Wedding Traditions Of The World

All through history there have been similarities in the wedding traditions and marriage customs of people from all over the world, but each nationality of people seems to have their own little way to go about the union of a man and woman too. The one thing that all wedding ceremonies seem to have in common is the commitment of love and devotion for all time and eternity during a public ceremony.

Everyone at a wedding hopes for a productive and happy union between the wedding couple. Wedding traditions are usually a way of showing signs of this hope for ultimate happiness. Some of these traditions are very interesting.

In the United States a favorite tradition is the best man to auction the garter instead of tossing it. The best man carries a hat around the reception site and the guests put dollar bills in it. Someone acts as auctioneer to count the money, and after a specified time has elapsed, the best man gives the garter to the last person to put money in the hat.

In Sweden, the traditional bride will end up wearing three rings by the end of the wedding ceremony. The first is the engagement ring that she entered the ceremony with. The second, the wedding band, is added to the first. A final band, however, is added as well. This band is known as the ‘motherhood’ band. This is said to indicate the hope that marriage is about more than just love, it is about building a family.

Wedding traditions in the Philippines include the Pandango, a dance which can last for hours. During the Pandango, guests pin money to the bride’s dress to pay for their honeymoon.

A traditional Irish bride may wear a blue wedding dress – believing blue to be a lucky color. English lavender is often mixed with her wedding flower. It is traditional for the bride to braid her hair – as it is considered a sacred way to preserve one’s feminine power and brings luck to the newlywed couple.

In Mexico wedding tradition dictates that a white ribbon or rosary be placed around the necks of the newlywed couple, symbolizing the joining of the two souls.

A wedding tradition in Egypt – just before the marriage vows are spoken – there is a musical wedding march called the Zaffa. There is traditional Egyptian music, belly dancers, drums horns and performers with flaming swords. Many Egyptians believed that the ring finger has the “vein amoris”, the vein of love, which runs straight to the heart.

In ancient civilizations of the Middle East sandals (walking was the main mode of transportation) was exchanged as a sign of good faith whenever a commitment of any kind was made. Today, that tradition has died off in all but weddings where the practice of tying shoes to the bumper of the bridal couple’s honeymoon continues.

There are many wedding traditions around the world which may differ from what you are used to, but if you are about to plan a wedding you may find it interesting to incorporate some of these traditions in your own wedding.

Wedding Traditions and How They’ve Changed Over the Years

The United States is a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, religions and all of these play a big part in the different wedding traditions we see today.

And just as different trends and fads come and go, some wedding traditions fall off and new ones are started. Sometimes different things start as trends and end up staying on through generations as traditional to a wedding ceremony.

Some Familiar Wedding Traditions

An Engagement Party
Usually couples have an engagement party if the couples’ families don’t live near each other and have never met. This gives both sides of the family a chance to meet, along with friends of the bride and groom to get to know each other too.

Engagement parties can be really casual like a backyard barbecue or a casual dinner party. Couples usually won’t spend a lot of money on these parties; they’ll save the catering and music for the reception.

Bridal Shower
This is one of those timeless wedding traditions; a fun party usually hosted by the maid/matron of honor. The guests traditionally have been for the women – mothers of the bride and groom, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and the female members of the bridal party.

These are usually hosted at the maid of honor’s house, but could be at the bride’s house too if the mother of the bride is helping organize it. If the bride has a really big family and lots of friends, it’s pretty traditional for a banquet hall to be rented for an afternoon.

Food can be do-it-yourself, donated or catered.

The wedding tradition for the bridal shower has evolved some though to where both the men and women are invited to a “wedding shower.” And in fact, a “wedding shower” could take the place of an engagement party. It’s still a good idea to keep this party inexpensive and casual.

Bachelorette or Hen Party and Bachelor Parties
Traditionally, this is the bride’s equivalent of a “stag party” for the groom-to-be and usually held the night before the wedding. It’s supposed to be the bride’s last night as an available bachelorette, and the groom’s last night as a single bachelor.

These parties might start out at someone’s house or apartment, and then move on to a dance club, bar or even a “strip bar.” So basically it’s a last night out on the town for the bride and her friends, and for the groom and his friends.

Sometimes the mothers of the bride and groom are invited to hang out with the girls for this night out and other times not. It’s optional. Same with the fathers of the bride and groom at the bachelor’s party.

The Bridal Party
There are a couple of wedding traditions for choosing who’s going to be in your wedding.

If the bride has a sister, she’ll traditionally be the maid or matron of honor. But if the bride has more than one sister, she may ask her best friend to be her maid of honor and have her sisters as bridesmaids.

The same goes for the groom. I have a cousin who has five brothers. So he asked his best friend to be his best man and his brothers were all in the wedding as groomsmen.

The number of attendants in the bridal party is up to the couple. In some states, the couple doesn’t need to have anyone stand for them at all if they don’t want to; for example if they’re going to elope or head to Vegas for a quick ceremony.

The White Wedding Gown
Old wedding traditions said that only a virgin could wear a white wedding gown. But today, brides can pick whatever color they want.

Even brides having second weddings or vow renewal ceremonies are wearing white wedding dresses, while some first-time brides are opting for antique white or pink wedding dresses.

Pretty Bridesmaids All in a Row
A lot has changed in the wedding traditions for the bridesmaids today too. Now brides are opting for their ladies to be in different colors or different styles, whatever they feel more comfortable wearing.

And dress designers have picked up on this trend too. It’s pretty easy today to find one particular dress that comes in a variety of styles and colors. So the ladies look coordinated but may be wearing dresses with different necklines, some in strapless dresses and others with one-strap or spaghetti straps.

A lot of variety but still looking completely put together!

Three-Piece Tuxedos for the Groom and Groomsmen
As for outdated wedding traditions, a lot has changed for what the men wear for a wedding. Some couples stick with traditional tuxes, while today’s trends are leaning more toward more casual suits and ties.

And for country-themed weddings, some men are opting for jeans and cowboy boots with a dress shirt and casual jacket.

Church Weddings vs. Civil Weddings
Gone are the days when a couple absolutely must get married in a church. Depending on the wedding traditions in the family, culture or religion, couples can get married anywhere today.

Civil weddings don’t have to take place at the courthouse anymore either as more and more district justices will travel to the ceremony site.

There are more “traveling” wedding ministers today too that will come to a ceremony site and officiate a wedding.

The Bridal Veil
Traditionally, the new bride wore a veil that draped down over her face. It was customary that the veil stayed in place until after the vows were repeated. Once the minister announced ‘You may kiss the bride,’ the groom would lift the front of the veil and drape over the bride’s head.

As far as today’s wedding traditions, you really don’t see a whole lot of that today. Even brides that are choosing the long Cathedral veils may have them pinned up into their hairstyle, but not draped over her face.

Other Wedding Traditions That Are Losing Popularity

The groom can’t see the bride the night before the wedding. Since a lot of couples actually live together for some time before the wedding, this means either the groom or the bride has to pack and leave home for the night.

Since this can be a little inconvenient, that tradition has been modified to the groom not actually seeing his bride in her wedding dress before the wedding.

Smashing the wedding cake in each others faces. A horrid tradition, but one that’s still around, depending on the couple. Some couples make a deal that they absolutely won’t do this. And some couples end up breaking that promise and cake ends up everywhere but their mouths.

Tossing the Bouquet and the Whole Garter Tradition
I recently read where this is one of those old wedding traditions that’s seen its days. As more couples are opting for smaller ceremonies, and as more couples are living together, there may not be that many “available” women and men to even make this whole tradition worthwhile.

But obviously if you’re having a pretty sizable guest list with enough people interested in participating, better be prepared for it!

And finally, the Dollar Dance. There are conflicting opinions about this. Some bridal “experts” say it’s tacky and not that many people are doing it anymore. But if you talk to some DJs, they’ll say the guests are expecting it because it’s one of those age-old wedding traditions that guests look forward to.

So use your own judgement. If you want to do a Dollar Dance, or Money Dance, go for it. If not, do something else in its place.

Wedding Traditions are Cultural in Venezuela

Venezuela culture is a product of wide influence from American Indians, Spanish, Africans, Italians, Portuguese, Germans, Arabs and others from South America countries. Wedding traditions cultural in Venezuela is therefore as diverse as the many cultures that have made them what they are today. One of the common cultural wedding traditions in Venezuela that people from Toronto would be amazed at is that of bridal couples sneaking from the reception unnoticed. Venezuelans have continued with this tradition since they believe it brings good luck to those who have just married and is therefore done in good faith. Visitors from Toronto attending weddings of friends and loved ones in Venezuela get alarmed when they realize they cannot trace the bride and groom and yet the rest of the people appear disinterested in their whereabouts. It can be very alarming for a person who does not understand this tradition because the wedding day is mainly for the couple whose presence is vital. Guests are encouraged to eat drink and continue making merry even in the absence of the bridal couple.

Wedding traditions cultural in Venezuela incorporates ethnicity through the food. Caterers serve food from Spanish, Africa, Portuguese, Amerindian, Italian or any other ethnic culture named above. Wedding traditions cultural in Venezuela is very festive and colorful. Visitor from Toronto enjoy these weddings that major on merrymaking, music and food. They are also very colorful and this is mostly seen in how the Venezuelans decorate their venues and themselves. Another aspect of the wedding traditions cultural in Venezuela is that both the flower girl and ring bearer wear clothing, which is similar to the bridal couple in design. This is very unique and rare in Toronto where the flower girl especially may wear a wide range of clothes from princess to pleats depending on age and size. In Toronto the bride may prefer designs that are very mature for a flower girl such as strapless, halter or another design that requires a well formed body and curves that the flower girl may not have. Due to these factors rarely do the bride and her flower girl wear the same design in most parts of the world making this a very unique wedding tradition in Venezuela.

Another tradition involves an exchange of thirteen coins. Some families prefer to use chocolate coins that have been wrapped in gold foil as facsimiles. These coins are commonly referred to as Aras. These coins can be presented by the groom or the bride’s father. When the groom presents the coins this symbolizes his willingness and love to support his bride. If they are presented by the father of the bride they symbolize the dowry for the bride. This is a very unique practice since most traditions do not require the family of the bride to pay dowry instead they receive dowry from the family of the groom. It is likely that these wedding traditions cultural in Venezuela came about from the Indian influence since this group of people is known to practice this tradition to this day.