20 Weird and Wonderful Worldly Wedding Traditions

Wedding Day Hair and Makeup

Not all traditions have to be boring and bland, nor do they need to be in line with popular culture.  Weddings nowadays are becoming more and more about the couple and less about traditions, cultures and other people.  And this, is why, I believe more couples are opting for traditions closer  in line with their personalities.

Fun and quirky ideas to get people in the mood for a fun wedding. That is why, I thought I would get some weird and wonderful tried and tested traditions together for some inspiration, or maybe just for some fun reading.

  1. In Sweden they love stealing kisses. If the groom exits the room, all the single male guests steal a kiss from the bride and when she leaves the room, all the single ladies attack the groom for a smooch.
  2. Some areas of Africa, couples are not allowed to smile on their wedding day.  Oh, damn…
  3. No Dunny breaks.  The Tidong people of Borneo do not allow the couple to pee or poo for 3 days and 3 nights. Their families keep close eyes on the couple too, only feeding them small amounts of food and water.  It is believed if they don’t succeed, the marriage will be riddled with bad luck.  I don’t think my body would give me this option!
  4. Beating the groom’s feet with a dead fish in Korea is believed to help him get ready for his first night of marriage.  My question is what the hell goes on during the first night of a Korean marriage that requires experienced fish beaten feet???  ……
  5. The Blackening in Scotland. This is a tradition where the bride and/or groom is covered in a mess of goop, then paraded through their village before jumping in the local body of water to clean off. Usually a pond or a lake. Some even get tied to a tree first.  It is said to have grown from the practice of cleansing the couple, ready for the wedding. Got to get dirty first, right?  Some also believe it prepares the couple for anything the world can throw at them.
  6. Crying sessions in China. It is believed that crying welcomes a good happy marriage.  Brides must cry for one hour everyday for a month before the wedding. Her female family members are also welcome to join her.  But what if you are too happy to cry??
  7. Charivari in France; Dating back as far as the Middle Ages, guests bang pots and pans and whatever else they can find, outside the couple’s house the night of the wedding. It is originally said to show the couple how disapproving people were of the marriage.  Whether it be other men in the village not appreciating an outsider ‘stealing’ and eligible single woman from their options, or maybe adultery was involved, or they thought she was a widow who was marrying too soon, etc. Whatever the reasons used to be, they have since changed to more of a celebration and toasting to the happy couple.  It is also said this was the origin for the cans tied to the bumper of a car tradition, that we see in all the Hollywood movies.
  8. Fat Farms in Mauritania. Many cultures believe larger brides are more attractive. This stems from the idea that if your family was poor, you ate less and were skinny, if your family was well off, you were able to eat more and got some booty. It symbolises status.  So, they send their daughters to fat camps prior to the wedding.  What a difference in thought to the current western society of the skinnier the better style thinking.
  9. Killing a chick.  The Daur tribe in Inner Mongolia and some areas in China require the couple to kill a baby chick together, to inspect it’s liver. A healthy liver means permission to pick a wedding date. If not, they have to kill another, until they find a healthy liver. This tradition, I definitely cannot be on board with and highly recommend no one does this one. Those poor innocent little babies… ☹
  10. Spitting on the bride.  In Maasai in East Africa is a tradition for the father of the bride to spit on his daughter for good luck after the wedding ceremony. Hmmmm, thanks dad!
  11. A lesson for life.  In some African tribes it is customary for one of the mothers or an elder to accompany the couple to their bed chamber the night of the wedding, to educate them on how to do things.…. How awkward!
  12.  Crap Food.  The French have another odd tradition. This time it involves a toilet and food…. On the day of the wedding, guests prepare the couple a feast of leftovers, mixed with alcohol and whatever else they want to add.  The Weird part is, they put this mess of a feast in a toilet bowl for the couple to consume it from!!  Apparently, it is supposed to build up their strength for the wedding night, but why a Toilet bowl?!
  13. In India, if a bride was born when Mars and Saturn are both under the 7th house in astrology, they are known as Manliks.  When these women marry, it is believed that their husbands will die young.  To counteract this and lift the curse, they must first marry a tree.  Righteo then, congratulations Mrs Eucalyptus!Every husband’s dream is to be able to shoot his wife, right? Well, in China, they get to! Of course, with nothing that would kill her that is!  The groom uses 3 blunt arrows to shoot at his bride. Then he breaks the arrows in half to signify their love for each other.  If only she got to do the same..
  14. In Russia and China there are 2 similar traditions.  The bride’s family or bridal party will get together with the groom and give him a set of tasks to perform. Once the tasks are satisfactorily completed, he then offers them money, in China this is often in a red envelope.  In Russia it is like ransom money and his first offer of money often results in him getting a new bride; usually a male friend in a wedding dress. Once they offer enough money, the family will allow him to marry his real bride. I love families with a good sense of humour and money-making ideas. ????
  15. In Romania it is common for the bride to be “kidnapped” by friends, family or a hired actor. The groom is then required to pay a ransom to get her back. This could be in the form of a fun dance, or alcohol, or singing a song.  A bit of fun before the wedding.
  16. In India they have a tradition called Joota Chupai. During the ceremony it is customary for the groom to take his shoes off.  It is then the role of the bride’s family to steal his shoes. It is the duty of the groom’s family to prevent this theft.  If they succeed in stealing his shoes, he must pay a ransom to get his shoes back before leaving the venue. It is said to be a fun way to bring the two families together in a mischievous way.  And her family make a little money at the same time. ????
  17.  In some regions of Spain it is customary to cut off little pieces of the groom’s tie and auction them off to the wedding guests for good luck. Let’s hope he wasn’t a fan of the tie.
  18. African Fire. I love this idea. The parents of both the couple, bring a small fire from their own household fireplace to light a new fire at the couple’s house.  It is to symbolize the joining together of both childhood homes and families and to start their new home together.
  19. In Italy it is a tradition for guests to wrap the couple in streamers during their final dance for the night.  It is a celebratory gesture that promotes good luck and binds the couple together in love. This is one tradition I kept, and we got some fun photos of too.

Which out of these are you most likely to consider for your wedding? Or maybe you incorporated one of more of these into your wedding. Just like I did with the streamers.  If so, lets us know your story.