree, not just a flat Christmas tree but a 3D one! The cake tree, or sakotis as it is more correctly known, can be decorated with fresh flowers and herbs, and sometimes has a light put inside it so it glows in a magical fashion!
Photo credits: spaceodissey, Pot Noodle, radioedit, acme, stevendepolo and Sven Teschke