A wedding in any culture comes with a long list of traditions and rituals, including the white dress and veil. Here are a few wedding traditions from around the world that go beyond our culture’s idea of what a wedding should be.
- In modern China, brides choose not one wedding dress but three! The first dress in the wedding wardrobe is the traditional qipao or cheongsam. This embroidered, slim-fitting dress is usually red for weddings. In Chinese culture, red is a strong, lucky color. Next on hand might be a white poufy ball gown that would fit into an American wedding. In the last wardrobe change, the bride leaves the reception to slide into a gown of her color choice or a cocktail dress.
- One Indian tradition is for the bride and her friends to decorate their hands and feet with intricate designs with dye made from Henna. These designs are called menhdi and are applied before the wedding. Not only does it take a long time to apply but there is the wait time while the dye dries. It is common to have mendhi parties to make the process fun instead of laborious.
- In the United Kingdom, at royal weddings, the bridesmaids are often young girls rather than the bride’s contemporaries. When Queen Elizabeth II married in 1947, most of the eight bridesmaids were younger than the 21-year-old bride. Kate Middleton invited Prince William’s goddaughter and Camilla Parker Bowles’ granddaughter, both 3, to serve as bridesmaids.
- Peru puts a different twist on the bouquet toss. Tucked between the layers of the wedding cake are charms attached to ribbons. Before the cake is cut, each single female seizes and tugs a ribbon free. The guest choosing the ribbon with a fake wedding ring attached is supposed to be next to marry.
- In Russia, grooms must ransom their bride. Before the wedding, the groom visits the bride’s home to ask for his lady love. As a joke, her friends and family refuse him. He then must pay for his beloved in gifts, money, jewelry or meek humiliation. He is made to perform goofy dances, answer odd riddles, and take silly tests of worthiness, perhaps being asked to diaper a baby doll. Once the groom impresses friends and family with this bridal payoff (vykup nevesty), he is permitted to see his future wife.
- In most of the world kidnapping a woman to be your bride is a sex crime. However in cultures like Romani or gypsy, marriage by abduction is still practiced. If the man successfully captures a girl and keeps her by his side for at least two days, he is worthy of taking her as his wife.
- After the wedding ceremony, an Italian couple shatters a vase, trying their level best to crush it, because the number of broken pieces represents the number of years they’ll remain happily married. Sometimes, villagers set up a log for the newlyweds to saw through with a double-handed saw. This log sawing represented how they’d work together in their new partnership.
Did you know that the tradition of wearing a veil originated in Rome? The veil was to hide the bride from evil spirits. Meanwhile, the groom hauled a piece of iron—hopefully small—in his pocket to protect against evil spirits. The practice of carrying a bouquet was also handed down from ancient times. The strong smelling herbs or flowers were thought to ward off bad luck. Learn something every day? That was your goodly bit of knowledge for today! Hope you enjoyed your wedding voyage around the globe.
To make your wedding day more bliss and less stress, consider letting Roof Garden help. In beautiful, historic Galveston with spectacular views, Roof Garden provides all of the amenities you need. Contact us today to tour our facility or to reserve your date at (409) 762-5921 or check your date now.
About Roof Garden
The Roof Garden is a charming, vintage wedding venue and sophisticated corporate/private event facility located in the heart of The Strand overlooking Galveston’s Historic National Landmark District. Our elegant, signature Galveston architecture creates a warm, inviting atmosphere your guests are sure to enjoy. Learn more about our venue and view facility photos to understand the true essence of the Roof Garden.