Saying “I do” comes in many fashions across the globe. Some people jump through hoops while others make a drastic plea. But once they receive the approval they’ve worked so hard far, a life of marital bliss awaits. In each of these nine destinations, their different wedding traditions prove that no walk down the aisle is the same.
Greece: Bed Making Ceremony (Krevatia)
Rolling around in a bed full of money doesn’t sound like a bad idea, especially since the thought indicates a state of wealth. In Greek culture a few days before the couple officially ties the knot, the family of the soon-to-be newlyweds congregates inside of their bedroom for the traditional Krevatia. The ceremony begins with the making of the marital bed, which is led to the couple’s fathers blessing it by placing money on it. The rest of the family joins in on the celebration by also throwing money on the bed.
Once it is richly decorated in dollar bills and coins, a baby (boy or girl depending on the gender the couple prefers) is placed on the bed to ensure prosperous days ahead and a healthy fertility.
If you’re hoping for a long and healthy marriage you may want to consider taking a lesson on paper crane making from the Japanese. But it takes more than one, two or even 100 cranes to ensure a happy life together. In fact, the engaged couple are required to make 1,000, because the bird represents love under the assumption that the bird lives for a thousand years. This age-old tradition is called Senbazuru, which involves a great deal of dedication in transforming paper into their beautiful shapes before the wedding.
Also, if you want to add a bit of good fortune as well you may want to add one more to the bunch. Plus, a bit of good luck can’t hurt so why not make 1,001.
Puerto Rico: The Bridal Doll
Having the perfect destination wedding in Puerto Rico is one way your big daycan stand out. But if you’re thinking about incorporating Puerto Rican traditions with your nuptials, it will be the talk of the town. The Bridal doll is typically placed at the head of the main table and dressed identically to the bride. Ranging from the size of a Barbie doll to much bigger, her gown is fully decorated in parting gifts that are passed out to the guests, who then in return may pin money on the doll.
Almost every little girl enjoys playing dress up with her dolls and dreams of her wedding day. And in Puerto Rico she can combine her two fondest childhood memories.
Finland: Dance of Crowns
Customarily, the bride throws the bouquet amid a pack of wild bachelorettes all waiting to claw their way through the crowd in hopes of catching it and becoming the next in line to walk down the aisle. Although this marital prediction is not far off in Finland, the process of elimination is quite different.
The single women, including the bridesmaids dance and surround the blindfolded bride, who blindingly makes her way through the crowd to place her crown on the chosen one. So if you’re not looking forward to a day of holy matrimony anytime soon you better get out of the way.
India: Henna Ceremony
The typical white gown looks pretty boring compared to the brilliant red and gold hues of an authentic Indian wedding dress or sari. And unlike Western customs, where the bride usually purchases her own jewelry, wears something borrowed or generationally passed down, she is adorned in gold jewelry that she ultimately gets to keep. However, before a bride begins this beautiful, vibrant journey into holy matrimony, a variety of cultural ceremonies must take place before the lavish affair.
One of which is the Henna ritual, where the bride and her girlfriends come together for singing, tea and most importantly applying the intricate designs of henna to her hands and feet. This symbolizes the special connection between her and her soon-to-be groom. There’s nothing like expressing your love for someone than by parading your emotions on your body; and at least this tattoo comes off.
China: Tea Ceremony/Fetching of the Bride
A sip of tea goes a long way when becoming formerly inducted into a family for the Chinese. The groom’s tea ceremony occurs during the morning, in which the young couple kneels or bows while serving tea to his parents. In the evening, the process is repeated for the bride’s parents. However before this essential ritual takes place, the groom must first fetch his bride.
On the morning of the wedding, the groom, along with his groomsman, arrive at her house bearing gifts including oranges for good luck, dried persimmons for prosperity, dried longon if he wants the marriage to be sweet, dried lotus for fertility, dried magnolia petals for a long happy marriage and a raw pork leg for his mother-in-law. However, his work isn’t quite done. Her bridesmaids will challenge him with a series of obstacles similar to being a guest on the Newlyweds Game — which will require questions about their courtship and even reenactments of the proposal. The groom may also be asked a complete a set of push-ups.
The most crucial of them all is the bargain for a red packet that contains various amounts of money, although this is considered a bit insensitive. But if the groom defeats these various challenges, he’ll be one happily married man.
Romania: Kidnapping the Bride
Resembling a game of cat and mouse or Clue, in Romanian culture the wife-to-be is captured by her friends who leave clues for fiancé who is expected to solve them in order to reclaim his bride. At times he will also be required to undergo certain tasks as proof of his undying commitment. Hopefully he doesn’t get lost.
Nigeria: Yoruba Culture- Prostrate
If every girl witnessed her fiancé literally lying on the ground and pleading for her hand in marriage, there’s no telling how loved she’ll feel. Well, among Nigeria’s Yoruba culture, this gesture goes along well for a groom who wants to take his bride home.
Known as prostrate, he greets his future father-in-law as well as his brothers with a dowry, which are usually vegetables, livestock and money. Then the groom must take his position on the floor in front of the men begging and pleading for marriage. Once the father approves, him and his wife will return to his home as newlyweds.
Cherese Weekes, Travelpulse.com, May 26, 2014