Cultural wedding traditions and rituals have evolved over thousands of years all around the world. Currently many wedding traditions are still linked to other customs, superstitions or even the environment around us. The best wedding videographers at our wedding cinematography company have revealed the most popular wedding ceremonies from around the world…
Indian weddings are big, bold and extremely beautiful. An Indian wedding is jam-packed with traditions and customs, guests, as well as celebrations which can span across 3 days! Traditional Hindu wedding dates are determined by a pandit (priest). Who uses the stars to discover the couple’s most favourable date to get married. On day one of the celebrations the bride and her female family members take part in ‘mehndi’. This is where they have their hands and feet henna-ed, and ‘sangeet’, a small reception where the bride’s and groom’s families come together for the first time for a celebration. The third day is the ceremony and reception, which could last a whopping 16 hours! There is a procession where the groom greets his parents and bride’s parents at the ‘manadap’. Where everyone removes their shoes to enter the sacred space to await the bride’s arrival. During the wedding ceremony the couple are physically bound together and step around a sacred fire followed by greeting their guests and also receiving blessings.
When setting the date, the couple will visit a fortune teller, Feng Shui Master or Monk to determine the best date to get married based on their birth dates in addition to their star signs. Interestingly, the bride and groom have a wedding photoshoot prior to the wedding in order for them to get the perfect shots and display the photos at the ceremony. It’s also becoming increasingly popular for newlyweds to book a European trip for their honeymoon so that they can have photos taken wearing their wedding attire in front of famous European landmarks! On the morning of the wedding, it is customary for the groom to pick up the bride – often a lively affair which can involve fireworks, gongs, drums and even dancing!
A child walks in front of the procession with the groom as a representation of fertility. Upon arrival, the groom will be greeted by their family. To then put him to the test where Chuangmen (door games) take place. The games typically include eating something spicy, sour or bitter and answer multiple questions about the bride to win approval of the bride’s family. After winning the game the groom hands over a red envelope. Which containins money to the bridesmaids so they can essentially ‘surrender’ their friend.
The groom’s final challenge is to find the bride’s missing shoe and place it on her foot. Before carrying her to the traditional Chinese tea ceremony held within the bride’s family home. The wedding banquet is an opulent eight hour event hosted by the parents of the bride and groom. The food served to the guests is extremely symbolic – a fish course represents abundance, a suckling pig signifies the bride’s purity, a poultry dish is served for peace and a sweet lotus seed symbolises fertility.
Prior to a Danish wedding, the bride has a pine archway built outside her home either on her pathway or attached to her doorway. This is known as a ‘Gate of Honour’. The groom traditionally buys the bride her wedding bouquet. However the bride must purchase her own shoes (and must not sell them after!). After the wedding ceremony, the male guests take off the groom’s shoes in order to cut holes in his socks. Some say this is to prevent other women from seducing him, and others say the bride should repair the socks to prove she is going to be a good wife.
Danish weddings are absolutely filled with kisses! During the wedding reception if one guest starts to stamp their feet and the rest of the party join in. The bride and groom are required to duck under the table to kiss. If guests start tapping their cutlery against their plates or glasses, the married couple must stand on their chairs to kiss. In addition to this, when the bride leaves the room, the female guests rush to kiss the groom on his cheek and vice versa, if the groom leaves then the male guests kiss the bride on the cheek. Finally, all guests are expected to eat a slice of the wedding cake. As it is deemed as bad luck for the marriage if they don’t.
The day before an Italian wedding, the bride must isolate – and surprisingly not because of Covid! She must stay away from the groom and is only permitted to look at her reflection in the mirror if she removes an accessory – a shoe, glove or earring. Moreover, on the night before the big day the groom arranges to serenade his bride underneath her window. The bride doesn’t know what time this will be and is awoken by the sound of music. Which is being played by musicians outside the window. Friends and family are notified what time this will take place so they can witness the unfolding of this event. Traditionally bomboniere which is an organza bag filled with sugared almonds or confetti, is stacked into groups of five. The bomboniere are given to guests as wedding favours and are representative of health, wealth and fertility. Finally, during the wedding ceremony the newlyweds must smash glass. The more pieces shattered on the floor, the better as they represent the longevity of their marriage.