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Weird and wonderful wedding traditions from around the world

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on October 28th, 2011 1 comment

You’ve got the engagement ring and now it’s time to plan the wedding. But are there any traditions you ought to include? Should you let the single girls in the room kiss your groom? Do you really need to drink nine cups of sake for the ceremony to be united? And what about wearing a gold coin in your right shoe and a silver coin in your left the whole day?

Every country has its own traditions, quirks and superstitions, especially when it comes to weddings.

So whether you are getting married abroad or your betrothed is from another part of the world, check out the list below for inspiration – or simply to clear things up!

China: This one relies on the bride getting to the wedding on time which is certainly not a British tradition! However, over in China, couples are renowned for getting wed in the latter half of an hour so that their new life begins with the clock hands point upwards, which is seen to be more positive. A nice, simple idea to incorporate for some added wedding luck.

Denmark: Not such a good one to try if either of you get easily jealous or if any exes are going to be in attendance, but if you want to bring some Danish spirit into the big day, you’ll each need to disappear during the wedding reception so that the single girls in attendance can kiss the groom and the single men can kiss the bride!

India: The bride’s parents might need a little sweet talking if you want to include some Indian culture in your big day; it’s traditional for them to wash both the bride and the groom’s feet with milk and water during the marriage ceremony so that the couple are pure and prepared for their life together.

Indonesia: Celeb weddings may seem grand over here, but in Indonesia it’s perfectly normal for there to be more than 1,000 guests at a wedding reception! Even scarier, the newlyweds are expected to individually greet each guest before the party starts, so we won’t blame you if you don’t fancy taking on this tradition.

Japan: Brits have a bit of a reputation for liking a drink or two, in which case this Japanese tradition should go down well! Couples must drink nine cups of sake during the wedding ceremony before they are considered united, while families and guests have a drink too, to symbolise the unity of the two families. Just make sure someone else is covering the bar tab!

Latvia: Over in Latvia, the groom’s best man and other friends have been known to kidnap the bride at her wedding reception. The new husband then has to pay a ransom (thankfully not real money, but a round of drinks or a song) to show his love and get her back! A bit cruel perhaps, but a great opportunity for a big show of romance too!

Norway: Just like fairy tale princesses, Norwegian brides get to wear a silver crown which is covered in silver charms that jingle as she walks. The noise the charms make is said to ward off evil spirits which might otherwise cause problems for the new couple! If a crown is a bit out there, a charm bracelet can bring the same sentiment to a British wedding.

Russia: Sticking with the fairy tale theme, traditional Orthodox Russian couples take it one step further and are crowned as royalty for their big day. This involves a special carpet for the bride and groom to say their marriage vows on- but before the ceremony starts they race each other to it, with the winner becoming head of the household!

Sweden: It might be an odd choice of in-sole, but in Sweden it’s traditional for the bride’s mother to give her daughter a gold coin to wear in her right shoe, while her father gives her a silver coin for the other. It’s said that by doing this the bride will never be poor- worth a go?

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