7 Magical Wedding Traditions Around The World
A wedding is one of the most important milestones in one's life and is a major event in your family's life too. It's a sacred and sacramental moment where two families come together to witness the union of a couple in love, finally taking the next step in life. In this way, weddings are not only essential to the couple but the two families that will bond as well. What makes it even more precious are the traditions woven in the event, which can be both a familial or a cultural one.
The traditions we'll be listing isn't just something followed because of immemorial reasons, but because it has connected many generations from past to present and acts as the reminder of that connection with their ancestors. What does this mean to you and your wedding celebration? It depends on what place you and your partner hail from and what culture you've lived together with throughout your years.
Reasons Why Traditions Are Added In Weddings
One of the most popular reasons why people have these traditions, even though some have spanned for more than a hundred reasons, is the superstition that these traditions bring some sort of protection for the couple. This could be against the believed evil forces or just from pure bad luck. In Juxtaposition, some practices are done to bring good fortune instead of warding off bad luck. Both are still rooted in making sure a peaceful married life is experienced by the couple.
Another reason for such traditions can be to honor religious beliefs some cultures are entwined with. In comparison, some traditions exist because of cultural myths. Both cases can be seen as illogical, whimsical practices. However, there is always a reason behind such actions, even if there exist scientific reasons to support them today.
In modern times, these traditions are still practiced due to their effect during one’s wedding: an honoring and a nostalgic experience. Many countries like Italy, Spain, and other catholic-centric countries still take to traditional church weddings due to their hold on the religion. Nevertheless, unlike the past, traditions are now more for remembering the past than fulfilling the superstitious belief they claim to have.
1. Champagne Tower: France
Although the most commonly seen in many weddings around the world, the champagne tower originating from France seems to be a very rooted tradition that spans decades into the past when men still let toast float into their ale (this is believed to lower the acidity of the spirit) and wield sabers on top of horses.
What happens is the men galloping on the horse must behead the champagne bottle at precisely the right angle as not to spill the drink or injure the ones holding the bottle. Most times, for amateurs, this feat results in bloody fingers and wasted spirits on the ground, which is why the modern way of serving champagne in modern times has become safer (albeit still prone to broken glass and someone injured if done by an amateur).
In a traditional or unorthodox wedding, champagne glasses are stacked on top of one another, forming a pyramid. Then, this bubbly spirit is poured from the top of the glass and overflowing down into the other awaiting drinks below. This practice is more of showing off and giving your guests an amazing sight than fulfilling a cultural belief, but it’s still one practice to behold.
2. Wedding Lasso: Mexico
El Lazo is a practiced tradition in Mexico but originated from Spain in the 7th century. The Lazo is placed around the neck of the groom and bride in an 8 figure, symbolizing everlasting love and unity between the couple. This tie can be made from a string of flowers, a rosary, or just a simple silk ribbon. After the vows, this tie is removed by the priest or the godparents right after the mass.
Other than symbolizing the tying of the bride and groom in holy matrimony, this wedding lasso also has a religious significance, as the number eight is known in Catholicism as the number that represents new beginnings. This tradition is commonly done in a catholic-centric country like Mexico and Spain, or if you are catholic, being wed in a catholic church.
3. Rosemary Branch Corset: Croatia
This next tradition is more guest-centric than the other aforementioned numbers above. If you happen to become a guest in a wedding held in Croatia, one of the most common practices is the rosemary branch corset. This is given to the guests for attending the event, symbolizing respect and gratitude for being present. This corset is usually pinned to your left chest and decorated with red, white, and blue ribbons, representing the flag of Croatia.
In return, the guests can leave a donation of money for the couple. It can also be in the form of a housewarming gift or any other way of showing their gratitude back at the end of the wedding.
4. Secret Serenades: Italy
Italy is known for being a romantic country due to its many sentimental traditions, thus having a wedding in this country seems to be a positive most of the time. This one tradition can depend on the region and can differ greatly from each other, but each of them is rooted in the Italian culture throughout the years.
On the night just before the wedding, the groom is to arrive at the window of the bride and offer her a sweet serenade, either playing the guitar or have his best mate accompany him. This is usually kept a secret from the bride and is always a sweet surprise whenever it happens. In Italian culture, young couples often marry for love, and this tradition is known to have originated from the excitement of the groom, who can’t help but go and serenade their partner a love song.
Though today, this is practiced not by young and naive couples anymore, the La Serenata is a welcome romantic tradition that shows a sweet, intimate act of love. Not only is it a great way to show your feelings to your bride, but it also gives her a taste of what being serenaded feels like.
5. Snow White Pigeons: Malta
Malta is an island nation that has become a destination for couples that wish for an intimate, romantic wedding. There are about 300 and more churches on this island, so picking a location won’t give you much issue when it comes to a priest or pastor.
As for the Maltan tradition, the releasing of twin doves or snow-white pigeons after the nuptials is a common practice in the island nation as well as other parts of the world. These animals are often mated for life, which symbolizes love, peace, fidelity, and everlasting love and prosperity for the couple.
6. Breaking Plates: Germany
Germany is one country that is known as practical, straight-laced, no-nonsense, and strategical (at least as a stereotype), so it makes sense their tradition isn’t just originating from superstition or a whimsy. Even their weddings don’t require a large number of people, as only families and very close friends are invited.
On the night before the wedding, the guests will gather to break plates or porcelain and practice what is known as Polterabend, meaning a noisy night. Though some believe the shards broken will bring good luck and avoid a messy, tumultuous marriage life, this practice teaches the couple teamwork and support of each other. Yes, the couple will be tasked to sweep off the mess together, so the pair will inevitably bond over the tradition.
7. Family Tea Ceremony: China
China, on the other hand, is known to be rooted heavily in its traditions. Honoring their ancestors and their past beliefs and practices are done for the respect and love of the act more than obligation. The country honors family above all, which is why the family has a large role to play in a Chinese wedding.
Before the supposed date, the two families of each side are to meet to get to know each other through drinking a Chinese tea called Tsao Chün. The bride and groom are to serve their relatives out of respect, and for which a bond between the two families will be present during the ceremony. Although this sounds formal, it is done for both families to be familiar and be comfortable around each other before the ceremony.
Once the tea is made, the couple will be given a red envelope, which is always a good symbol of fortune in China. This envelope is called a lai see and may contain money and jewelry to show support and blessings for the couple. After the ceremony (given it went well), the family will move on to share a large feast, where both families won't need to show restrained formalities with each other.
Food is always a key element in the Chinese tradition, which is why bonding over good food can also mean blessings and peaceful married life for the couple. China is known for its great cuisine, which is why the feast is almost always done after the tea ceremony, regardless of the outcome.