22 incredible wedding traditions from around the world

From wild geese to chopping logs, see how couples all over the world celebrate their wedding with unique traditions.

22 incredible wedding traditions from around the world
Unique wedding traditions. Image: Getty

Looking for some weddings traditions from around the world that might inspire you to add an exotic touch to your big day? This unusual traditions could be for you (although don’t worry you don’t have to saw a log in half if you don’t want to).

1.The flight of the doves (Philippines): Newly married couples in the Philippines release white doves in the sky during the ceremony. The birds’ flight represents the beginning of a new adventure together.

2. Confetti (Italy): In Italy guests receive confetti as favours at the reception, almonds or chocolate nuggets coated in a sugary shell. These treats must always come in the odd numbers, five or seven for good luck. It’s also part of the tradition to throw rice to the bride and groom at the exit of the church as a symbol of prosperity and wealth.

3. Sake-sharing ceremony (Japan): During the san-san-kudo ceremony the bride and the groom take three sips each from three sake cups, followed by their parents. Sharing the sake from the same cups represents the new family bond.

4. Log Cutting (Germany): We all know marriage is all about teamwork! In Germany newlyweds are put to the test immediately after the vows by working together to saw a thick log in a half in front of their guests. This is to prove their determination to face as a team any upcoming obstacles.

Image: Pinterest/Fiona Kelly

5. Kransekake (Norway): Forget pink frosting and sugar flowers. In Norway the wedding cake is built in layers over a wine bottle.

6. Geese and ducks (Korea): If in the Philippines newlyweds go for doves, in Korean they are all about ducks. The tradition requires that grooms give a goose or a duck as a present to their mother-in-law.
The monogamous birds are symbol of the devotion and loyalty of the groom to his bride. Since live geese aren't that easy to handle during a wedding ceremony (shudder), the birds have now been replaced with quieter wooden figures.

7. Blackening (Scotland): As unpleasant as it sounds, on the day before the wedding Scottish couple are covered in alcohol, ash, flours, feathers and any possible form of dirt. The tradition was originally meant to keep bad spirits away by scaring them.

8. Fight over the shoes (India): During traditional Indian weddings the groom must take his shoes off when entering the tent where the celebration takes place. The families of the newlyweds compete over the shoes; if the bride’s family steals the shoes the groom’s family has to pay a ransom to have them back.

9. Spitting on the bride (Kenya): As bride and groom leave the village the father of the bride spits on her. Apparently this brings good luck. We are not so sure, though.

10. Money dance (Poland): Now here's an idea we can get on baord with! If you want to dance with the bride during a Polish wedding you will have to pay a charge. The donations, collected by the bridesmaids, go toward the couple’s honeymoon.


11. Smashing dishes (Germany): The night before the wedding family and friends smash dishes outside the couple’s house. The bride and groom will clean the mess up; once again this is meant to test the couple on working together for a happy marriage.

12. Ransoming the bride (Romania): in a mock abduction game friends and family kidnap the bride during the wedding. The groom must pay a ransom through drinks or money to have his wife back.

Image: Pinterest/The Wedding Scoop

13. Bridal procession (China): During Chinese weddings the bride makes an entrance escorted in a bridal sedan. Her head is covered in a red veil and a red umbrella is held above her head. Red is a symbol for luck and love, while the umbrella encourages fertility and protects her from bad luck.

14. Henna tattoos (India): The bride and other women attending the ceremony have their hands and arms decorated with henna tattoos on the wedding day. The intricate designs represent hope, joy and good luck.

15. Double bouquets (Mexico): Can’t choose between two gorgeous arrangements of flowers? Go full Mexican and get both! It’s tradition for the bride to carry two bouquets, one for herself and one as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.

16. Lending fire (South Africa): in South Africa the parents of the bride and groom bring fire from their own fireplaces to the couple’s new house to ignite a new fire. This symbolise building a new life from the memories of their families.

17. Unity bowl (Australia): In Australia guests are given stones to hold during the ceremony. At the end, every guest in favour of the union will place their stone in a bowl for the couple to keep as a symbol of the support of their family and friends.

18. Wish tree (Belgium): It’s the Dutch alternative to the guest book. A tree decorated with ribbons and flowers is placed next to the bride and groom’s table at the reception, guests can write wishes and hang them on the branches of the tree.

19. Coins in your shoes (Sweden): It’s traditional for Swedish brides to carry a silver coin in her left shoe from her father and a gold coin in her right from her mother. This symbolise the fact that the bride won’t walk alone the path towards her married life.

20. Royals for the day (Greece): In the Greek tradition, the bride and groom are honored as queen and king for the day by wearing crowns. When the ceremony is complete, the newlyweds walk around the altar three times to symbolise their first walk as a married couple.

Want more? Here are eight wedding rules you need to break and wedding traditions that are worth keeping


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