At almost any wedding you attend, you’ll probably witness beautiful moments that celebrate the couple’s cultures. Including cultural traditions on your big day is a great way to honor your past and treat your guests to new rituals they may have never experienced. From Sri Lanka to Greece, almost every country and culture has special or sacred wedding traditions passed down from generation to generation. Read on to take a trip around the world with these 10 global wedding traditions.
1. China: In a Chinese wedding, the color red is an important part of the festivities. It is a bold and lucky color that signifies love, prosperity and happiness. Red is used everywhere from the wedding dress to the invitations. (via Sarah Culver)
2. Germany: An old German wedding tradition of cutting a log is the first obstacle that a couple has to overcome in their new life. By showing that they can work as a team to saw the log, they prove they can tackle any difficult situations that might arise in their marriage. (via Sarah Culver)
3. Greece: In Greek Orthodox weddings, the bride and groom are “crowned” with stefana (wedding crowns) joined by a white ribbon. This symbolizes unity and nobility as the queen and king of their home. (via Sachin Khona)
4. United States: For many black couples, “jumping the broom” signifies entering a new life, with a new family. This tradition began when slaves were unable to get legally married, so the act of jumping over a broom became a sign of a couple’s partnership. (via Del Sol Photography)
5. Japan: The practice of sembazuru, the folding of 1,000 paper cranes, has been a Japanese wedding tradition since ancient times. The couple make these intricate pieces of origami for weeks to symbolize the support, trust, and patience necessary for a long, happy marriage. (via Vivian Chen)
6. Mexico: In Mexico, the bonds of everlasting love are symbolized with a lasso — usually made of white ribbon or orange blossoms — placed around the couple’s shoulders in a figure-eight shape. (via Petronella Photography)
8. Slovakia: To mark a woman’s new identity as a wife, a Slovakian bride is surrounded by women in traditional Slovak dresses. They take off her veil and cover her hair with a scarf to welcome the bride into their circle. (via Peter and Veronika)
9. United States: If you’re a Southern gal or have ever been to a Southern-style wedding, then you’ve probably seen a traditional cake pull. It comes from the old Victorian tradition of baking sterling silver charms (tied to a ribbon) into the bottom level of the wedding cake and having all the single women pull them out before the cake is cut. (via Jen Huang)
10. Sri Lanka: During a Sri Lankan wedding, an uncle of the bride joins the right thumbs of the couple with a gold or white thread. The ashtaka (master of the ceremony) will bless the union while pouring water on their fingers. (via Kate Robinson)
Have you heard of any of these wedding traditions? Let us know below which were your favorite, or which ones we missed!