Wedding Traditions from Around the World


Wedding Traditions

Every culture has unique rituals for ceremonies and celebrations. Engagements and weddings are all celebrated a little differently around the world. Couples usually follow traditions from their heritage or religious backgrounds; however, some couples adopt different traditions to make their wedding unique. If you are searching for ways to make your wedding a little different, you might consider these wedding traditions from around the world.


Native American Wedding Traditions


If you are searching for customs to incorporate into your wedding ceremony that acknowledge nature and spiritual forces, you might consider Native American wedding traditions. Native American culture involves rituals that revolve around a deep respect for the universe and natural forces.

  • Weddings typically take place in the evening.

  • Water is a powerful symbol during the ceremony. The bride and groom wash their hands to symbolize washing away the past and embracing the future together.

  • Traditionally, a vase is made by the groom’s family, and given to the couple during the ceremony for the bride to drink from one end, and for the groom to drink from the other. This ritual symbolizes a union of the couple. Whether the groom’s family crafts a vase or not, a couple could make or purchase their own to include this unique ritual in their wedding ceremony.

  • The Rite of the Seven Steps is one of the most important wedding traditions for Native Americans. The bride and groom circle clockwise around a fire, while the guests form a circle around them. The groom takes the first steps while reciting his vows, and leads them in a circle around the fire. Then, the bride recites hers vows. This ritual continues seven times for seven vows. The clockwise rotation represents the sun and light, while the fire represents warmth.

  • Contemporary wedding traditions incorporate silver wedding rings with turquoise for the bride, and opal for the groom.

  • Include flutes, drums, vocal performances and dancing at your wedding celebration.

Native American Wedding Traditions

Irish Wedding Traditions


The Irish have given us a couple meaningful wedding traditions that you might want to make part of your wedding day. While you are choosing something borrowed and something blue, you might consider some unique Irish customs.

  • Add horseshoe charms to your jewelry or bouquet for some added luck. A broach shaped like a horseshoe will add a little elegance and luck to your bridal bouquet.

  • One of the oldest Irish wedding traditions is a handfasting ceremony. Handfasting dates back to 7,000 B.C., at a time when ancient Celts officially joined in the bonds of matrimony by handfasting. The couple was met with a feast to celebrate their engagement. During an engagement ceremony, a Druid priest bound their hands together with a braided chord. The handfasting ritual was later adopted by Christian Irish as the exclusive method of marriage, and is still recognized as a legal marriage today in some villages in Ireland.

Handfasting

Wales, Scotland and England

These countries have a common tradition that dates back to the 1700’s in Wales at a time when the marriages of gypsies were not accepted by the church. The ritual was known as a besom wedding, named after the besom broom. Broom jumping became a popular trend and marriage right in Scotland and England in the 1800s. You might consider adding it to your wedding.

  • A broom jumping ceremony involves placing a decorative broom on the ground in front of the bride and groom. The couple holds hands and jumps over the broom together. This symbolizes jumping into a new life together.

Broom Jumping

Pacific Islander Wedding Traditions

Pacific Islander wedding traditions are focused on the beauty of the islands and family. If you are considering an island theme, you might consider Pacific Islander customs.

  • Necklaces are made from island flowers and placed on the bride and groom. These garlands are commonly known as a lei. The lei symbolizes respect and love between the couple.

  • The couple usually wears all white during their ceremony. Traditionally, the groom wears a red or black sash around his waist. In some cultures, the bride wears a gown from tapa cloth, which comes from the bark of Mulberry trees. The bride wears a different gown during her reception.

  • The Hawaiian Wedding Song is performed during the reception.

  • Two white doves are released, symbolizing the beginning of a new live together in love and peace.

Asian Customs


Asian customs can be drastically different, depending on the country. Traditions in China are very different from Korea, Japan and Taiwan. You can choose different customs and make your wedding unique with a fusion of traditions at your celebration.

  • According to Korean wedding traditions, brides switch between multiple gowns throughout the day. You might choose a red Mandarin dress to incorporate Chinese or Taiwanese traditions. If you are attempting to create a Chinese themed wedding, it is important to remember that white is a funeral color. A bride never wears white at the reception.

  • Cambodian wedding traditions include a knot tying ceremony, in which family members tie red strings around the couple’s wrist and provide well wishes for their marriage.

  • A Filipino cord and veil ceremony includes male and female sponsors from each family. The couple kneels, and the sponsors place a veil over their shoulders to symbolize being clothed as one. A cord is looped around the couple in a figure eight to represent unity.

  • Tea ceremonies are common Asian wedding traditions.

  • In Chinese culture, the bride and groom see the guests off, instead of the other way around. This can make your wedding more personal.

Indian Weddings


The rituals and process of the actual Indian wedding ceremony vary; however, there are three universal key rituals to incorporate into Indian weddings. The key elements of the ceremony are Kanyadaan, when a father gives away his daughter, Panigrahana, when the groom takes the right hand of the bride, and Saptapadi, the seven steps around the fire.

  • Kanyadaan is a ceremony to symbolize the father giving away his daughter. During Indian weddings, the father takes his daughter’s right hand, places it into the grooms, and requests that he take his daughter as an equal partner. As the kama-sukta (hym to love) is recited, the groom accepts.

  • After joining their hands, the mother of the bride pours water over the palm of her husband’s hands, allowing it to trickle over the bride’s and groom’s hands. A dividing curtain between the bride and groom is lowered, and the meeting of the bride and groom or the Kanyadaan occurs.

  • Panigrahan is an important part of Indian weddings. The groom takes the right hand of the bride in his left and accepts her as his lawfully wedded wife. Sometimes the bride and groom sit holding hands while their hands are covered with a cloth to ward off an evil eye. The groom faces the west and the bride sits before him with her face looking towards the east as the Rig vedic mantra is recited.

  • Saptapadi at Indian weddings signifies the union of the bride and groom. The marriage is not complete, unless the bride and groom take seven steps clockwise around the holy fire. This represents seven promises or vows to each other. The groom takes the bride by the hand and leads her four complete circles around the holy fire. Then the bride leads the groom the remaining three circles around the fire. With the completion of the seventh step, the marriage ceremony is complete.

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Greek Wedding Traditions


You might want to include culturally significant rituals from 11th century Greek wedding traditions.

  • The bride and groom are both crowned by a priest, and the crowns are tied together three times by the Koumbaros or sponsor. A tied ribbon completes the ritual and symbolizes the union.

  • The ceremony, the Koumbaros distributes a lapel pin with a ribbon to the guests.

  • Food is an important part of Greek wedding traditions. The traditional foods include lamb or beef stew with orzo, tiropita and baklava. Add Jordan almonds to your candy bar.

  • You might want to do the dollar dance. This is where guests toss dollar bills at the bride and groom as they dance.

Crystal Ballroom North Tampa


If you need a little help creating an unforgettable wedding ceremony and reception with all of your unique wedding traditions, bring imagination to Crystal Ballroom North Tampa. Meet with the professional design team and create a romantic experience they will remember forever. This all-inclusive wedding venue masters design and creating unforgettable experiences. Choose your centerpieces, flowers, colors and linens, and let the designers bring your dream to life. Contact Crystal Ballroom North Tampa to begin wedding planning.

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