Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Every country has its own unique marriage traditions, from throwing the bouquet, feeding each other cake, jumping the broom, tying a red ribbon or drinking from each other’s glass.
The more we get into it the weirder it gets so stick around for this ride and check out the weirdest wedding traditions around the world.
By Mariam Elhamy
China: Crying Ritual
Who doesn’t cry at weddings? You get a little bit emotional and you start sobbing. The Chinese took it to another level, in certain parts of China a month before a wedding, Tujia brides will cry for one hour each day.
Ten days into the ritual, the bride is joined by her mother and ten days after that, the bride’s grandmother joins in until eventually, other female family members join in the weeping. It dates back to when a Zhao princess broke down in tears at her wedding.
Germany: Cleaning Up Smashed Dishes
In Germany, a couple’s family and friends gather in front of their house and start smashing dishes that the newlyweds have to sweep and clean up. This shows how they are able to work together and overcome anything.
Kenya: Maasai Marriage Spitting
Know when you spit on your hand to make a deal before shaking someone’s hand? That’s sort of what the Maasai people do in Kenya. The father of the bride spits on his daughter’s head and breasts before she leaves with her new husband as a symbol of good luck and fortune.
Sweden: Let the Kissing Games Begin
You’re not allowed to leave your wedding reception for any reason, because once you get married in Sweden if you leave the room everyone is allowed to kiss your partner!
South Korea: Take a Beating
In South Korea, the groom’s feet are beaten with a stick as a test of his character and strength.
Malaysia and Indonesia: Bathroom Ban
Malaysia and Indonesia’s Tidong people keep the bride and groom under watchful guard for 3 full days after their wedding. They are not allowed to use the bathroom or leave the house. They believe this will strengthen their bond and keep away bad luck.
Italy: So You Think you Can Sing?
If you’re Italian and you can’t sing it’s a problem because, on the night before the wedding, an Italian groom traditionally throws a surprise party outside his bride-to-be’s window.
“La serenata” begins with the groom, backed by musicians, serenading his fiancée. Then, it turns into a full-blown bash with the couple’s friends and family.
Congo: You Smile You Lose
Congolese couples are not allowed to smile throughout the whole wedding because if they do then it means that they are not serious about marriage. Imagine the wedding photos!
Scotland: The Blackening
Enter your new life with your partner covered in crap. In Scotland, the bride and groom are tied to a tree and family members unload all sorts of disgusting things on them as a part of the blackening ritual so that they can prove that they are ready for literally anything!
Mauritania: Fat Camp
Bet you never heard of a fattening farm? That’s the one girls in Mauritania are forced to go to so that they could get fat before their wedding. The chubbier the better!
Africa: Take your Mom on your Honeymoon
This isn’t even the weirdest one yet! Mothers or elders in certain African tribes accompany the newlyweds on their wedding night to ‘educate’ them on how to do things right.
Czech Republic: Baby on Board
Imagine coming home on your wedding night and finding a baby on your bed! In The Czech Republic, they believe that pacing a baby on a newlywed’s bed will increase their chances of fertility.
Russia: Who Has the Bigger Bite?
While weddings traditionally have cake, Russians eat a sweetbread called “karavay”. Traditionally, the bride and groom take a bite and whoever gets the bigger bite without using their hands is considered the head of the family.
India: Stealing Shoes
In India, it’s customary that the bride’s sisters and cousins steal the groom’s shoes and demand a ransom to return them. Guess the groom is walking barefoot now.
China: That’s What Friends Are For!
Another Chinese wedding tradition starts on the morning of the wedding day when the bridesmaids put the groom and his groomsmen through a series of tests and challenges to prove that he’s worthy of the bride. Then he pays them off with envelopes full of money.
Cuba: The Money Dance
It’s a Cuban tradition that any man who dances with the bride must pin money to her dress to help the couple pay for their wedding and honeymoon. Bring the cash!
Kidnapping the bride on her wedding day might seem a bad thing, but in Romania guests playfully “abduct” the bride to ask the groom for a ransom, a bottle of wine or to embarrass themselves by singing a love song in front of everyone.
Spain: No Tie No Wedding
At some Spanish weddings, the groom’s friends cut his tie into little pieces and sell them to guests to raise some money for the newlyweds. The same is sometimes applied to the bride’s garter as well. Anything for a few extra bucks! 20 Weird Facts about Scotland for Saint Andrew’s Day