Weddings are a universal affair, with committed lovers promising to spend the rest of their lives together on all four corners of the globe. However, the customs and traditions that shape these celebrations vary hugely from one country to another – and some of these customs sound a lot stranger than the run-of-the-miss tossing of the bouquet or naughty best man speeches.
Here, Eventhuse has put together a definitive list of strange wedding customs around the world.
The emerald isle is well known for its mystical fairy-tale traditions, deeply rooted in the traditions of magical, enchanted creatures roaming the land. So, it comes as no surprise that their wedding customs have an air of the whimsical.
While dancing with the groom, the bride must not take both feet of the ground, in case evil fairies come and take her away.
In Cyprus, it is tradition that before the wedding, the groom’s best men (or 'cumparos' in Greek) give him a shave in front of his family so that he looks presentable for his wife-to-be.
The bride on the other hand, will have all of her bridesmaids and friends write their names on the bottom of her shoe, to carry their well-wishes with her as she walks down the aisle.
In South Korea, before the groom is allowed to go and enjoy his first wedding night with his new bride, he must undergo a bit of a beating!
His friends take a cane and beat the bottoms of his bare feet in a tradition that is called bastinado or falaka. This is thought to show the strength of character of the man.
Weird wedding traditions from around the world can often seem a bit mean or cruel, but in Denmark during the wedding, if the groom leaves the room, the groomsmen must all rush to the bride’s side and kiss her cheeks to ensure she doesn’t feel lonely. The same goes for the bride. If she leaves for a loo break, the bridesmaids must kiss her groom!
In India, the groom takes his shoes of to enter the wedding tent and walk down the aisle, it is customary for the bride’s family to trick the groom by attempting to steal his shoes. He must then bribe his new in-laws in order to get them back.
Although it might seem like a bit of a buzz kill, in Germany, the bride and groom have to show their commitment to hard work and their ability to work together by sawing through a huge log of wood with an old-school double handed saw.
While in Europe the bride traditionally tries to lose weight for her wedding day, over the seas in Mauritania the wedding customs are totally different.
The fatter the bride, the better the luck and prosperity of the couple, as bigger women show the wealth of the groom and his ability to keep her satisfied. Families often send their daughters or brides-to-be off to fat camp to pile on the pounds before the big day.
The Scots are all a little bit weird anyway, but the wedding custom of Blackening the bride and groom before the wedding really takes the biscuit.
The soon-to-be-wed custom are taken around town and covered in rubbish, including dead fish, treacle, flour, feathers, eggs, sour milk and even tar.
Many Australian weddings include a Unity Bowl full of stones which the wedding guests take and hold during the ceremony, infusing them with their well wishes and positive vibes. At the end of the wedding, the guests return their stones to the bowl, which the newlyweds then take home and keep.
In the Congo, instead of grinning ear to ear all day like most newlyweds, the bride and groom are not allowed to smile during their wedding as this is said to show that they are not serious about the marriage.
Just goes to show how wedding customs from around the world can be so different!
These customs might seem a little strange to those who prefer drinking and dancing at weddings, but different wedding customs make the word that bit more interesting. But before thinking about the customs you will follow on your big day, come and check out our amazing stag and hen do offers to make your last night of freedom as epic as possible.