Wedding Traditions Around the Globe, Part 1


There are a lot of old and new wedding customs in America and even within each family. But how many of our traditions came from other countries? Whether you want to get in touch with your roots, or just embrace part of another culture, you’re sure to have fun with these customs from around the globe!


italian weddingPhoto Credit:

The night before the wedding, an Italian bride stays at her parent’s house and wears green for good luck. She will not wear any gold on her wedding day aside from her ring as that is bad luck. In addition to something borrowed, something new and something blue, the bride will also wear something she received as a gift. In some regions of Italy, the bride and groom cut a log together with a double-handed saw as a show of how they will work together in their marriage. During the reception, guests will often bang their glasses with spoons to encourage the bride and groom to kiss. At the end, the bride and groom say thank you to their guests with ‘bomboniere,’ which is a present with confetti (sugared almonds) and printed ribbons. This is a symbol of family life; the number of confetti should be an odd number, 5 or 7 for good luck. A lot of times, the wedding party and closest guests will parade down the street from the church after the wedding.


MexicoPhoto Credit: Snippet & Ink

Before leaving for the ceremony, the bride’s mother traditionally will offer a prayer with the bride; sometimes both parents participate. Mariachis are responsible for most of the music at the wedding and reception, but sometimes an organ is still used for the bride’s walk down the aisle. The bridegroom presents 13 gold coins to the bride as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence (placing all of his goods in her care). To symbolize unity during the ceremony, a designated person will place a figure-eight loop of rosary beads around the bride and groom to be worn throughout the service. For the first dance, guests surround the bride and groom in a heart shaped crowd.


ndidigunnar_290Photo Credit: Kathryn Croskey

Listen up, ladies! In Germany, BOTH the men and the women wear engagement rings on their left hand (why didn’t that tradition cross over here??) After the wedding they wear the wedding ring on their right hand. The night before the wedding, the bride and groom smash china plates at a party to scare off evil spirits. They then clean everything up together to show how well they work together. Oftentimes the women will replace a veil with a flowery headband and ribbons, instead. They may wear a tiara and if they do choose to wear a veil, it never covers their face. The bride and groom are married first in the registry office and then enter the church and walk down the aisle together. It isn’t typical for there to be bridesmaids, groomsmen or a flower girl. Usually the bride and groom only need a witness at the registry office, and then their family and friends at the wedding ceremony.


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