Are you thinking about a destination wedding? Well, maybe you should consider taking a look at the wedding traditions in different places of the world. Somo countries have a few curious traditions, while others have fun rituals or even some romantic ones. So, let’s take a tour around the world to check out some awesome traditions.
Wedding planner: Samantha Cooley | Photo: Rodrigo Cypriano
In Brazil, the wedding reception is really important for a wedding. And many traditions are linked to the party: couples give to their female guests Havaianas (flipflops) in order to make them rest their feet, the tears of joy tissue, Samba School at the party and a beautiful table with traditional Brazilian sweets, like brigadeiro.
A very common favor in Brazil is a sweet called “bem casado” (in English it would be something like “well married”), which is a small cake that is believed to bring luck to the newlyweds.
Another tradition is a “Santo Antonio” Bouquet. In Brazil, “Santo Antonio” is known as the saint of love and a matchmaker. The bride might throw it after the flower bouquet.
Wedding Planner: Olympia Giannopoulou | Photo: My Photographer Greece
Greek weddings are known for their many traditions – as seen on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. According to Anna Laudanska, Greece is an orthodox country so for orthodox weddings, there is a whole procedure imposed by the church. “For the reception in Crete, there is pilafi (special rice made on the broth from boiled meat: usually lamb & chicken) served with natural yogurt and boiled meat on the side. They also give ‘koufeta’ sweet almonds lose or nicely packed. In Crete, they also offer sweets called ‘xerotigana’. Many traditions, especially with food, can be easily implemented during civil weddings or destination weddings”, explains Anna Laudanska.
Olympia Giannopoulou also mentions a curious wedding tradition: “Thursday before the wedding, people lay the bed and throw money and rose petals on it. On the altar table, there is a tray all the time with sugar almonds and rose petals”, remembers Olympia Giannopoulou.
Wedding planner: Pilu Delgado | Photo: Jorge Ortiz Photography
Mayan Ceremonies are very special and very popular among destination weddings in Guatemala. “Depending on the Shaman, the ceremony will always involve fire, sometimes candles, rose petals and incense. It’s a very intimate ceremony that lasts about 1 hour or an hour and a half. It’s something to remember and it can always be incorporated into any other kind of symbolic ceremony”, explains Pilu Delgado.
Another good idea for couples who are getting married in Guatemala is to have some gift bags on their weddings with beautiful Guatemalan things.
Wedding planner: Carolee Higashino | Photo: Callaway Gable Photography
Although Hawaii is not a country, it is really well versed on customs and traditions from all walks of life. According to the wedding planner Carolee Higashino, Hawaii is considered the ‘melting pot’ of the world – all cultures are represented there – they might mix Chinese customs with a typical Japanese ceremony, with a touch of Filipino traditions.
“The Chinese celebration would incorporate the honorary tea celebration to elders, a typical Japanese ceremony might include 1000 cranes, a Phillipino tradition would be the exchange of coins and a cord and veil ceremony and so on”, explains Carolee Higashino.
Wedding planner: Danila Minetto | Photo: Matteo Cuzzola
If you think about Italy and the first thing that comes into your mind is food, well, you might be right (but it surely goes way beyond that). One of the main traditions of Italian weddings is giving your guests a small gift known as “bomboniera” (favor), which consists of five sugar-coated almonds symbolizing: family life, as well as health, happiness, prosperity, fertility, and a long life together.
But Italians also have a sexy tradition – “on her wedding day, the bride is expected to wear a garter. After the ceremony, the groom removes the garter and throws it to male single guests. Whoever catches the garter will have good luck”, explains the wedding planner Danila Minetto.
Italy can also be a place for romance. There, traditionally, it is the groom’s job to supply the bridal bouquet. “This is considered to be his final gift to his girlfriend before she becomes his wife. In some Northern regions, the groom must wait with the bouquet outside the church for his bride to arrive and hand it to her before the beginning of the ceremony”, states Danila Minetto.
Wedding planner: Guadalupe Alvarez | Photo: Charley Smith
Since Mexico is such a big country, every region has different traditions. The Mariachi time is one of the most famous – they can play from romantic bohemian songs to other upbeat ones like the Mariachi Loco.
Another tradition is the midnight snack in which Mexicans normally serve chilaquiles or tacos to the guests to diminish the effects of alcohol before leaving the party.
The Mexican traditions can also be included on the guests’ souvenirs like tequila or Mezcal bars.
For the couples who want to marry in the Catholic church, they have “Las Arras” (the coins), which are given to the bride by the groom to show that he will take care of her. There is also the laso, a symbol of a union that will not be broken. In San Miguel Allende, most weddings end with a wedding parade, where the bride and groom are in the
In San Miguel Allende, according to Guadalupe Alvarez, most weddings end up with a wedding parade, where the bride and groom are in the front and are accompanied with a Tequila Burro (Tequila Donkey ) and of course tequila!! “There are also the Mojigangas (the big puppets ) that dance with the guests, a mariachi band and of course all of their guests – is such an amazing celebration, people come out of their houses to congratulate them”, explains Guadalupe Alvarez.
Wedding planner: Thomas B. Dahlberg | Photo: Fluidphotography
The weather in Norway might not be the best in the world, but they surely have some amusing traditions for weddings. Some of them even include the toilets. “When the bride goes to the toilet – single man go up to the bride and kiss her on the cheek. When the groom goes to the toilet – single ladies go up to the bride and kiss her on the cheek”, explains the wedding planner Thomas B. Dahlberg.
According to Thomas B. Dahlberg, at some other traditions, the guests tell the couples what to do: “When the guests tap the glass with cutlery to make a ‘klirring’ noise, the couple has to get up on their chairs and kiss. When the guests ‘clap’ the table with cutlery or hands, the parents of the couple get on their chairs and kiss. When all the guests stomp their feet, the couple should go under the table and kiss”.
Pretty curious, huh?
Wedding planner: Leticia McRae | Photo: Daniel Gomez
If you are looking for lots of fun on your wedding day, Panama is the right place for it. The wedding planner Leticia McRae explains that there is one tradition called ‘La Hora Loca’ (The Crazy Hour). “Just after midnight, the celebration breaks out with a ‘Murga’ (orchestra with festive tunes of the Panamanian carnival). It is usually preceded by the bride and groom. They distribute accessories such as masks, colorful hats and necklaces to the guests and for about an hour the whole celebration becomes a carnival. It is very fun”, explains Leticia McRae.
Weddings in Panama are also known by its energy. “I always tell my clients that in Panamanian weddings people eat, drink, dance and have absolute fun at the same time from sundown to sunrise the next day!! This is a true fact”, says Judy Amado.
Wedding Planner: Dora Thillet | Photo: William Vivas
In Puerto Rico, many wedding traditions are connected with the Catholic church and Christianity. According to the wedding planner Dora Thillet, for the Catholic ceremony, they also have the Arras. “13 coins representing Christ and the 12 disciples. They are used to represent your blessings. The groom places the coins in the bride’s hands and makes a vow to share his blessings with her. Then, she does the same”, explains Dora Thillet.
For the Christian Ceremony, a Bible is also given to the couple which is meant to be the copy the family will share and abides by.
The tradition to wear “something new, something borrowed, something old and something blue” is also very popular in Puerto Rico.
Wedding planner: Jeanette Skelton | Photo: Weerayut Janthal
Persian ceremonies are usually full of symbolic items, which is called “Sofreh Aghd”. This might include the Quran, colored seeds (to ward of evil spirits), nuts & eggs for fertility, gold coins for wealth, pastries for a sweet life, bread for prosperity, fruit for the divine creation of mankind and rose water to perfume the air.
During the ceremony, the bride and groom dip their pinky fingers in a cup of honey placed in their Sofreh and put it in each others’ mouth. “This gesture symbolizes the start of their marriage with sweetness and love”, explains the wedding planner Jeanette Skelton.
Learn more about Persian weddings
Wedding planner: Jeanette Skelton | PhotoDiktat Photography
For the ones who wish to get married in Thailand, there is the possibility to add some traditions like Thai Buddhist Blessing, Khan Maak Procession, The Thread Ceremony & Water Pouring.
The water blessing consists of pouring water into the couple’s hand and it is one of the most important part of the Thai wedding ceremony. During this part, the couple officially becomes husband and wife.
In Thailand, many Western couples choose to have a Buddhist wedding ceremony when they get married. However, it is important to note that although monks may be present during part of the wedding day, a Thai wedding is essentially a non-religious affair. If monks are invited to attend the ceremony it will be to bless the couple and enable them to make merit. Thai Buddhists believe that donating a merit gift (i.e.money) to the local wat (temple) will ensure a lifetime of love for the marriage. In some instances, the couple may go to the temple rather than have the monks visit them, but donations and food will still be offered to the monks.
On another tradition from the Thai ceremony, the bride and groom will exchange flower garlands in addition to rings, which symbolizes eternal love, the fragility, and beauty of life.
What about your country? What are the main traditions for weddings in your area?
*First photo credits: photo – Mary Ann Art & Photography | wedding planner: Jeanette Skelton