Posts Tagged ‘cultural weddings’

The Scottish Wedding

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Continuing our world exploration of wedding customs, our tour takes us now to a country the nuptial roots of which wend back to ancient times. Some of these traditions prove quite unique and unexpected. No, we do not visit the Far East, or the vast reaches of Africa. We stop for this blog in Scotland. When I propose certain Scottish wedding traditions seem more Medieval than modern European, I can do so safely and without judgement, for this blogger’s own Celtic grandfather boasts a profile as craggy as the Highlands from which his people came.

Two church traditions are prevalent in modern Scotland, the Christian Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Scottish Catholic Church. Many marriages combine these two backgrounds, and many ceremonies reflect current trends. But there are also numerous historic touches that still color marriages in that beautiful country, as sure as a vein of gold in a tartan plaid. Here are some of them: (more…)

The Italian Wedding

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Long, long ago in Italy … a wedding scene might have looked like this: With her groom, a beautiful ebony-haired bride, her olive skin touched with the blush of romance, pledges her vows before a Roman priestess. Under a yellow cloak, the bride’s hemless tunic falls to the ground in a straight, supple line, allowing glimpses of her sandaled feet. Her hair is crowned with myrtle and orange blossoms. Supportive family gathers around, anticipating the feasting and the sacrifice of the best pig or sheep that will follow the ceremony.

Obviously a country where wedding traditions reach far back, Italy is now roughly 88% Catholic. It’s still a place where it is common for sons and daughters to live at home until they are wed, normally in Western wedding attire at a church mass. Sunday weddings are considered the luckiest. The bride will also try to avoid bad luck by not wearing gold on her wedding day (even her diamond engagement ring, which has been a commonly bestowed item in Italy since the 1400s!) until the wedding bands are exchanged. The bridal bouquet can sometimes be a gift from the groom, its colors unknown until he offers it to her, perhaps if he walks her to the church or meets her outside of it beforehand. Some couples stick to the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until the ceremony. The bride also carries la borsa, a satin pouch meant to contain any monetary gifts from guests. (more…)

5 Romantic Wedding Traditions from Around the World

Monday, February 10th, 2014

We all know the romantic wedding traditions in America, from jointly cutting the cake to the sweetheart table, but if you’re looking to mix things up a bit there are many traditions from around the world you can incorporate into your ceremony! We’ve chosen five to feature this week, but there are hundreds to choose from.

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courtesy of Mark Eric Photography

An interesting variation of the bouquet toss comes from Peru. Wedding charms are placed between the layers of the wedding cake with ribbons attached. Prior to cutting the cake, unattached female guests pull the charms out. The idea is that the woman who pulls out the wedding ring charm will be the next to marry!

In Russia, grooms pay a ransom for their brides. At the start of a traditional Russian wedding ceremony, the groom will arrive at his bride’s residence and ask for her. Her family will then have a bit of fun asking him for gifts and making him complete silly tasks. He may have to tell jokes, perform funny dances or solve riddles. But it doesn’t stop there! After enduring their teasing, the bride’s family will often bring out a different family member disguised as her. The groom will then have to pay still more ransom to get to his actual bride! Once her family is satisfied, the ceremony moves forward, but watch out! The bride (or her shoe!) can be stolen again during the reception and require still more ransom to be returned to the groom. (more…)

Cultural Wedding Series: Hindu Indian Weddings

Friday, March 9th, 2012

This blog writer once had the unforgettable experience of peeking inside an Indian woman’s closet. The saris were every color of the rainbow, even the pastels brilliant! The lady showed me the sari she had worn to her daughter’s wedding. Its richness was breath-taking.

Traditional mehendi drawn on the hand of a bride.

A Hindu Indian bride’s sari is richly decorated in gold embroidery and bangles. Brides from Northern India prefer red, Northeast India white with a red border, the South yellow, green and white silk, and the West an embroidered skirt with a blouse. Most all Indian brides present themselves fragranced with perfume, palms of hands and feet painted with mehendi designs, hair bedecked with flowers, necks draped with necklaces, and ankles gracefully moving with tinkling silver anklets called payals.

Hindu grooms are not to be outdone. They sometimes sport a sword and a jewel-decorated turban called a tupi and arrive for their wedding on horseback, preceded by a brass band! (more…)

Cultural Wedding Series: The Muslim/Sikh Indian Wedding

Friday, February 17th, 2012

India: a land of mystery, beauty, and long-standing traditions. Marriage in India is greatly influenced by the religious culture, and that’s why we’ll be dividing our discussion into two parts: Muslim/Sikh and Hindu.

There are a few similarities between the types of unions. Engagements in India were traditionally accompanied by a bridal dowry, which has since been outlawed. Still, sometimes the bride and groom initially meet each other at their engagement party, where gifts are given and sweets are served! Being of the same caste (social standing and function) is of utmost importance. Weddings are often held in a tent, courtyard or garden of the home of one of the pair. And sometimes in India, as well as Iran, Syria and Turkey, the couple may try to step on each other’s toes during the ceremony because it’s said the one who succeeds will be the boss of the new union! (more…)

Cultural Weddings Series: The Jewish Wedding

Friday, February 10th, 2012

How many of you have seen Fiddler on the Roof? If you have, scenes from the sacred-turns-riotous wedding are forever imprinted on your mind. The symbolism and simple beauty of the ceremony giving way to joyous celebration presented the very essence of the historic Jewish wedding. Now days, things may have changed, but Jewish weddings here and abroad often echo these same traditions, most strongly among the Orthodox Jews, but also somewhat with the Conservative or Reform congregants.

Traditionally, many Jewish matches were made when the children were quite young. There might have been a ceremonial betrothal meeting where the bride unveiled her face to the groom-to-be. Seven days before the actual marriage, the bridal dowry would have been displayed and a party given for the bride. (more…)