Wedding Traditions from Around the World

By Andrée Kosak, Trumps Catering

In Mexico, it’s not unusual for the bride to carry two bouquets. One she carries for herself and the second one as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, in hopes that she might bless the unity.
Also in Mexico, the “Lazo” is used. It is a kind of rope that can be made from something simple like a ribbon, simple or adorned to symbolically join the bride and groom. It is placed around the necks of the couple during their vows. It is also called “LACE UNITY.”

In Germany, newlyweds must instantly put their bond to the test by working together to saw a log in half in front of all their guests. The act is intended to showcase the bride and groom’s ability to work together and face the obstacles that may come throughout their marriage.
On the eve of the wedding, friends and family gather for a party called a Polterabend. This involves food, drink and the breaking of plates and other tableware (with the exception of glasses and crystal). The bride and groom are expected to clean up the shattered plates together thus showing that they get along well. It’s also been said that this custom brings good luck to the soon-to-be-married couple.

In this Scottish tradition, the bride, groom, or both are taken out on the day before their wedding, plied with alcohol, and covered in treacle, ash, feathers, and flour by friends and family. The celebratory mess was originally carried out to avoid evil spirits and bring good luck.
The saying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and a lucky sixpence in her shoe came from Scotland. Brides carried a lucky sixpence in their shoe so they would always be well off financially in their marriage.

In a traditional Indian wedding, the bride’s sister(s) plays a trick on the groom by stealing his shoes once he enters the wedding tent. The groom must bribe the sister(s) to return his shoes before he exits.
As part of the elaborate and visually stunning traditional Indian wedding, brides and other female attendees have henna drawn in intricate designs on the hands and feet. These intricate designs symbolize joy, beauty, spiritual awakening and love of the occasion.

South Africa
With its many nations and tribes, Africa is very rich in different wedding traditions. An old African proverb says, “A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers” … I like that.
The Zulu people are the largest South African nation. At a traditional Zulu wedding, the Zulu bride wears a traditional red headdress which until recently was made with some of her mother’s hair. A Zulu bride will sometimes changes her clothes three times. She is doing this to impress her in-laws.
In another heartwarming South African tradition, the parents of the bride and groom bring fire from their own fireplaces to the home of the newlyweds. The bride and groom use the flames provided from their childhood homes to ignite the hearth in their new home together.

In a beloved Japanese tradition of ‘San-San-Kudo’, the bride and groom take three sips each from three flat sake cups, after which their parents do the same, bonding the families together.
Another highlight of a Japanese ceremony is a rosary with 21 beads that represent the couple, their families and Buddha, all joined on one string to symbolize the union of the families. Part of the ceremony involves honoring the parents with offerings of flowers, a toast, and a letter expressing their love and gratitude. The crane is a symbol of longevity and prosperity and so 1,001 gold origami cranes are folded to bring luck, good fortune, longevity, fidelity, and peace to the marriage.



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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