Wedding Traditions from Around the World Part 2

By Andrée Kosak, Trumps Catering

In the last issue of Southern Distinction, I wrote “Wedding Traditions from Around the World.” I got so much positive response, I decided to continue the article in this issue. I hope you enjoy!


In the Philippines, the bride and groom each hold onto white doves and release them simultaneously to represent a long, peaceful and harmonious life together.
Wedding coins are called arras and it is customary for the groom to give the bride 13 coins to symbolize their mutual prosperity. Traditionally, it was like a dowry and also symbolizes his promise to support her and their family.


In Poland instead of rice being thrown at the newlyweds, loose change is thrown at them, and they are expected to pick it all up. This is thought to bestow luck upon the couple.
Another of the more popular Polish wedding traditions is the blessing with salt, bread, and wine. This blessing is given by the parents of the bride and the groom, and everyone eats a piece of bread that’s been lightly salted, then drinks some wine. The symbolism behind the gesture has several meanings. First off, the bread represents prosperity for the couple, but the salt represents the difficult, or bitter times that they may face. Salt is also symbolic of healing and cleansing, as well as having the ability to put out fires and drive away evil spirits. The wine means that the couple will never be thirsty again, and after drinking it, they break the glass for good luck.


In France, it’s tradition for the groom to walk his mother down the aisle before arriving at the altar to be married … very sweet, certainly creating an “awwwww” moment.
The trousseau originated in France and it literally referred to a bundle of linens and clothing that the bride would take with her after the wedding, which were stored in a hope chest that was hand-carved by her father.
The traditional layered wedding cake originated in France, but another common cake is called the ‘croquembouche,’ which is essentially a pyramid of crème-filled pastry puffs covered in a caramel glaze. The croquembouche probably originated from the Middle-Ages when guests would bring small cakes or pastries and stack them in a pile.


Traditionally, Jamaican weddings involve the entire village in which the couple lives. Everyone is invited to celebrate the momentous occasion, and it is not uncommon for uninvited guests from nearby villagers to show up as well. This would be a caterer’s nightmare … how would you know how much food to prepare?
At a traditional Jamaican wedding reception dark rum-fruitcake is served to all the guests. This cake is full of dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins and cherries. Those close friends and relatives, who are unable to attend the reception, are mailed a slice of this cake, once the reception is over.
One of the strangest Jamaican traditions is that on the day of the wedding, the street near the church is lined up with people. The people wait for the bride to show up, she walks down the lined street and if they feel that she is not looking good enough, they criticize her openly and loudly. In such case, the bride goes back home to make herself more attractive.


Andrée Kosak has been with Trumps Catering since 1986 and now serves as President and Director of Catering. Andrée has been in the Athens area since 1968, when her father took a position with the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia and her mother took a position with then, Athens High School. She’s a graduate of Clarke Central High School and attended the University of Georgia.

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