Wedding Traditions: Something old…something new?

‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” – I am sure we’ve all heard of this old saying. So let’s talk weddings today! Wedding traditions are influenced by so many things—religion, culture, superstition, family traditions and so much more. You’d be surprised to see how tying-the-knot can be done differently all across the world.

In Bangladesh, weddings are weeklong festivals! With almost week-long series of events, on the wedding day the bride usually wears a Red Saree/Lehenga gifted by the groom’s family. The groom wears a Panjabi/Sherwani gifted by the bride’s family. After rings are exchanged, the bride and groom exchange a long flower garland that ends a series of rituals that symbolize their unification, in front of hundreds guests, friends and family.


In modern Chinese weddings, the bride gets to pick three dresses. The first one is usually a red slim-fit dress, the second one is a puffy-white gown very similar to wedding dresses in America and the third is a cocktail dress for the reception in a color she prefers.


Other interesting wedding traditions

  • Indian brides, as well as many other South Asian brides, have their hands painted with henna. They say the deeper the color of the henna turns out, the more the husband shall love the wife.
  • In Swedish weddings, the mother of the bride usually places a gold coin in the bride’s right shoe and her father places a silver coin in her left shoe. This is done to express that she will always be provided for.
  • In Italian weddings, the bride and groom will break some sort of glassware. It is said that the more pieces the glassware break into, the longer the couple will remain happily married.
  • Japanese brides will wear a white hood to hide their ‘horns of jealousy’ from their mother-in-laws. This is done to show respect to the mother-in-law.
  • In Zulu weddings, the groom slaughters a cow to welcome the bride to the family. And the bride in return places money in the cow’s stomach to show that she is now a part of their family.

What are some other interesting wedding traditions that you know of?

-Suaida Firoze



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