Weddings anywhere in the world spells out customs and celebrations, rituals and traditions. Be it in the food or the dress, the ceremony or the arrangements, there’s something so unique in every wedding that will have you taken aback. Here’s a look at such unique wedding customs around the world that are weird and exciting, bizarre and mind boggling at the same time-
Armenia makes a fine fusion of its specialty lavash flatbread and its ritualistic marriages to make out a custom that is weird but nevertheless all in good spirits. The bride and groom are required to break a plate as soon as they enter their wedding reception after which they are given lavash and honey by the groom’s mother. Not to eat though. The lavash needs to be balanced on the shoulders of the couple to ward off the evil while the honey needs to be eaten to usher in the good.
To be grooms in Fiji are expected to present the girl’s father with a whale’s tooth when asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. We wonder what kind of a price that is to pay for a marriage. We are glad we only need to be wondering and not doing it though!
The traditional Shinto ceremony that Japanese marriages commences with requires the bride to be wearing white from head to toe on her wedding day. Of course there’s the kimono but what’s not so obvious is that there also needs a hood to be adorning the bride’s head. Called a tsunokakushi, the hood is supposed to hide the horns of jealousy that the new bride feels for her mother-in-law!
Imagine being decked up in all your wedding finery only to have your dress being dirtied! Now that’s what we would call an unlucky wedding. Not in Kenya, however. In fact, the brides of the Maasais of the country inevitably have their fathers spit upon them when they leave with their husband after the ceremony. And no, that’s not spite on the father’s part for having to deal with all the burdens of marriage! The idea behind is to drive evil away by not letting the bride enjoy too much glory!
One really interesting wedding tradition that stems from China is in percept an extension of the crying ritual that characterises weddings pretty much everywhere. The Tujia brides need to cry an hour every day for a month preceding their wedding. And not just the bride, even the mother and grandmother joins in to the tradition after ten and ten more days respectivel of the bride beginning her ritual. By the time the wedding is due, all female family members would be taking turns crying! A supposed expression of joy, this crying ritual definitely sounds like a fun experence to have!
Norway perhaps has the most dreamy of wedding traditions. Every Norwegian bride has to wear a silver and gold crown with dangling small charms that tinkle every time she moves and helps ward off evil spirits. And that’s not just all things enticing. Norwegian weddings also serve a special cake called the kransekake. A hollow towering presence made with iced almond cake rings that is filled up by a wine bottle, the kransesake sounds like such a treat to devour. A perfect fairytale that has all the pretty vibes, this makes me want to marry in Norway already!
Breaking the norms for a bride to be preferably slender and lean is the African country of Mauritania. Young girls from the age of 5 to 15 are sent away to fat farms before their wedding so that they build up on as much bulk as they can. Be it stretch marks or stomach rolls or overlapping thighs, an expansive body was seen as signal of a man wealthy enough to keep the fat woman satisfied! Body shamers, you can try out your trolls here at the mercy of fat Mauritanian brides!
Marriages in Indonesia can be a real ordeal for both the bride and the groom. For three days after they get married, the new couple is confined to their home and given minimal amounts to eat and drink so that they can stay for three whole days without using the bathroom! It is believed that overcoming this hurdle will strengthen the husband- wife bond and give them all the more strength to handle future challenges!
At every wedding in Niger, it’s a camel that’s the real star of the celebrations. A trained camel does the reception dance at the desert to a rhythmic drumbeat amidst scores of wedding guests who are witness to the culmination of a courtship equally peculiar. Tradition demands it that a Nigerian boy interested in a girl needs to sneak up to her parental home and tickle her ear to make his intentions known! Now that’s what we call unique.
An exclusive wedding specialty, the Russian sweetbread karavay however does not hold only a place of gastronomic importance in wedding ceremonies across the country. Newly wed Russian couples need to bite off as huge a bite as humanly possible to assert their position as the head of the family. The making of this very wedding food is equally an intriguing tale so it only helps that the eating pattern ended up being diametrically unique as well!
Cuba’s dance with the bride is a very costly affair it seems. Custom dictates that each and every man who has the good fortune of dancing with the bride should in return pin his money on her. The ritual supposedly had been a way to help the newly weds pay for their wedding and honeymoon expenses. Quite a smart move, must say!
Venezuela needs to have the weirdest of all wedding traditions. If you have been to a Venezuelan wedding ceremony you will find that the bride and the groom are gone long before the reception is over. It’s considered to bring good luck to the new couple if they manage to sneak away. But it’s also considered good luck for the guest who first discovers that the stars of the show are gone!
Brides to be in the country of Scotland have to undergo such a messy affair before their wedding that attaining the bliss of conjugal life sure must feel like a struggle. Ahead of the wedding, the bride is captured by their friends and covered in all sorts of stuff as curdled milk and spoiled food, molasses and flour, dead fish and feathers before being paraded through town. And there’s more to follow as the bride is also tied to a tree before she is eventually taken away for a night long of drinks to perhaps make up for it. The ritual is believed to ward off evil spirits and also prepare the bride-to-be for any struggle ahead.
The healthy liver of a baby chicken is what determines the date of a Mongolian wedding. The couple to be needs to kill chicken after chicken with a single knife till they stumble across one that has exactly what they need. Only after quite some bloodshed, they get to know when they can finally tie the knot.
Marriage is such a significant institution in the French Polynesia that after the ceremonies are over, the couple has to walk over a human rug. As relatives of the bride lay down side- by-side on the dirt, the newly weds walk over them as they depart the ceremony (and perhaps prepare themselves for similar ordeal in the future!)
What kind of a wedding celebration is it if you aren’t allowed to express happiness on the most important day of your life? Ask the Congolese people and they would tell right away that laughing and smiling at their own wedding is a taboo. Because if they do it anyway, it would mean that they are not serious about the marriage! A day sans happiness sure is worthy enough of a life of happy togetherness, what say?
It’s not easy being a groom in Korea. Korean men learn it the hard way during the Falaka ceremony of the wedding when the bottoms of his feet are beaten with some stick or dried fish! Not only that, the poor guy is expected to answer trivia questions hurled at him along with the beating so that he can prove his strength- both in mind and in feet!
Indian weddings are a really fun affair of stealing away not just the bride but also the groom’s shoes! The cousins and siblings of the bride’s side team up to dupe the groom and his allies as they skillfully do away with the dulha’s jutis. It is only after some monetary reconciliation is reached and the ‘ransom’ is elicited that the poor groom gets to put his feet in his shoes!
Whoever thought weddings were all pretty and neat affairs sure haven’t been witness to a French wedding. Newly wedded couples in France are made to eat and drink their wedding chocolates and champagne. That’s completely fine but the fact that the poor souls are forced to eat from a toilet bowl sure is gross enough to leave them ruing about ditching their singlehood.
Greece has to have the best groomsmen in the world. In fact they also have a specific name they honor their best man with. These koumparos or the groom’s best man so keep up with the spirit behind the name that they willingly turn barbers for the man of the moment. The groom has a field day as he is shaved clean by his best man while his mother in law waits to be feeding him with honey and almonds!
The wedding of the Swedes has something for everyone! So when the bride leaves the table all the guests are free to flock up to the groom and steal kisses from him. And being the gender- equal country that it is, even the bride kisses everyone who gather around her once the groom is gone. Now that’s what we call impartial treatment- for the bride, for the groom and for the guests as well!
The ancient city- state of Sparta in erstwhile Greece had brides who would dress up like all other brides, but opposite to what conventional brides do. Spartan brides used to dress up like men alright but they also went a step further and shaved off their heads! And there’s not even a proper ceremony taking place. The grooms would just steal them way and after winning her over would return her to her parental home. And that’s just about there, the marriage would be done!
Irish brides sure cannot dance the night away on their wedding. At least not comfortably as such. The brides of Ireland are required to put their feet firmly on the ground at all times so that evil fairies don’t come and sweep her away. We are sure it’s also as much the evil fairies as us who must be thinking of this as really ridiculous!
Germany weddings see guests smash away piles of porcelain dishes that are required to be cleaned off by the newlyweds. While the smashing is supposed to drive evil spirits away, the couple cleaning is a lesson in Polterabend that sets the new couple up for housekeeping and other struggles ahead in life.
Turkey‘s wedding tradition is quite footsy to say the least. After papers are signed officially, the bride and groom will try stepping on the foot of each other to assert their dominance over the other so that they get to be the hear- sayer in the relationship. Must be painful though, to be the ‘object’ of dominance, both in stomping and in life!
You think you have a right to be pampered and praised on your wedding day? Think again specially when you are in Jamaica. Jamaican brides are snubbed so bad by lined up villagers if they don’t look good enough that the poor bride has to make a dash for her home and put on something else altogether that can be worthy of the village’s applause. Such torture!