Last week Mike and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. ‘Celebrated’ is putting it very loosely indeed. What actually happened is that Mike came downstairs in the morning and wished me a ‘Happy Anniversary’, and I promptly burst into tears. Then we spent the day as we do any other until the evening when we decided to dig out the few wedding photos we have.
Except we couldn’t find them.
So we had a cup of tea instead.
As my own wedding day is but a distant memory now and we can’t even find the photos to remind ourselves, and we aren’t about to start sending out invitations and booking elegant wedding cakes for any of the kids yet, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the wedding traditions from around the world instead…
Pre-wedding tea with the in-laws
Chinese brides will meet with the groom and his parents at their home for a pre-wedding tea. This is considered the formal introduction of the bride to the new in-laws. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? (Answer: no). Old traditions aside, it looks like taking their wedding photos in London is fast becoming a new Chinese custom!
It is said that preparations for a daughter’s wedding begins early in Germany, planting several trees in her honour at birth with a view to selling them at the time of her wedding in order to go towards the cost of it. We would probably need to buy an entire wood. Or have a houseful of spinsters.
Duck, duck, goose
A Korean groom will traditionally give their new mother-in-law a gift of geese or ducks representing his pure intentions and loyalty to his new wife.
In Kenya the father of the bride will spit on his newly-married daughter’s head and chest in order to fend away bad luck.
The Chair Dance
An extremely fun part of Jewish weddings, guests raise the bride and groom above their heads as they sit on chairs, dancing to the song Hava Nagila.
A bizarre Scottish tradition thought to have derived from the pagans attempting to ward off evil, bride-and-grooms-to be can find themselves bound to a stake before being thoroughly coated with anything dark and sticky by their friends. The tradition is known as blackening.
Orange blossoms are often the favourite wedding flowers in Spain, representing happiness and fulfilment. What more could you want from a marriage, after all?
Marry a tree
If you are unlucky enough to be born under the ‘manglick’ astrological combination you won’t be considered favourable enough to marry until you first marry one of your own kind. The way around it is simple; just marry a peepal or banana tree to dispel the bad luck. Easy!
Want to ensure the groom performs well in the bedroom? Why not try the South Korean tradition of tying him up and slapping the soles of his feet with a fish? Well, it’s worth a try…
And finally, a honeymoon with a difference
Newlywed couples of the tribes of the Tidong community in Borneo are required to be confined in a house together for three days. Not too bad, right? Well, no. Not until you get to the part where they aren’t allowed to urinate or empty their bowels during this time.
Have you heard of any other unusual wedding traditions from around the world? Please do share!