Cultural wedding traditions

Most modern brides place a high value on a wedding that’s personal and one of a kind. Incorporating a tradition from your own cultural heritage or, if done with respect, another culture, can be a beautiful way to infuse a little extra personal meaning into your wedding ceremony. 

These cultural wedding ceremonies can be easily integrated into your own wedding.

Australia: An Australian tradition is the unity bowl. For this, guests hold small stones through the wedding ceremony and at the end place them in a decorative bowl, which the couple keeps in their home to remind them of the support of their loved ones.

France: In France, the groom traditionally picks up the bride at her home and walks her to the ceremony. Children block their path holding white ribbons which the bride must cut to symbolize overcoming obstacles in marriage.

Greece: Part of the Greek wedding ceremony is for the bride and groom to take their first walk as a married couple around the altar three times to symbolize the trinity.

Japan: Japanese couples honor their parents at their ceremony with a toast, flowers or a letter expressing their thanks and love.

Israel: Jewish couples traditionally marry under a chuppah, a canopy that is believed to protect the bride and groom from evil spirits.

Mexico: As part of a Mexican wedding ceremony, the priest wraps a rosary, chain of flowers or rope in a figure eight around the couple’s necks as a representation of eternal unity.

Nigeria: Yoruba couples from Nigeria and Benin traditionally sample the four elements of taste: vinegar for bitter, lemon for sour, cayenne for hot and honey for sweet. These elements represent marriage’s ups and downs, always ending with sweet.

Sweden: Customarily Swedish brides carry coins in their shoes. They carry a silver coin from their father in their left shoe and a gold coin from their mother in their right shoe. The coins are to ensure that she will never go without.

Wales: Welsh brides carry myrtle in their bouquets as a symbol of love, and traditionally give a cutting of myrtle to their bridesmaids to plant. If one of the bridesmaid’s cutting blooms, she will soon marry.