15 Unusual Wedding Traditions From Across The World

15 Unusual Wedding Traditions From Across The World

From sawing logs to stealing shoes, there's some weird and wonderful wedding traditions around the world - these are our favs

ARTICLE BY : Arushi Sakhuja


Couples celebrate their love in different ways, and most times, it is through age-old traditions that they step into the world of holy matrimony. No matter where you are in the world, weddings always make for a very special occasion. Even though traditions differ across the globe, the common thread is the idea of spreading love and happiness. While some customs may throw you off, others may leave you gobsmacked and some might even seem a little offensive. You'll be amazed at what happens on wedding days around the world. Thankfully, these traditions are meant to bring good luck and prosperity to the couple.

Let's break down the institution of marriage and throw some light on how traditions and rituals differ across countries. Here are 15 of the world's most extreme wedding traditions.

1. Germany: The bride and groom use chainsaws
German newlyweds indulge in a tradition known as Baumstamm Sägen, where the couple is expected to saw a log into two pieces. As it's a task to be carried out by two people, Baumstamm Sägen symbolises the couple's strength as they face challenges in their marriage.

2. Romania: The bride is kidnapped
In Romania, if the brides disappears before the wedding it doesn't mean she has cold feet. On the contrary it is a tradition for the bride to be "kidnapped" by friends and family before the wedding. Just like role-play, to get the bride back, the groom has to pay her ransom, it could be through romantic gestures or filling her glass with champagne.

3. Italy: Nuts are given to newlyweds
Many of us think of confetti as colourful bits of paper, however, in Italian "confetti '' actually refers to sugared almonds. Wedding guests receive these as favours at the reception and they are used to be thrown at the bride and groom. But now they have been replaced by coriandoli, the tiny scraps of paper.

4. Kenya: Father spits on the bride
If you go to a wedding in Kenya, don't be shocked if you see the father of the bride spitting on her dress for good luck. For the Maasai people in Kenya, spitting on someone is seen as a show of respect. Hoping not to jinx the marriage, the spit is meant in good faith.

5. India: The groom gets his shoes stolen
In a traditional Hindu wedding, it's a custom for the groom to remove his shoes before sitting for the pheras. It is during this time that the tradition of Joota Chupai taks place. It is a ritual where the bride's bridesmaids and cousins often play a trick on him by stealing the shoes and hiding them. In order to get his shoes back, the groom must bribe the women with cash to return them before the ceremony ends.

6. China: The bride practices a crying ritual
While shedding a few tears at a wedding ceremony is common everywhere, in some parts of China, the bride is required to practice crying. A month before the ceremony, Tujia brides are expected to cry for one hour each day. Ten days into the ritual, she is joined by her mother, and ten days after, the bride’s grandmother joins in too. Known as Zuo Tang in the western Sichuan province, the ritual dates back to China’s Warring States era when the mother of a Zhao princess broke down in tears at her wedding.

7. Japan: Families drink in sync
Drinking wine at a wedding doesn't sound too bizarre, however in Japan, the historic tradition of san-san-kudo requires the family to drink in sync. First the bride and groom take three sips each from three flat sake cups, after which their parents do the same, bonding the families together.

8. Korea: The bride is given a goose
Most newlyweds are gifted accessories for their new home or money to begin their new life together, however in Korea, brides and grooms exchange wooden geese and ducks on their wedding day as a sign of their commitment. Historically, grooms also give their new mother-in-law's wild geese or ducks. The monogamous animals represent the groom's pure intentions and loyalty to his bride.

9. South Korea: The groom's feet are beaten
In parts of South Korea, grooms cannot leave with their new wives until they've had their feet beaten. After the ceremony, groomsmen or family members remove the groom’s shoes and bind his ankles with rope before taking turns to beat his feet with a stick, or in some cases, a dried fish. Thankfully, the ritual doesn't last long and is seen as a fun part of the day that’s meant to test the groom's strength and character.

10. Malaysia: The bride and groom are banned from the bathroom
Members of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Tidong people in Borneo observe a tradition that states the bride and groom must not leave their home or use the bathroom for three whole days after their wedding ceremony. They are kept under watchful guard and allowed only a small amount of food and drinks. Not observing the ritual is said to tarnish the bride and groom with bad luck often resulting in infidelity, the breakup of their marriage or the death of their children.

11. Venezuela: The newlyweds secretly leave the party
In Venezuela, it is tradition for the newly married couple to sneak off from their wedding reception without saying goodbye to their guests. Interestingly, it is believed that this tradition brings good luck.

12. Peru: Single ladies seek love in the cake
All single ladies, you'll love this wedding tradition in Peru. A traditional Peruvian wedding cake has ribbons hanging out around the sides. Each ribbon is attached to a charm inside the cake; however one special ribbon is attached to a replica wedding ring. If you're served the wedding ring-filled slice of cake, Peruvian's believe that you're next in line to get married.

13. Cuba: The bride charges you to dance with her
It is usually common for the bride to dance with her guests regardless of culture, however, in Cuba the dance comes with a price. Every man who dances with the bride is required to pin money onto her dress. This is done with the vision to help the couple pay for the wedding and honeymoon.

14. Australia: Guests are given special stones to hold
An Australian wedding ceremony might feature the tradition of a unity bowl. Upon arrival, guests are given stones which they are required to hold during the ceremony. When it's over, guests then place the stones in a decorative bowl that the couple keep on display in their home, paying tribute to their friends and family who attended.

15. Fiji: The proposal involves a whale tooth
In Fiji, the groom and his family will often present the bride's father with a sperm whale's tooth when he asks permission. Though this practice is more common in rural areas, it's practiced all over Fiji. The tooth, known as a tabua, translates to "sacred" in Fijian.

While we can wrap our heads around a few of these bizarre traditions, they surely put a smile on our face and made us fall in love with weddings all over again.

Credits: Steven Stone

Tags : Wedding Rituals  Wedding Traditions  Around The World 
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