Nine Wedding Traditions From Around The World

wedding traditions

Not seeing the bride in her dress before the wedding day and the four traditional tokens of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue are local traditions we all know about. But did you realise there are lots of traditions from around the world that are frankly, quite strange! 

Across the world, every culture has their own set of beliefs and traditions based around marriage. Some are fun and some are pretty out there, today we’re sharing nine that caught our eye! 

Country: South Korea

Tradition: Beating the Groom’s feet

After their wedding ceremony some South Korean grooms have to take part in a ritual before they are allowed to leave with their new wife – having their feet beaten! The grooms shoes will be removed and his ankles bound with rope by his groomsmen or family members. They will take it in turns to beat his feet with a stick, or sometimes, a dried fish. Whilst it’s a painful experience, the ritual is over quickly and meant to be more amusing than a punishment. The tradition is a test of the newly married husbands strength and character. 

Country: China

Tradition: Crying bride 

Whilst weddings can bring tears of joy on the day in certain parts of China it is a required part of marriage preparation. Brides from Tuija will cry for one hour each day for the month leading up to their wedding. Ten days into the ritual the brides mother will join in, with the bride’s grandmother joining in a further ten days. Other female family members will eventually join in the ritual. The ritual is said too date back to China’s Warring States era when the mother of a Zhao princess broke into tears at her wedding. 

Country: France

Tradition: Dodgy drinking! 

France is well known for its amazing culinary cuisine but the tradition know as La Soupe is as far from fancy dining as you can imagine. After the wedding reception guests would gather leftover food and drink int a chamber pot which is presented to the newly married couple to drink. It’s supposed to give their energy for the wedding night! Thankfully when this tradition is carried out nowadays it’s with Champagne and chocolate, now that we could stomach! 

Country: Republic of the Congo 

Tradition: No smiling 

Under no circumstances are wedding couples allowed to smile during their entire wedding day! Not even during their vows, photos or dancing, if they do it means they aren’t serious about marriage. 

Country: Sweden

Tradition: Kiss the bride, or groom

Every time the bride or groom leaves the table to use the bathroom the newlywed left behind will be kissed by one of the guests. 

Country: Borneo

Tradition: Toilet ban

Indonesian couples have to spend the first three days of their marriage in their home together, but they aren’t allowed to use the toilet! Can you imagine?! 

Country: Niger 

Tradition: Dancing camels 

It is traditional for wedding guests to gather around a trained camel to watch it dance to a drumbeat at the reception! 

Country: Spain 

Tradition: Chop chop 

In Spain the grooms friend will take scissors and chop his tie into strips, which are then sold to guests to raise money for the newlyweds. Some brides also like to get in on the action by offering up their garter. 

Country: Fiji 

Tradition: Rules of engagement 

When a man asks his partners father for their hand in marriage in Fiji, they must present his future father-in-law with a whales tooth! The groom gets extra points if they have caught the whale themselves! 

And for good measure, did you know brides in the Western world didn’t wear white to their wedding until Queen Victoria started the trend in 1840! Before then they wore red or their best dress, except Japanese brides who always wore white. 


(Featured image: Laura and Benny Photography)