10 Most Interesting Wedding Traditions from Around the World

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10 Most Interesting Wedding Traditions from Around the World

Published: 12 January 2022

The history of weddings is several millennia old. In fact, the first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies goes back to Mesopotamia and 2350 B.C. Even nowadays, there are many different wedding traditions from around the world that have been practised for centuries. Marriage is significant in almost every culture in the world, and every one of them has its own traditions. Some focus on colours, some on romance, while others are entirely different from western standards.

Our favourite wedding traditions from around the world

Every culture comes with different wedding customs and traditions. A lovely ceremony is essential for creating a perfect wedding. More importantly, it shows the respect you have for your culture and tradition, and that makes saying "I do" that much more special. Keep reading, and you'll learn about 10 interesting wedding traditions from around the world.


#1 Pay ransom for the bride in Russia

One of the most important as well as most interesting wedding customs in Russia is making the grooms work for their brides. In fact, honouring this custom is as important as choosing the perfect venue or hiring the best band. Before the wedding, the Russian groom would show up at the bride's doorstep and ask for her. Her family would refuse until the groom pays up in money, gifts, or jewellery. It's not uncommon for the grooms to pay in simple humiliation. The bride's family would force them to do silly dances, answer riddlers, or even showcase their diaper-changing skills on a baby doll.

#2 Or pay the ransom for the shoes in Pakistan

While Russian men are paying ransoms to get their brides, Pakistani grooms are forced to pay up in order to keep their shoes. Once a Pakistani wedding is over, the newlyweds would return home for a "showing of the face" ceremony. During this ceremony, the bride would take off the veil she's been wearing throughout the entire wedding. While the couple is busy gazing lovingly at each other, the bride's female relatives steal the groom's shoes and ask for money to give them back.

#3 Nuptial cups tradition in Japan

Even though many Japanese weddings have adopted Christian and western practices, there are still many Japanese couples who want to get married following the Shinto tradition. One of the most interesting customs is swapping their vows for cups of sake. Rather than the couple simply saying their vows, they will drink three times from three different cups, and each sip is symbolic and important.

#4 Throw the rice for the newlyweds in the US

A grand and festive exit of the newlyweds is a tradition in American weddings, regardless of their religious or cultural background. Guests used to throw rice at the couple as they would exit the venue and get into their car to leave. Nowadays, rice is not a common thing to throw anymore. People usually blow bubbles, toss confetti, wave sparklers, or ring bells. Different customs and rituals are what makes a culture unique. If you decide to leave the US and move to another country after the wedding, make sure to be receptive to other cultures but also nurture your own. While international movers organise your smooth relocation to other parts of the world, you can focus on packing the items that mean the most to you. Teach others about your traditions and learn about those with different origins. It will make you more open-minded and help you adapt quickly.


#5 In Egypt, let your mother-in-law cook for you

Egyptians sure know how to relieve you of the stress of planning a wedding. Namely, for the first week after a wedding in Egypt, it's customary for the bride's mother to cook all the meals for the newlyweds. Unless you're going on your honeymoon the day after your wedding, this could be an amazing wedding gift for you.

#6 The 12 symbols of life in South Africa

One of the most romantic wedding traditions is the "12 symbols of life", and it comes from South Africa. The wedding ceremony includes these symbols in order to remind the couple what to expect during their marriage. Here are the 12 symbols and what they represent: ● Wheat (fertility). ● Wine (the mixing of two families). ● Pepper (the hard times to come). ● Salt (healing). ● Water (purity). ● Bitter herbs (pain). ● A pot and spoon (a healthy family). ● A shield (pride and honour). ● A spear (protection). ● Honey (sweetness). ● A broom (cleanliness). ● A holy book (God).

#7 No bridal party in France

In many wedding traditions, the bridal party is an essential part of the ceremony, and it consists of friends and family members that are closest to the bride. However, in France, there isn't even a word for bridesmaids or groomsmen. Instead, French couples have "witnesses" at their weddings. During the ceremony, there are usually one or two witnesses who are, in most cases, best friends of the couple.

#8 Indian brides have painted hands

Before an Indian bride gets married, the traditions say that she and her female friends should decorate her hands and feet. They should use an elaborate design called mehndi, which is made from the plant dye henna. They only last for a couple of weeks.

#9 Spit on the couple in Greece

One of the most interesting wedding traditions comes from Greece, and it involves spitting at the couple. If you've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this wedding tradition is probably not new to you. The couple would be spat on three times in order to keep the evil spirits away. Keep in mind that there is no actual spitting involved, but the family members only make the gesture. It's all about the symbolism.

#10 Witness wardrobe change in China

Nowadays, in China, brides get to pick not one but three wedding dresses. The first one is usually traditional qipao or cheongsam. It is an embroidered, slim-fitting frock. For weddings, it's usually made red, which is a lucky and strong colour in Chinese culture. The next wedding dress is usually a white poofy ball gown. It's similar to what we see in western weddings. Lastly, the tried dress is typically a cocktail dress of her choice. This gown is meant to be worn during the reception.


What wedding traditions from around the world do you know of? We hope you enjoyed reading about these interesting and unique wedding traditions from around the world. A wedding is one of the most significant events in a person's life. By honouring traditions and customs that have been practised for centuries, you'll make your wedding even more special and unique.