From stolen shoes in India, to buried bourbon in the American South, to silly socks in Canada, these are 7 of Sophie Watson from Elite Singles favourite (and unusual) wedding traditions from around the world. Thanks for sharing with us Sophie!
1. Germany: Baumstamm sägen (sawing the log)
After the ceremony, the bride and groom have to use a two-person crosscut handsaw to cut a large log in half – while still in their bridal clothes! This symbolizes the ways in which they must work together in the future (although, to make it a bit quicker, the log has sometimes already been partially sawed through by the fathers of the bride and groom).
2. The southern USA: Burying the bourbon
In some parts of the American South, the bride and groom bury a (full!) bottle of bourbon upside-down at or near the site where they’ll say their vows. This must be done one month before the wedding in order to ward off rain on the wedding day and, whether the weather plays along or not, the bourbon will be dug up, shared, and enjoyed during the reception.
3. Hungary: the bride is for sale!
At the reception, a guest will grab a big bowl or a hat and shout ‘THE BRIDE IS FOR SALE.’ He then puts money in the bowl, passes it on and starts to dance with the bride. Everyone who adds money has a turn at dancing with the bride, until the groom wants a go. Then, the bride will be ‘kidnapped’ – and the groom must perform for the guests to win her back!
4. Canada: Silly sock dance
In Quebec and other French-speaking parts of Canada, the older, unmarried siblings of the bride and groom perform a dance at the reception while wearing ridiculous, brightly-coloured, knitted socks. Guests can show their approval of the dancing display by tossing money at the siblings, which is then (generously) donated to the bride and groom.
5. Finland: Morsiamen ryöstö (bridal robbery)
At a Finnish wedding reception, the groomsmen will kidnap the bride (often while disguised as gangsters).Then, the groom must perform tasks in front of all the guests to win his bride back – he might have to sketch a picture of her, or write a heartfelt poem, anything to prove his love! Meanwhile, the bride is kept entertained by the groomsmen giving her liquor.
6. Guatemala: Breaking the bell
After the wedding, everyone typically goes to the groom’s house. Hanging over the doorway is a white ceramic bell, filled with rice, flour and other different types of grain – all of which represent abundance. As the couple arrives, the mother of the groom welcomes them and ceremonially smashes the bell, bringing the couple good luck and prosperity.
7. Spain: Cortar la corbata del novio (cut the groom’s tie)
After the wedding, usually during the reception, the groom will be surrounded by his groomsmen and closest friends, who will cut the tie from around his neck! The tie will then be cut into small pieces and auctioned off to the wedding guests, bringing good luck to everyone who manages to get a piece.