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More Unusual Wedding Rituals and Traditions From Around The World

Here at Dreamwedding we love doing research into wedding traditions, and from our last wedding traditions article we know you love them as much as we do! Around the world there are some weird, wonderful and wacky customs which brides and grooms still observe today. 

From family fights and bride kidnapping to blessed bread, we take a look at some unique traditions and customs taking place in weddings today. 

Sawing some wood

In Germany, after the marriage ceremony, the couple will work together to saw through a wooden log! Believe it or not, the cutting of the log represents the first obstacle that the couple must overcome during their marriage. When the couple leaves the church they will find a log on a sawhorse, and using a large saw with two handles the couple saw through the log together. This shows their guests their willingness to master the difficulties that will arise in a marriage. Sounds like a lot of hard work to us and we're not sure it's the kind of thing we would want to do in a wedding dress! 

Stealing the bride!

In Romania there is still the tradition of bride kidnapping! But this isn't serious - this is all in the name of fun. Some of the guests stake out the bride while the groom is not paying attention and then take her away to an arranged location. The groom has to then negotiate the bride's price or a ransom that can be money, a few bottles of whiskey or a public declaration of his love. But he doesn’t pay it until the kidnappers show him evidence of having the bride like her shoe or necklace. Usually the kidnappers will ask for something to drink, and then after the ransom has been paid they take the bride back to the wedding so everyone can continue celebrating. The bride will even pose for a few photos with the kidnappers who will often dress up in balaclavas for the occasion. We're not sure it will catch on in the rest of the world, but everyone seems to have a lot of fun.

13 gold coins

Couples in Mexico still practice the custom of Las arras, or Las arras matrimoniales, which means wedding tokens or unity coins. 13 gold coins are presented to the priest by one of the couple’s friends or relatives. The priest will then bless the coins, before handing them to the bride who then puts them in the groom’s cupped hands at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. The coins are then put on a tray where they stay until later in the ceremony. Towards the end of the marriage ceremony the box and coins are given back to the priest who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom. The groom then puts the coins into the bride’s cupped hands and places the box on top of them. The tokens are thirteen gold coins which are said to represent Christ and the 12 apostles, and are a symbol of the groom's vow to look after his bride, while her acceptance of the coins is acknowledgement that she trusts her husband to do this. 

Songs and figting

Before a Maori wedding the Te Karanga welcome call can be heard. The greeting invites the Bride and Groom on to the sacred Maori land where the wedding will take place. The call is part of the pōwhiri, a Māori welcoming ceremony. After entering the village, a traditional song and dance is performed by the tribe for the bridal party. One of the more unusual Maori wedding customs is where one of the groom's cousins, or a relative, challenges the bride's father to a fight! Thankfully, the fight actually never happens. The bride's father then approaches the challenger and is warmly greeted, much to everyone’s relief! 

Korean wedding ducks

Before a Korean wedding, the groom-to-be would purchase pairs of live ducks or geese to give as a gift to the family of his bride. Mandarin ducks are believed to mate for life, and if one of the pair dies the other will mourn. They also represent peace, fidelity, and plentiful offspring for Koreans. Wooden carved ducks were then used in place of live animals and a couple would select a man to carve their wedding ducks who was honorable and a good friend. Today, the female wooden duck is usually red and the male blue. Before the ceremony begins the ducks are wrapped in cloth leaving only the necks and heads exposed. When the bride arrives the wrapped ducks are placed on a table where the ceremony will take place. After the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the mother of the groom tosses the female duck to her daughter-in-law. If she catches the duck in her bridal apron then her first child will be a boy, and if she misses it will be a girl.

The blessed bread

Korovai is a traditional large round braided bread served at weddings in the Ukraine, Poland and Russia. The bread has ancient origins, and comes from the pagan belief in the magical properties of grain. In the Ukraine the process of making Korovai begins on the Friday or Saturday before the wedding day at the bride's or groom's house. Members of both families should participate in the ritual of making korovai as a symbol of families connecting. Traditionally it is made from wheat flour and decorated with symbolic flags and figurines, such as suns, moons, birds, animals, and pinecones. Two birds represent the couple, and other birds represent family and friends. The entire arrangement is surrounded by a wreath of periwinkle which is a symbol of love and purity. Only after a silent prayer or a blessing is the korovai allowed to be put in the hot oven for baking. When the couple goes to the church  for their wedding the bread is taken with them and is put on view close to the altar. After the church service, the korovai is taken to the reception where and is placed in a visible place, and at the end of the celebration the korovai is divided among all guests. Anyone else feeling hungry?




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