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Wedding Customs

Weddings are a time of joy and celebration. The world over, one sees the rosy-cheeked bride meeting her fated groom (or bride) at the altar with eyes shining with love. Weddings signify a happy couple cementing their bond with a lifelong commitment. Depending on your location, culture, and community, there are fascinating wedding rituals that are designed to ward off evil, bring you good luck, or simply for merriment.

If it’s a wedding you’re planning and you’re looking for fascinating global wedding traditions to incorporate into your nuptials, then here is a list:

1. Denmark: Kiss the Missus

While most weddings today involve a kiss shared by the wedded couple, Denmark has the unusual custom of the groomsmen stealing kisses from the bride when the groom disappears at the wedding reception. Not to be left out, the bridesmaids too, give their share of pecks to the groom when the bride disappears.

Denmark: Kiss the Missus


2. Greece: Don’t Spit-tem Up

While this is now a symbolic gesture that doesn’t involve matrix moves to avoid soaring saliva, the Greek custom is to spit on the wedded couple three times in order to ward off evil spirits.

3. Egypt: Cook-In-Law

This is a life-saver for some brides, as Egyptian custom demands that the bride’s mother cook meals for the happy couple for the first week of wedded bliss, allowing the bride to settle in and get her bearings. It may help to plan the honeymoon after this grace period is up.

4. Armenia: B-Ready to Balance

In Armenia, when the couple enters their wedding reception, most likely held at the groom’s house, his mother hands them a lavash flatbread to balance on their shoulders to ward off evil spirits. She then feeds them spoonfuls of honey, representing the sweetness of wedded bliss.

5. India: A-Shoe! Bless You!

Bollywood buffs would probably know this custom that is impish yet endearing. The bride’s sisters and cousins strategically abduct the groom’s shoes on the wedding day and hold them ransom until the bewildered groom pays up. Many tussles have ensued between both sides in the bid for these shoes.

India: A-Shoe! Bless You!

6. Congo: Why So Serious

While most brides and grooms are bubbling with mirth and happiness on this precious day, Congolese couples must mask their happiness with a straight-faced visage. They are not allowed to crack a smile from the wedding to the reception in honour of taking their commitment seriously.

7. Germany: Sweep Them Off Their Feet

Called Polterabend, this custom involves wedding guests throwing – and thereby breaking – porcelain dishes to the ground. The wedded couple’s first matrimonial task is then to sweep the mess away together to understand that with unity they can face any challenges thrown their way.

8. Cuba: Pinning While Spinning

This is a great custom to put your money on. Any man who dances with the bride on her wedding day in Cuba has to pin money to her dress. It is literally ‘pin money’ for the couple to help pay for their wedding and honeymoon. A good reason to dance with joy methinks!

Pinning While Spinning


9. Russia: Because I’m Worth It

On the wedding day, a Russian groom visits the bride’s parents in the morning and proves his worthiness or his mettle by either paying them a handsome ransom or showering them with gifts, or simply by embarrassing himself with singing and dancing until they say it’s enough.

10. Romania: Hide the Bride

In Romania, the wedding guests playfully hide the bride on the wedding day and demand a ransom from the groom to release her into his care. Ransom requests vary from alcohol bottles to the groom serenading the bride in front of the entire wedding party.

Wedding festivities range from serious to fun, but what most have in common is their symbolism of love, commitment, and eternity. Quaint customs add a spark to the day that will be remembered even after the photographs fade. So go ahead and incorporate some fun rituals into this momentous day and allow the guests a way to feel involved in the nuptials as well.


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