Marriage Around The World: Bridal Traditions

We celebrate marriage around the world — it’s an even that brings everyone together. However, different cultures have their own unique ways of preparing for and celebrating the happy couple’s nuptials. QUIZ, retailers of plus size clothing, tell us a few weird and wonderful wedding traditions from around the world.

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Weddings in Germany

Germans love weddings, and they celebrate them before the big day arrives. For example, before a future bride-to-be is even engaged, she saves away pennies, which will then be used to purchase her wedding shoes. This tradition is said to help the happy couple get off on the right foot.
Don’t expect a wedding invite to come through the post in Germany either. They send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!

If you attend a German wedding, you’ll find that a civil ceremony will be held in the town registry office. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.

Polterabend will take place a few days after the ceremony if the wedding is destined to be held in a church. Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.

After the married couple leave the church, they might saw some logs! A log is set up on a sawhorses and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!
When it comes to the first dance, the bride’s veil is held up and they dance beneath it. When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.

Weddings in Spain

Spanish weddings are completely different again. For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
Unlike the white wedding we all know and love, Spanish wedding dresses and veils are usually made from black lace! However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.
You’ll find that traditional weddings in Spain occur early in the evening and continue until the early hours. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.
The bride and groom usually opt for orange blossom flowers as they connote purity. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!

Weddings in China

As China is a significantly big place, wedding traditions can vary across different regions.
Believe it or not, Tujia brides must cry for one hour each day for a month — up until their big day. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.
If you attend a Yugar wedding, brides are show by their grooms with a bow and arrow — without the arrow head of course. After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.

At every Chinese wedding, a ‘good luck woman’ will tend to the brides hair. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.
As well as this, the groom will collect his future wife from her home and will be greeted by her friends, who block his entry from the house. The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.

If you’re attending a wedding in northern China, you might catch the bridge in a red dress or Qi Pao. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing.
On top of this, it might be surprising to know that the bride receives a half-cooked dumpling on the night of her big day. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.

Weddings in India

Just like China, weddings across India differ by region. It’s not uncommon for Indian weddings to take place over several days — different to the couple’s one special day in other countries. 
Before the wedding itself, you will find the bride taking part in a Mehendi ceremony. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.

The outfit depends entirely on where the bride was born too. In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.

You’ll find a lot of guests walking around the fire as part of the traditions. The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.

Wedding traditions really do depend on where you come from. But, they’re all a celebration of love and happiness and are special in their own ways. Will you take any inspiration from these traditions for your special day?

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