There are many wedding customs that certain ethnic or religious groups follow. Even though some folks are not part of that culture or religion many still follow these wedding traditions. I find the traditions interesting so I went out on a search to see what I could find.
I found the following information at weddingsolutions.com.
Have fun and enjoy!
Many wedding traditions from around the world can be integrated into any wedding, whether or not the couple is of that culture or religion.
Catholic brides and grooms take marriage preparatory courses at their church.
A traditional wedding takes place during a full mass.
The priest blesses the Catholic couple's wedding rings.
Often the bride places her flowers in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary.
The Catholic wedding allows for a large extended wedding party in the form of readers, altar boys, deacons, and ministers of the Eucharist.
For a time before the wedding day, the bride spends time in seclusion with her friends. She does not see her family or her fiancee during this time.
A new bed was always installed in the couple's home on the day before the wedding. Children were invited into the room to provide an omen of fertility. The bed was scattered with fruit, which the children could take.
The "Hair Dressing Ritual" was a very important part of the wedding day preparation. The bride would take a pumelo (grapefruit) scented bath and wear new underclothes, before her hair was dressed in the style of a married woman by a woman who was considered to be lucky.
The bride traditionally wears red shoes and a red veil over her face.
In some regions, the groom eats dinner with the bride's family. He is often served hard- or soft-boiled eggs. He breaks the yolk, to symbolize the breaking of the bride's ties with her family.
The female attendants were chosen with care being taken that their horoscope animals in the Chinese Zodiac were compatible with the groom's.
The bride and groom drink wine from the same goblet and eat sugar molded in the form of a rooster.
Contemporary Chinese weddings are held on dates which are determined using a variety of factors. Fortune tellers use the birth dates of the bride and groom to determine the best date for the wedding. Many almanacs can be found which also can provide this information.
The groom and his parents meet with the bride's parents to formally ask permission for the engaged couple to marry.
Filipino couples visit important people (usually elders) to announce their engagement. This is considered a sign of respect. They may hand-deliver an invitation at this time.
Rain is considered lucky if it falls on the wedding day.
Filipina brides carry a rosary with their bouquet to honor their Catholic heritage.
Many Filipina brides offer their bouquet to the Virgin Mary rather than tossing it.
The most popular month for being married in the Philippines is December.
Filipino grooms walk down the aisle, alone or with their parents. Filipino wedding invitations contain an insert with the names of the entire wedding party.
Filipino newlyweds release doves during the reception. This bodes well for a peaceful relationship. Anyone that catches a dove can take it home!
Greek couples become engaged in the presence of their families. This is as binding as the wedding itself.
Weddings in Greece take place on Sunday.
Greek grooms send wine with their wedding invitations to his friends and relatives. The bride sends sweets with hers.
Greek brides wear yellow or red veils, which symbolize fire and were thought to protect the bride from evil spirits in ancient times.
A Greek bride carries a lump of sugar with her to ensure that her life is sweet.
In Greek weddings dishes are smashed on the floor during the huge wedding celebration, for good luck. The party can last all night!
A Greek bride may throw a pomegranate instead of the traditional bouquet. The seeds of the pomegranate symbolize fertility.
Wedding bands are made of gold, because gold lasts forever. The ring is placed on the fourth finger, because it is believed the vein from this finger runs directly to the heart. The groom wears his on his right hand and the bride on his left, to symbolize a complete heart.
A Mendhi ceremony is usually held in the late afternoon. Generally this is only attended by the ladies. The bride's hands and feet are painted with a henna paste. The paste is allowed to dry and washed off, leaving behind a stain on the skin. The darker the stain the stronger the love. This stain will last for several days.
The traditional Hindu wedding includes a Sangeet Party at which guests eat, drink, and dance to professional singers.
The sisters and female relatives and friends of the groom visit the bride-to-be and bring her small gifts. This allows the bride to get to know these important people in the groom's life.
The most important ceremony performed on the day before the wedding is the Ghari Puja. The priest comes to the couple's new home and performs a blessing. The bride grinds wheat and the groom offers the priest a handful of the ground wheat to symbolize that, though his life is changing, he will always remain charitable and help those less fortunate than himself. The bride and groom wear old clothing, which is torn off by their friends to symbolize the end of their old life.
In the Hathialo ceremony, the bride's dress is tied to a scarf worn by the groom. Then their hands are bound by a thread that has been blessed. This symbolizes their unity and their new life together.
The traditional Irish wedding ring features a Claddagh. The heart held by two hands, with a crown, means love, faith, and honor.
The traditional Irish couple walks to the church and down the aisle together.
Irish brides mix English lavender into their bouquets.
In Ireland, the honeymoon lasts for an entire month! This began because many couples eloped and wanted to hide for a while.
Irish lore states "Marry in May and rue the day. Marry in April if you can; joy for maiden and for man."
Honey mead is served at Irish weddings to protect the bride from faeries who may come to kidnap her.
Irish brides carry a horseshoe for good luck.
The top tier of the Irish wedding cake should be an Irish whiskey cake.
A fine day
Marrying during harvest
Taking the long road
Marrying on Saturday
Meeting a funeral
Breaking a glass or cup
The bride and groom sign a "Ketubah", a Jewish marriage contract. The document will be framed and displayed in the couple's home.
The groom studies the bride's face underneath her veil. This is because in the Biblical story of Jacob, he accidentally married the wrong woman after she covered her face with a veil.
Jewish wedding bands are simple, with no decorations. This symbolizes that there is no beginning, and no end, in the union.
The men should all wear yamulkes.
Jewish parents escort their children down the aisle.
The wedding is performed under a canopy called a huppah. This canopy symbolizes God's protection.
There are seven wedding blessings in a Jewish ceremony.
The tradition of the groom stepping on a wine glass symbolizes the fragility of human happiness.
Jewish brides and grooms are given a short time alone immediately following the ceremony, prior to the reception. In the past, this was when the marriage was consummated, however now it is a time for the bride and groom to be alone and reflect on their wedding.
Traditional Korean weddings are held in the bride's home. The groom travels to the bride's home in a procession.
The couple shares three spoonfuls of rice, which represents the meals they will share for the rest of their lives. They pour a Korean liquor made of rice into two cups which have been made from the same gourd. This symbolizes the union of their souls.
Ducks and geese are very important in the Korean wedding ceremony and may be incorporated in. Ducks and geese mate for life, symbolizing faithfulness.
The bride wears a chogori, which is a short, long-sleeved jacket and a chima, which is a full length, wrap-around skirt. She may wear a white sash decorated with flowers or symbols of significance to the bride, as well as a crown or headpiece.
In a Polish wedding, bread, wine and salt are very important. Bread represents never being hungry. Salt is a reminder that times may be difficult, but they will cope with whatever may happen. Wine represents good health and good spirits.
The unveiling of the bride represents the bride's transformation from girl to woman. The single women circle the bride and the maid of honor removes her veil. A married woman pins a cap to her head. When this happens, the bride is officially considered married. Often the bride tosses the veil, rather than her bouquet, to the unmarried female guests.
Russian weddings last for two days!
A loaf of bread, symbolizing health, long life and prosperity, is bitten into during the ceremony by both the bride and the groom. Whoever takes the biggest bite wears the pants in the family!
Russian wedding parties ride around their city in decorated cars, leaving flowers at historical sites.
If a Russian groom takes his eyes off his bride, she can be "kidnapped" and the groom must pay a ransom.
Russians wear their wedding rings on their right hand. The bands are traditionally three interwoven bands of gold or tri-gold.
Before a Scottish wedding, a shower is held so that the bride can open the wedding gifts surrounded by everyone who has sent a gift. At this shower, the bride is dressed up in a "veil" (made from anything you have - shower curtain, sheet, or anything you can think of!). She is given a plastic baby doll and a plastic toilet or container. The party walks through town singing songs. The bride can exchange kisses for money, which is placed into the toilet or container.
The groom also has a special night out with his friends. He is often dressed up as a pregnant woman and paraded around town. His friends play a lot of practical jokes on him and the evening often ends up with the groom tied up in front of his home - with or without his clothes!
The Scots begin the wedding the night before the ceremony...drinking, singing, and dancing accompanies a festive party.
Scottish grooms wear a kilt featuring their clan tartan. The bride can wear a brooch fastened with a piece of this tartan, as well, to symbolize her being welcomed into her new family.
Scottish priests bless the newlyweds, their home, and their bed.
South African weddings are followed by a large feast known as the Karamu.
The bride's family lights a fire in the hearth of the new couple, using fire from their own hearth.
The traditional South African wedding involves a unity candle ceremony. A large candle remains unlit during the ceremony, flanked by two lit smaller candles. The bride and groom each take one small candle and light the large candle, symbolizing their union. A nice way to add to this is to have each of the small candles lit by the parents of the bride and groom prior to the wedding.
The Twelve Symbols of Life are administered during the ceremony.
Each of these is very symbolic to the family:
1 Bible or Koran
2 Bitter Herbs
6 Pot & Spoon
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