We’ve all heard of the saying ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ and it is a significant wedding tradition that we have all come to love. But have you ever wondered how other cultures from around the world celebrate marrying the love of their life? In this blog, we travel the world to find the very best and unusual wedding traditions and rituals from around the globe.
At Alexandra House, we are experts in weddings and have hosted thousands of successful events in our time. We have seen loved up couples from all difference faiths and religions tie the knot and have been witness to some spectacular and beautiful wedding traditions. From the timeless stunning white dress to being host to a wonderful Sangeet – a lovely tradition at Asian weddings, we have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marriage traditions around the world.
Weddings around the world
We have discovered hundreds of meaningful and romantic wedding traditions around the world that symbolize romance, health and happiness. But in today’s blog, we have chosen our top 10 iconic and amazing wedding traditions we have fallen in love with.
India – get inked!
Our first destination on wedding traditions around the world is India! Henna is a wonderful Indian wedding tradition and the intricate details are mesmerizing to look at and it has been a ritual for the bride to get inked for more than 5,000 years.
Usually made from crushing the leaves of a henna tree (Lawsonia Inermis) and adding lemon juice to create a paste, there are both artistic and medicinal uses for this henna recipe. The solution is typically applied to the bride’s hands and feet to create paisley patterns. It is believed that the darker the brides henna, the stronger her marriage will be.
Unlike tattoos, Henna is only temporary and will last three to seven days.
China – tea ceremony
You may think a good ol’ cuppa is a very British tradition! However, in China it is a ritual to perform a tea ceremony. Historically, the bride would serve tea to her family before and after the ceremony and it was meant to bond the families together.
Today tea ceremonies are done to honour both families and can be done privately the day after the wedding or in between the ceremony and reception in front of the guests. The tea served contains either two lotus seeds or two red dates. Each relative will take a sip and then give the bride and groom an envelope that contains money, jewellery or another token. Chinese traditions are often deeply rooted in symbolism, with many of them representing good luck and prosperity.
It is an opportunity for the families to share a special moment and give their blessing.
Mexico – El lazo
We’ve landed in Mexico and it’s time to witness a fascinating wedding tradition from around the world. El lazo, or wedding lasso, is a Mexican wedding ritual that symbolises everlasting love and unity.
The lasso is more often than not a string of flowers or rosary beads and is placed around the shoulders of the couple after the wedding vow to form a figure of 8 as the priest blesses the newlyweds. Then the groom can kiss the bride, the bride can kiss the groom, and the celebrations can really begin! This Mexican wedding tradition is very closely related to Catholicism as the number 8 represents new beginnings in the bible.
The newlyweds will wear the lasso for the remainder of the mass and is removed by the priest.
Spain – woman in black
Traditionally, it was customary for a Spanish bride to wear a black lace gown and veil called a mantilla draped over her head and shoulders to symbolise her devotion to her husband. You know, ‘till death do us part’? A slightly dark, yet powerful symbol. It was once said that a bride too beautiful would attract evil spirits, resulting in the common use of the veil we see today!
Nowadays, a black wedding dress acts as a symbol of elegance, power and sexuality and can also represent mysteriousness, depth and thoughtfulness. Continuing this Spanish tradition will undoubtedly distinguish itself and deliver a powerful message of loyalty.
When it comes to bridal fashion and weddings, the bride can wear and do whatever makes her feel most confident!
Philippines – bye bye birdy!
Next on our discussion of wedding traditions around the world is the Philippines. Following the wedding ceremony, the newly wedded Filipino couple release two doves, one male and one female. These stunning white birds are meant to represent a harmonious life ahead for the couple.
Nowadays, this wedding tradition has been incorporated into many weddings of other cultures. The doves may be placed in a cage which can be opened by the wedding couple pulling on a cord together. The person who catches the doves after release is allowed to take them home and keep them as pets.
Doves are a universal symbol of love and peace, so it’s only natural to use them in your wedding.
Sweden – flower power
In Sweden, the bride will always opt for a beautiful flower crown instead of a veil. Traditionally, a sprig of myrtle will be included in the crown as it symbolises love.
Flower crowns are now a fashion statement and many brides will opt for this look to go with their rustic wedding theme. The green details of the leaves complemented by a white wedding dress is a beautiful look and is something we adore! To really add to the rustic theme, incorporating flowers into your wedding cake is also a wonderful touch.
Africa – woven cloth
In Africa, you will wave goodbye to the traditional white wedding dress we are so used to gazing over. Instead, the bride will wear a woven cloth with a pattern that represents her roots and the history of her native land.
These cloths are usually brightly coloured and extremely eye-catching. The African bride will wear the cloth as a wrap skirt, blouse and a shawl. She will also wear a special head piece created for the big day.
Morocco – 7 whole days of fun!
Moroccans know how to party! Wedding celebrations often last up to seven days with pre-wedding ceremonies, preparation rituals and a massive wedding day feast. A spectacular affair, Moroccan weddings don’t fall short and a traditional wedding will consist of several outfit changes, relentless dances with the bride and groom, festivities, bursts of colour and lots of music.
More often than not he weddings week will consist of a Hammam day and this marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the bride. To undergo a ritual of purification, the bride-to-be will visit a traditional sauna called the Hamman and will be accompanied by her female friends and relatives.
She will then have a henna party where the bride and her friends and family will get henna tattooed onto their hands and feet and is a similar tradition to Indian weddings. After that follows the pre-wedding festivities, wedding day and after-party.
Wedding traditions around the world conclusion
There you have it! We have taken you across the globe and showed you some of the most unusual, unique, interesting and absolutely fabulous wedding traditions around the world. We love how other cultures celebrate marrying the love of their life and the different rituals that come with it. To recap, the 8 wedding traditions around the world be looked at are:
- India – get inked!
- China – tea ceremony
- Mexico – El lazo
- Spain – woman in black
- Philippines – bye bye birdy!
- Sweden – flower power
- Africa – woven cloth
- Morocco – 7 whole days of fun!
Alexandra House, based in Swindon, welcomes weddings of all faiths and traditions and we would love to celebrate your family’s traditional culture, whilst you marry the love of your life. Get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss your requirements. We have hosted an array of different weddings, Asian weddings and outdoor weddings in our time and provide a range of affordable wedding packages!
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