Marriage is one of the most celebrated customs around the world, while taking on different traditions throughout different cultures. Infusing cultural wedding traditions into a wedding is not only a beautiful way to celebrate and share something personal, but also serves as a nice tribute to the families. Here are a few you may not know.
Traditionally, the couple will see a fortune teller to select a wedding date based on the couple’s birth dates and times.
In the months leading up to the wedding, the groom will deliver betrothal gifts to the bride’s family.
Guests present lucky red envelopes of cash at the entrance to the wedding banquet. Odd amounts of money are favoured as odd numbers are harder to divide – in keeping with the guest’s wish for the bridal couple. The amount is recorded, and the couple is obliged to exceed the amount in return as their gift, should the guest be married after them.
The chatan (groom) and kallah (bride) will not see each other for a week prior to the ceremony.
To symbolise the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the groom will break a glass with his foot as guests shout ‘Mazel Tov’!
During the reception, the bride and groom are hoisted in the air on chairs as guests dance because they are seen as King and Queen.
To bring good luck, traditionally the bride will spend the night before her wedding with her parents at their home.
In Roman times, when marriage was arranged, the bridal veil was used to prevent the bride and groom from seeing each other before they were married, in case the bride or groom did not want to go ahead with the proposed union.
As a traditional gift, guests would receive a bomboniere. Today, this gift can be anything including macaroons or cupcakes but traditionally guests would receive an odd number of white coated sugared almonds, representing the couples union - as an odd number cannot be divided by two.
Traditionally, the bride wore a red, yellow, green or white sari to signify good luck, fertility or to represent the caste to which they are related.
During a Mehendi ceremony, the bride’s hands and feet are intricately covered with Henna to symbolise how deep the groom’s love is for his bride.
During the ceremony the priest will tie the bride’s sari to grooms dhoti symbolising they are bound together for life.
After the ceremony, guests traditionally throw rice at the newlyweds as a blessing for them to grow old together and lead a happy life.
In Greek culture, the kiss signifies love and respect for another. Throughout a Greek orthodox wedding ceremony the Priest will prompt the groom to kiss not only the bride but also the Father of the Bride and the Holy Gospel.
To ward off evil spirits, it is a Greek custom for guests to spit on the bride as she walks down the aisle.