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International wedding traditions

Check out these fascinating extraordinary wedding traditions from around

Published on 21 August 2020

A wedding tradition in every corner of the world is a reflection of the soul of the local population, the essence of the people of a given locality. All nations on our planet have originality, unusual rites and a peculiar flavor. Let's look at the wedding traditions of the peoples of the world and find out how interesting they are to us, and whether we are ready to marry in some unusual exotic rite that will unite the hearts of two lovers forever.

Wedding traditions of Europe


Each element of the Russian wedding ceremony hides a separate tradition. For example, the Russian people accepted:

  • Block the way for the wedding procession.
  • Hand out candy to children before going to the registry office.
  • Redeem the bride.
  • Release the pigeons.

According to an ancient wedding tradition, a Russian bride is given the opportunity to cut a wedding loaf first, showing her becoming a mistress of the house. The mother-in-law after the wedding removes the veil from the bride, which symbolizes the adoption of a new member in the family. Another old Russian wedding custom that has survived to this day is the meeting of the young after marriage registration with bread and salt. According to Russian custom, the newlyweds must bite off one piece from the wedding loaf, and whoever has the larger piece will, according to legend, be the main one in the house.

Bread and salt

Bread and salt

Recently, Slavic peoples have another wedding tradition: throwing a bridal bouquet to unmarried girlfriends. The girl who caught the bridal bouquet should marry the next. A similar ritual exists among men: the groom removes the garter from his wife’s legs and throws it to his single friends. Whoever catches her first will meet his soul mate. Mention of this wedding tradition can be found in manuscripts of the XIV century. Then it was believed that any clothing removed from the bride or groom will bring the favor of the opposite sex.

The most fun is still the Russian wedding custom of redeeming the bride. Usually witnesses are involved in the ransom, but sometimes the groom becomes a participant in this event. They redeem the girl according to tradition with money, less often champagne, vodka, sweets and flowers. This wedding ritual is attended by neighbors, acquaintances and invited guests. Although many other nations of the world hold a similar ceremony - for example, it is customary for Muslims to take a dowry for a bride - but in the Russian tradition, ransom is more fun than paying money for a girl.

Russian wedding ceremonies are more focused on entertainment. In other nations of the world wedding traditions are striking in their practicality, thirdly - by minimalism, and fourthly - by romance. For example, in Australia, wedding preparations begin one year before the appointed celebration date. The people of Australia are Catholics, so they have no civil registration of marriage. All newlyweds undergo a wedding ceremony, after which the holiday begins.Three months before the deadline, future spouses begin to go to the priest, who prepares young people for life together and draws up a wedding plan with them. Australians are practical in everything, therefore wedding gifts are negotiated in advance. The bride and groom make up a list of desired gifts in advance, and the guests distribute among themselves who will give what.The Australians, like other Catholics in the world, have an interesting tradition to create a lot of noise on the way to the church. The roots of this ritual come from antiquity when the natives believed that noise drives away evil spirits. To create a screen, to this day, old cans or other metal objects that are capable of creating a screen are tied to the wedding car of many newlyweds in the world.

old cans

The sound of cans drives away evil spirits at a wedding.

The rite of breaking a wedding glass exists in many countries of the world. After leaving the church, young people are presented with glasses of wine, which they should drink, and then break the glasses. According to the belief of many nations, if both glasses break, then the newlyweds will have a happy life. But if any glass remains intact, then the marriage will not be successful. There is another explanation for this mysterious ritual: ancient people around the world believed that the clink of broken glass drives away evil demons from the bride and groom.


According to the wedding tradition, the Hungarian bride takes off her shoes and puts them in the center of the hall. That gentleman who wants to dance with her must throw coins into his shoes. He who throws more coins has the first right to dance. Another interesting Hungarian rite is morning washing, when the bride on the morning of the second day after the wedding walked with the guests to the well and washed all the guests in turn, then wiping them with a towel with their own hands.


The bride herself chooses her chosen one, and then gives a ring and a shirt that is sewn from natural silk. In response, the groom also picks up a silver ring for the bride, puts on a fur hat and a chastity belt. Weddings in the cities of Slovakia often take place with traditional entertainment, games, competitions and buffets, but in the countryside there is still the opportunity to see the national wedding ensemble of folk instruments.

national wedding ensemble


It is believed that in countries with a harsh climate, people are not able to vigorously express feelings. The wedding traditions of cold Norway are proof of this. Women in this country are much fewer than men, so young people are looking for a bride from an early age. Since ancient times, a Norwegian woman has equal rights with a man, so not only older boys, but also older girls are considered heirs.

No one collects dowry in Norway, and the newlyweds make the wedding at their own expense. The most beautiful Norwegian wedding tradition, which is still supported by the newlyweds, is when guests go to the place of matchmaking in brightly decorated boats, hung with wedding bells and other traditional wedding accessories.


Some wedding ceremonies in the Netherlands can shock ordinary people from other countries of the world in shock. But the local bride and groom do not suffer from unnecessary modesty and believe that everything natural should not be banned. Guests at the wedding have fun without Slavic virtue, and competitions according to our ideas cross all sorts of decent boundaries. The more wedding sauces, the more successful, according to local residents, it takes place.There is no traditional wedding cake at a celebration in the Netherlands. Instead, guests are offered national sweets called "sugar bride." They come in different shapes, and the taste is a real mosaic. The bride orders sweets from different confectioners, so if a guest comes across two identical candies, then this is considered a happy omen.


italy bride

In sunny Italy, weddings begin in the morning, ideally on Sunday. According to Italian folklore, couples should never marry (or start their honeymoon) on Friday or Tuesday, as their marriage will be doomed to misfortune. In addition to a white dress, the face of an embarrassed bride should be hidden under a veil - a symbol of virginity and protection from evil spirits. Meanwhile, the groom should also have in his pocket a small amulet in the form of a piece of metal. Italian brides and grooms go to church on foot. In some regions, it is considered a bad omen for the groom to turn around as soon as he stepped a foot near his house on the wedding day (there is no turning back!). Just in case, at the ceremony he is accompanied by a group of friends who will run home instead of him if the groom accidentally forgets something. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds must smash the vase, and the number of pieces will determine the number of years that they will happily live in marriage. Even hundreds of years ago, food was an integral part of an Italian wedding. Squids, pasta, fish, pork are served on the table, and all this is accompanied by a huge amount of liquor or wine. In the form of entertainment, the bride and groom lead their guests into a fun circular dance called tarantella. Guests, for the most part, give the newlyweds money to help with the cost of the wedding.


In Sweden, the wedding season begins in the summer. Day of the week does not matter, the main thing is that the sun shines in the sky for 20 hours in a row. The bride wears a crown of myrtle leaves on her head, which symbolizes virginity. The father puts the gold coin in the girl’s right shoe and the mother puts the silver coin in her left shoe. In some regions of the country, the bride and her bridesmaids must carry bouquets of weeds that emit a terrible smell to drive away the trolls. A couple must enter the church together. Whoever takes the first step across the threshold will become the leader in the family. The traditional buffet lasts three days and includes pickled herring, lingonberry jam and Swedish meatballs. Throughout the evening, guests sing love songs and folk verses accompanied by a violin. Each guest should give a speech or a toast in honor of the newlyweds. During the wedding ceremony, the Swedish bride receives three gold rings from her future husband: one for engagement, one for marriage and one for pregnancy.


The Polish wedding is similar in its traditions to all the ceremonies of the Slavic peoples. In this country, weddings can last for two or three days. In the past, the engagement was organized by the future groom as an official family celebration, during which he asked his girlfriend to marry him. In recent years, this custom has changed, and today the betrothal is much more personal and intimate. In some regions of Poland, it has become a tradition to invite guests in person to a wedding. Many young couples, accompanied by their parents, visit friends and acquaintances to give them a wedding invitation in person. According to the old tradition, the groom comes with his parents to the bride's house before the wedding ceremony. At this time, the parents give the young couple their blessing. The newlyweds enter the church together and go to the altar, accompanied by two witnesses and parents. The Polish bride is traditionally dressed in a white dress and veil. The groom, as a rule, is dressed in a fitted suit with a bow tie and a scarf in his pocket, which matches the color of the bride’s bouquet. During the ceremony, the newlyweds exchange wedding rings. As soon as the couple leave the church, they are showered with rice for good luck or guests throw coins at their feet. This is done to provide a good and prosperous future for the newlyweds.

showered with rice

African Wedding Rites


According to the wedding traditions of Nigeria, the groom's parents invite a professional matchmaker, who selects the right candidate for the bride, which meets the requirements of the family. The matchmaker in the hammam checks the selected candidates for innocence, and then submits the parents to court. An interesting local custom is observed immediately after the Nigerian wedding, when the groom is driven out through the corridor by relatives who beat him with sticks. It is believed that only after this the groom is ready for family life.


in traditional costume

In African tribes, family life for a girl begins with real trials. For example, in the Surma tribe, six months before the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom pierce their lower lip and insert a clay disc. In order not to interfere with the disk, two front teeth are removed, because it is believed that the larger the disk, the richer the bride’s dowry. In addition to warning about the high financial situation of the girl, the clay disk protects her from evil spirits, which can enter the body through the mouth.


This African country is home to a traditional marriage. The ancient Egyptians were the first people who proposed to the world to legitimize the relationship between a woman and a man. The marriage contract also appeared for the first time in Egypt - it detailed the responsibilities of the husband and wife. The wedding rituals of the peoples of Egypt have their roots in Islam, in which a man has the right to have four wives, but he must provide all. Not all modern Egyptian men can afford more than one wife.Egypt has interesting and colorful national dances that are present at all traditional wedding ceremonies: belly dance, dance with a skirt and swords. Ring exchange is also an ancient tradition of the Egyptian people, which was picked up by almost all countries of the world. The Egyptians consider the ring a symbol of love and put it on the middle finger of the left hand, because through this finger passes the heart vein, which holds the hearts of young people together.


The traditional wedding ceremony of the Bahutu tribe in Rwanda is very passionate! The customs of this people require the newlyweds to express hatred towards each other. Immediately after the marriage ceremony, a woman with a veil covered with her face goes to her husband’s house and there begins a real massacre. A wife ruthlessly scratches her husband, inflicting tangible wounds on him, and the husband is also aggressive towards her.The massacre continues until the morning, its participants remain silent, not uttering a single word throughout the fight. The pugnacious ritual can go on even for several nights in a row, after which the wife moves to her husband’s house forever and never again the spouses of the Bahutu tribe quarrel. These strange wedding traditions test the young people's readiness for family life. Maybe that's why African families are so durable?

Customs of the peoples of Asia


The wedding ritual of this Asian people does not require modest attire. On this day, the Thai bride can change up to ten colorful and white dresses, depending on what kind of ceremony is performed. For each rite, you need to choose the appropriate dress. Black is not permissible at a wedding; it is worn by widows in Thailand, therefore it is not used even in the decoration of a wedding dress. According to the traditions of Thailand, weddings should have a lot of gold, red and orange.


china bride

This people loves red color, therefore, according to the Chinese wedding tradition, everything is red: the bride's dress, envelopes with money, gift boxes and even rose petals. The wedding tradition, when the newlyweds drink from glasses tied with a red ribbon, came to the world also from China. The Chinese wedding ceremony is very expensive, but it quickly pays off, as gifts are given to the newlyweds only in cash. Even relatives who are not present at the ceremony give money.


The wedding ritual of the Indian peoples is the most colorful sight in the world, the brightest demonstration of the beliefs of the Indian people, a manifestation of their spiritual culture and deep religious roots. Usually, Indian newlyweds meet for the first time during the marriage ceremony, but this people almost never have divorces. For other nations, this remains a mystery, because in those countries of the world where they marry for love, the percentage of divorces is simply disastrous.Among Indians, flowers are the main wedding accessory. There are an unlimited number of them at the wedding, so this is an expensive part of every Indian wedding ceremony. The fragrance of flowers is loved by the gods, so through flowers they will sooner hear the requests of mortals. An important point at the holiday is the table: exclusively vegetarian dishes are served, and eggs, fish and meat are strictly prohibited.

india wedding


The wedding ceremony on this Indonesian island has become a fashion event among all the newlyweds of the world, and it is clear why. It is believed that if you make a traditional marriage on this paradise island, then it will be happy and long. In addition, the Balinese ceremony is very impressive: incense is smoked, flower donations are made to thousands of local gods, and newlyweds are dressed in amazingly beautiful costumes decorated with gold embroidery wound in several layers.The newlyweds to the place of the wedding ceremony ride on a golden carriage, and the more affluent come on the richly decorated elephants. In the temple, young people are showered with petals of exotic flowers, and the invited priests say special prayers that will help the husband and wife find happiness. Music, dancing, flowers, traditional Balinese treats allow you to feel in harmony with the ancient island deities.

North and South America


Unlike other countries in the world, a wedding ceremony in the United States is part of a business that Americans trust in special agencies. The festival begins in the same way as in other Catholic countries of the world:

  1. The guy proposes to the girl;
  2. An engagement date is set on which the groom gives the ring;
  3. Obligatory distribution of invitation cards a month and a half before the wedding. Wedding invitations are sent to guests according to 4 lists - both the groom and the bride compose lists of their friends, and their parents - lists of relatives.
  4. An official wedding ceremony is held.

There are no restrictions in the American wedding, but the dresses of the newlyweds are usually performed in a traditional style. In addition to the new dress, the girl must also have some old thing and an object of blue color. A well-worn thing symbolizes a relationship with relatives, and the blue color is fidelity in marriage. An undoubted plus is the ability to choose several bridesmaids, and not one, as in other countries of the world. So no friend will be left without attention.


The Latin American peoples are descendants of the Mayans and Aztecs, so their wedding traditions are somewhat different from the rites of the rest of the world. The traditional Mexican wedding is attended by sponsors who fund the celebration. These are, as a rule, parents, godparents and relatives of young people. During the wedding around the newlyweds, the priest wraps the symbolic “lasso” in the form of special rosaries, symbolizing the union of two people into one whole.Mexicans have even more ancient Native American traditions inherited from the Indians, therefore, before the official wedding ceremony, the unity of two people is celebrated. First, a woman must undergo a ritual of ablution, and then an Indian traditional ceremony takes place near the oldest tree, which notifies the elements (water, air, earth, fire) and ancestors that young people get together forever.

French-Canadian wedding traditions

According to French-Canadian tradition, the groom and his friends must meet the bride and her family in her house. They take a whole motorcade from cars, often honk and yell to declare their happiness to the whole world. And passersby shout good wishes to them. The bride must be in a white dress, which symbolizes her purity and innocence. Sock dance is an integral part of any French-Canadian wedding. Unmarried siblings of the bride or groom are forced to put on funny socks and dance a cheerful dance, and guests throw money on the performers, which the bride and groom later collect. Some couples include traditional French-Canadian motifs in the musical design of the celebration as a way to show respect for their French roots. Franco-Canadians, in order to avoid unnecessary wedding gifts, do not hesitate to point out invitations so that guests bring exclusively money.


Now, many wedding traditions can no longer be called exclusively Slavic, Asian or Native American, as they spread throughout the world. For example, a ransom or a kalym for a bride is given in all faiths, and without a dance of the bride and groom, not a single wedding ceremony in the world takes place. Different peoples of the world have their own wedding ceremonies, but one thing unites them: the desire to achieve prosperity, love and success for a young family.

We hope you've enjoyed the article and it's really widened your horizons. We're doing our best for you!
Best wishes,Your SEVAZH

Published on 21 August 2020

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