Wedding Customs Around the World

We all know the customs of our local area, state, country.  It can vary so much that it can be mind boggling! Some are fun, so have ancient ties going back hundreds of years, and others are meant to show respect to the people in the wedding party or family.  These customs are taken as an essential and serious part of the wedding day and ceremony in many parts of the world.  Lets start the journey around the world and see how some people celebrate!

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A picturesque area of the world that is a well known site of destination weddings on the beach, Fiji has several customs that tie it into the sea faring nature of the people and history.  One such custom involves the groom and father-in-law.  In order for the father of the bride to approve the union, the groom must present him with a whale's tooth when asking for her hand in marriage.  I'm wondering of he has to pull it from a live whale...

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Walls are a hot topic nowadays, but this is a wall of a different sort.  In China, when it is time for the groom to arrive and get his bride, the bridesmaids form a wall that he must get through.  You might be thinking, "how the heck is he supposed to do that?!" Well, the ladies come ready.  They have tasks, performances or songs that he must do before moving on.  Or, they just take the easy route and ask for money.  Once this is completed, he is deemed worthy by the leading ladies.


We're looking to the stars on this one.  Women born during certain astrological periods are considered cursed and will cause an early death to any man they marry.  Whoa...that's a pretty heavy one...  Now how to fix this?  Just marry a tree.  The woman must marry a tree and have it cut down to break the curse and be considered for marriage.

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Blades, mother-in laws, and honey. Sounds like the beginnings of a wedding mystery novel, but actually it is a pretty cool custom.  The groomsmen are considered an important part of the groom's preparation for the wedding day and the best man, or koumparos, is the most of all. This custom takes the term groomsman to a literal level.  The best man shaves the groom before the ceremony.  After, his soon to be mother-in law feeds him honey and almonds.

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Typically, great care is take to not break anything once the decorations and accents have been setup for a wedding, but Guatemala has a slight different take.  When the newlyweds arrive to the reception, the groom's mother breaks a white ceramic bell filled with grains such as rice and flour to bring prosperity to the couple.


In this island nation, is is tradition for the bride to take careful time in preparation for her wedding.  She then would walk through the village with the villagers lined up along the path.  They would call out negative comments if she was not up to par.  If the majority were critical, she would return home and try again, hopefully better the next time.

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The traditional wedding ceremonies in Lebanon, known as Zaffe, involve many festivities including music, belly dancing and shouting at both the houses of the bride and groom. These celebrations continue and eventually merge into one large celebration at the bride's house where the couple is showered with blessings and flower petals as they leave for the ceremony.

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We all work to pour our love and support on the happy couple when we go to a wedding, but when is it too much?  When a Maasai bride leaves with her husband, the fathers spit on them so as to not tempt fate by being too supportive.  Hopefully it comes with some wet wipes!

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Here's a bit of a different tradition.  This one involves a bit of innocent bride-napping.  Yes, you read that right.  Guests "abduct" the bride and demand a "ransom" from the groom including such things as alcohol or singing a love song in front of everyone.

South Korea

In this tradition from South Korea, known as Falaka, the groom's friends and family hold him down and beat the bottoms of his feet with sticks or dried fish.  In between beatings, he is asked trivia questions in order to strengthen his feet and mind.

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There are so many more interesting customs from all over! But now is your turn, let's hear some of your favorite customs!

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