17/05/2013 Weddings

Wedding traditions around the world

In the past few months we wrote about Italy, its locations, its traditions and its  requirements for getting married here.

But what are the wedding traditions around the world?

Wedding customs and traditions vary greatly from one culture to another and from one religion to another. We analyzed what the traditions are around the world and here we offer you a selection, though much more can be said.

China. Red and Gold colors are a must. A traditional Chinese wedding will include a lavish reception or banquet that can include a 10 course meal to celebrate the union. It has become popular to create a wedding album, with elaborate posed shootings in various locations and different costumes.

Chinese traditions foresaw a whole roast pig given by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as an appropriate engagement gift. The traditional wedding gown in China is bright red, traditionally adorned with elaborate golden phoenixes, chrysanthemums and peonies, symbols of wealth and good fortune. The groom traditionally wears a black silk coat over a robe embroidered with a dragon, and you can expect loud firecrackers at a Chinese wedding to scare off evil spirits. These traditions though, have been recently influenced by the Western white dresses; it’s quite common, especially in the cities and on destination wedding, that the bride wears a white elegant gown.

Japan. Ceremony can be Shinto or western style. Brides can wear a colorful kimono, a shiromuku or a modern wedding dress. The Sake Ceremony is very important and takes the places of vows. Guests attending a Japanese wedding reception are expected to bring Oshugi, a cash gift. Alternatively, in the Buddhist ceremony two strings of beads are interwoven, symbolizing the joining of two families into one.

In the country of the rising sun, purple is the color of love and a young bride may choose to wear an elaborately-embroidered silk kimono covered in purple iris-flowers.

India. Most weddings here can take several days, depending on region and religion. It is quite common having the sangeet (musical and dancing night only for women), baraat, mendhi (bride and her friends henna painting night) the evening before the wedding. it is usually very colorful!

In India and other countries with a Hindu culture it is considered bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other for several days before the wedding. As part of the marriage ceremony the bride’s parents wash the couple’s feet with milk and water as a symbol of purifying them for the journey of their new life together. As part of the ceremony the couple holds in their hands grains of rice and oats and green leaves, signifying wealth, good health and happiness.

In Korea it is tradition for a fortune-teller, known as a kung-hap, to look into the couple’s future before they get married in order to see if they will live harmoniously together. A harmonious union is very important since the engagement gifts alone for a traditional Korean wedding can cost upwards of $40,000.

In Indonesia it is not uncommon to have more than 1,000 guests invited to the wedding reception and it is customary for the bride and the groom to greet each guest in a long receiving line before the reception festivities can begin.


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