QUIRKY WEDDING TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Celebrant: one who celebrates and/or helps others to celebrate, particularly marriages.
But how do people around the world celebrate their weddings? Let’s explore a few wedding traditions and rituals from around the world.
I’M BLUE DABA DEE DABA DI
England (and many Western countries)
The original rhyme went, “Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.”
The “old” is meant to represent the bride’s ties to her history and family. The “new” represents a new chapter in her life. “Borrowed” is meant to be an item from a friend or family member who is happily married and is able to transfer some of those vibes across. “Blue” is the colour of love, purity, faithfulness, and modesty. The sixpence in the shoe is to represent wealth, or at least the hope for prosperity in the marriage. Some wedding supply shops will carry sixpences. I assume any denomination would work though. Or an open cheque.
A CLOSE SHAVE
On the wedding day the groom’s best man (koumparos,) takes a razor to the face of his mate and gives him a nice, close shave. Wait a minute, “grooms” man. A ha!
In some French weddings, guests will gather leftover food and drink, mix it in a toilet bowl (new and unused I assume,) and serve the newlyweds the lovely mix. How romantic!
One of the traditions from one of the “happiest places on the planet” ensures that the bride wears an ornamented silver and gold crown which has charms hanging all around it. The sounds the charms make as the bride moves is believed to chase off nasty spirits.
LASSO OR NEVER
To symbolise eternal union a popular wedding ritual in Mexico among Catholics in particular, is to place ell azo (wedding lasso,) in a figure 8 around the marrying couple. El lazo is a often a string of flowers and rosary beads. Couples will wear the lasso until the priest removes it at the end of mass.
SPIT TO BE PAIRED
What’s a little saliva between family? In this ritual the father of the bride will spit on his daughter’s head and breasts. This is meant to show that he is willing to step back and not be so invested that he will ruin his girl’s day.
During the wedding reception, whenever the bride isn’t around, other ladies are allowed to sneak a kiss from the groom. When the groom isn’t in the room dudes can do the same.
BEAT THE FEET
It’s called Falaka and here’s what you do. If you’re a wedding guest, you grab a cane or a dried fish, and while somebody holds down the groom, you beat his feet. It’s not done with any viciousness and the groom as well as everyone around has a good laugh.
BACK IN BLACKENING
1 day before the wedding, the bride and groom are taken by family and friends and then completely covered in stuff like curdled milk, flour, rotten eggs, and molasses and then made to walk around town. It has a pretty “rockstar” name: The Blackening! It’s meant to ward off evil spirits. I think I’d prefer the charming Norwegian crowns.
If you’re someone that can talk to a crowd, gets a kick out of romance, and can see yourself helping couples to celebrate their special day, talk to us now about becoming a Registered Marriage Celebrant.