Australia is one of the most interesting and entrancing countries regarding wedding traditions. They’re a striking mix of aboriginal culture and diverse traditions of the Australian multicultural population. The unique history of this isolated continent created some very curious wedding traditions, customs, and rituals. And most of them deal with nature (earth, stones, smoke, etc) or are connected to ancient indigenous beliefs (family heirloom, authentic musical instruments, etc). The wedding traditions in Australia are truly unique.
Wedding rituals with stones
Probably no other countries around the world consider stones as a sacred and important part of a wedding as Australians do. There is not one but several wedding rituals that use stones. One of them is the famous “unity bowl” – every wedding guest places a small stone in a special bowl, wishing love and happiness to the couple; in the end, the newlyweds get a bowl full of stones that carry positive energy and sentimental value to the couple. Usually, the stones are beautiful – smooth river stones or some colorful stones prepared by the bride and groom for the wedding in advance. This unity bowl is then stored by the couple in their home as a memory about their happy day and a reminder about their friends and family and their love and support. Sometimes, the stones even are signed with the names of the wedding guests or different romantic phrases.
Another wedding ritual connected to stones is called the “stone ceremony”. The roots of this tradition are in the colonization period when first Australian settlers came to the continent and were working hard to make it their new home. Very often, they didn’t have enough money to buy wedding rings, so they invented a new free-of-charge ritual – they threw a stone into a lake. This tradition symbolized the promise given by the newlyweds to each other to support each other and stay together in joy and sorrow.
Thanking Mother Earth
Australians consider their land sacred. Worshiping Mother Earth is typical for aboriginal tribes, and this tradition remains in the local culture till today. The newlyweds organize a beautiful wedding ritual during which they thank Mother Earth and acknowledge the people who came before them. They believe that such a ritual can bring them good luck and happiness in marriage.
Smoking wedding ritual
This ritual is derived from ancient aboriginal ceremonies as well. The local tribes used to burn healing and fertility herbs, and the couples inhaled the smoke. Modern Australians do a similar thing – they burn ceremonial plants and believe that this will protect them from the evil spirits and improve their health.
Wedding ritual with a Bible
This wedding custom is also adorable. The groom’s parents prepare a special gift for the couple. They present them with a vintage Bible that has been passed from one generation of their family to the next. The bride and groom keep the book, read it, and preserve it for years. And when it’s time, the couple gives this Bible to their children on their wedding day. A lovely tradition that connects families and generations, and also, it saves antique books from destruction.
Folk wedding music
One of the traditionally Australian musical instruments is called a “didgeridoo”. It’s a very specific and unique wind instrument that was invented by the indigenous people at least 1,500 years ago. A didgeridoo makes an unusual sound, which most Australians consider nostalgic, spiritual, familiar on some deep level, and pleasant. So, this musical instrument is often used at Australian wedding ceremonies.
Walking down the aisle
There is a popular Western-style wedding tradition when the bride is walked down the aisle by her father. In Australia, both parents walk their daughter down the aisle. And it looks great. The groom also can do the same – walk down the aisle with his parents.
Australian wedding cake
The traditional wedding dessert in Australia is the Lamington cake. It is a vanilla sponge cake covered with coconut flakes and chocolate. This cake looks pretty and tastes exotic and delicious. The Lamington cake is very popular at Australian weddings.