There are so many wedding traditions around the world and they differ much from one country to the other. Let’s learn 10 most curious and odd wedding traditions from China, Puerto Rico, Russia, Greece, India, Scotland, Congo, Niger, Venezuela, and French Polynesia. You would be surprised by the uniqueness of these customs. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to experience some of them at your own wedding one day.
Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s also a time to participate in some of your family’s wedding traditions. But what would you do if that meant stepping all over your mother as a symbol of good luck? Let’s find out what this means. Just take a look at 10 wedding traditions from various countries.
China. Great wall of bridesmaids
It’s always good to know a friend has your back, especially when it comes to a potential partner. But in China, they are taking being a protective girlfriend to a whole new level. On the day of a Chinese wedding, the bridesmaids form a blockade around the bride. In order to get through her wall of friends, her future husband has to prove his love and devotion. How does he do this? He must follow every command from her bridesmaids, which usually involve giving them money, dancing, and performing for them. Once he proves his love, the bridesmaids give him the go-ahead to marry their friend. Talk about a stressful day for Chinese grooms.
Puerto Rico. What a doll
If you’ve been to a Western-culture wedding, there is a good chance you have seen a bride and groom wedding cake topper. That makes this next tradition a little less strange. In Puerto Rico, they place a look-a-like doll of the bride on the reception table. The families of the bride and groom then place trinkets around the doll for good luck. But the newlyweds don’t get to keep these little souvenirs. They are actually passed out to the guests of the wedding as thank you gifts for their presence. Similar to those goody bags you used to get at your best friend’s birthday parties, except we are guessing they have less candy and fake tattoos.
Russia. Big mouth
Depending on the culture, gender roles in relationships are pretty much already set. Thankfully, things are beginning to change, and gender roles aren’t as black and white these days. That being said, there is an interesting way Russians decide who is going to be the head of the household. On their wedding day, a bride and groom take a bite out of a traditional sweet bread called “karavay”. This may seem harmless enough, but it’s actually a competition. Whoever has the biggest bite of bread ends up with the title “Head of the household”. Did we mention they aren’t allowed to use their hands? The leftover karavay is then divided amongst the wedding guests to symbolize that the couple is sharing their happiness.
Greece. Literal groomsmen
How much would you trust your friends to make you look great for your big day? Or how much would you trust your besties to hold a sharp edge to your face and neck? If you are a Greek groom, you won’t have much of a choice. In this country, the groomsmen are literally just that. They help the groom, their soon-to-be-married friend, by giving him a fresh shave before the ceremony. To make things more awkward, the groom’s friends and family watch the whole thing, and it’s even accompanied by music from a violin player and singer. After the shave, the best man helps the groom get dressed in his wedding attire.
India. Tree wedding
How important is your zodiac sign to you? Is it so significant you would marry a tree to protect your future marriage? We are guessing not. That’s why you should be happy you weren’t born in India. Women born to a Mars bearing astrological sign in India are said to be cursed to the longevity of their future husband’s life. The good news, there is a cure. All they have to do is marry a banana tree before their actual wedding. Once the tree and bride are betrothed, the tree is destroyed, and the curse is broken. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this is a controversial tradition, as it is believed it violates the rights of already oppressed women in India.
Scotland. Trashy bride and groom
It may sound a bit messy, but the good news is, with this unusual Scottish tradition, you won’t have to worry about getting your wedding dress soiled. That’s because it takes place before your big day. This grimy tradition involves either one or both the bride and groom. The wedding party ties the couple up and proceeds to throw everything from mud, flour, feathers, you name it – on the future man and wife. The point is to get them as messy as possible. “Why?”, you might be asking yourself. Apparently, the Scots believe, if the bride and groom can get through this ceremony together, they can get through anything.
Congo. Why so serious?
Can you imagine how giggly you might be on your wedding day? It’s supposed to be one of the most exciting days of your life. So, what would you do if you weren’t actually allowed to show your jubilation? In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, weddings are a serious ordeal. So much so that the bride and groom aren’t allowed to smile on their wedding day. If you do happen to crack a grin, you might be judged for not taking your marriage seriously. Not only that, but the couple isn’t even allowed to smile in their engagement or invitation photos. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a celebratory event because the wedding guests usually get rowdy enough for the betrothed.
Niger. Camel dance
If you aren’t a fan of getting married before the age of 18, be thankful you don’t live in Niger, Africa. In this country, it’s legal for people to marry at the age of 15, and it’s not unusual for them to do so. In fact, about 75% of women in Niger are married by the age of 18. While that may seem a little depressing, there is a little something that will lift your spirits. After a traditional wedding in Niger, they have a ceremony which involves a dancing camel. The camel parades around prancing to rhythmic drum beats as the wedding guests circle around it. Which sounds exactly like something that would happen at a wedding for teenagers.
Venezuela. Venezuelan goodbye
How many weddings have you been to? Did you ever notice that the bride and grooms left before the rest of the guests? Well, considering you probably threw rice or birdseed at them, we are going to guess yes. This is something that wouldn’t happen in Venezuela. Well, the birdseed and rice part at least. As far as the couple leaving, it turns into a literal Game of Hide and Seek. In fact, when the bride and groom leave, it’s better luck for no one to know they are leaving at all. But if you are the person at the wedding who happens to spot the newlyweds taking off, you steal all the luck for yourself!
French Polynesia. Rung by rung
Listen, we’ve heard about walking all over people to get what you want, and it’s never usually a positive experience. But if you want a happy marriage and you’re from Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, you are literally going to do that. This bizarre custom involves the bride and groom walking all over the people they love the most. After the wedding ceremony, the parents of the bride and groom line up side by side. Then, they lay face down and form a sort of human rug or ladder. Finally, the bride and groom are expected to walk on their parents for good luck. We are pretty sure this wouldn’t be the way we would want our parents to wish us luck at our wedding. But to each their own, right?