No matter where you travel on this spinning blue globe, wedding celebrations are a big deal. Customs vary from country to country, but one constant remains: love, loyalty, family, and, of course, fun. Need some unique ideas to help bring an international flare to your own nuptials? Take your cues from these traditions from around the world.
During the course of the wedding celebration, the bride changes gowns a number of times, proving to all in attendance that her family is successful and wealthy enough to afford the bride’s finery. For the ceremony, the bride dons a traditional crimson full-length, long-sleeve dress with gold detailing. Rituals are different depending on the region, but almost all of them include a tea ceremony. Directly after the ceremony, the couple serves tea to the bride’s and groom’s parents, starting with the groom’s family, as a way of honoring their families. Think of this as the Chinese equivalent to the wedding reception. Some tea ceremonies take place at private homes, others atbanquet halls.
Traditional Indian and Hindu weddings are laden with a multitude of customs, some more complicated than others. They generally involve the chanting and singing of ancient Vedic hymns and following detailed rituals, like the bride and groom’s recitation of the Seven Vows. The bride’s bridal outfit, orlehenga, is as ornate as the rituals, dripping with jewels, sequins, and crystals. The lehenga’s colors are usually jewel tones with gold and silver metallic accents, but the bride can opt for white, if she so chooses.
Spanish weddings are boisterous, lively affairs that usually begin in the evening with the ceremony, followed by revelry into the wee hours of the next morning. Firecrackers burst and guests throw rose petals after “I Do” has been said in order to celebrate the union of the happy couple. During the ceremony, the groom presents the bride with 13 coins to symbolize the union not only of their souls, but their resources. The bride wears a satin black floor-length gown with a long black veil hoisted high on her head. These days, however, brides are choosing white gowns instead of black, as well as opting for the presence of bridesmaids and groomsmen, whereas in the old Spanish tradition, there are none. One Spanish wedding tradition that hasn’t changed is that the bride, groom, and families of both are celebrated and held in the highest regard. After all, there’s no better way for a couple to start a new life together than surrounded by the love and admiration of friends and family, a custom found in every country in the world, including our own.