Wedding

Bridal traditions from around the world

Marriage is special no matter the country. However, different cultures have their own unique ways of preparing for and celebrating the happy couple’s nuptials. QUIZ, retailers of occasion dresses, tell us a few weird and wonderful wedding traditions from around the world.

Bridal traditions from around the world

Germany

Germany has a wealth of wedding traditions, with many of them starting before the big day even begins. For example, before a future bride-to-be is even engaged, she saves away pennies, which will then be used to purchase her wedding shoes. This tradition is said to help the happy couple get off on the right foot.

While other countries will simply pop their wedding invites in the post, it’s very different for couples in Germany. They send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!

German couples must have a civil ceremony in their town registry office. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.

If a church ceremony is to take place, it’s traditional for a Polterabend to take place a few days after the civil ceremony. Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.

Following the church service, some German newlyweds may saw logs. A log is set up on a sawhorses and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!

At the reception, the bride’s veil is held up and the bride and groom dance underneath it. When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.

Spain

In a traditional Spanish wedding, things are done a little differently to the UK. For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.

Traditionally, the wedding dress and veil was actually made from black lace! However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.

Usually, traditional Spanish weddings will begin in the early evening and continue into the early hours. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.

Flowers are important to traditional weddings in Spain, with many choosing the orange blossom to symbolise purity. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!

China

The size of China as a country means traditions can vary from region to region, yet each has their own special meaning.

Tujia brides must cry for an hour a day every day for a month in the run-up to their wedding. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.

Brides from the country’s Yugar culture will be shot by their grooms with a bow and arrow (thankfully, the arrows are free from their arrowheads!). After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.

When the bride is getting ready on the day of the wedding, a ‘good luck woman’ will help the bride do her hair. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.

The groom will collect the bride from her home, where he is greeted by the bride’s friends, who block his entry into the home (it’s all in good spirits). The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.

Brides in northern China will traditionally wear a red dress or Qi Pao, embroidered with gold and silver detailing. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing.

On the wedding night, the bride is given a half-cooked dumpling. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.

India

Indian weddings differ depending on the region that they’re taking place, therefore bridal traditions are different too. It’s not uncommon for Indian weddings to take place over several days — different to the couple’s one special day in other countries. 

Ahead of the wedding day, the bride partakes in a Mehendi ceremony. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.

When it comes to the outfit of the big day, it again depends on where the bride was born. In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.

A key element in an Indian wedding is the walk around the fire. The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.

From Chinese brides getting shot by a bow and arrow, to being painted in delicate patterns, bridal traditions are very different depending on where you live. But, they’re all a celebration of love and happiness and are special in their own ways. Will you take any inspiration from these traditions for your special day?

 

*This is a collaborative post.*

The Wedding Elements That Will Make Your Day Memorable

It’s hard to make a wedding unique because there have been millions of them throughout human history, and there will be millions more to come. But if you want your big day to be memorable then here are the elements that you have to make special.

Personal touches

Personal touches can really make a wedding memorable for the couple and their guests. This shouldn’t feel like a typical ceremony pulled out of a magazine or even a glitzy Hollywood film; it should feel like your day. Little details can really make the difference. Even the lead-up to your wedding should be memorable. Sending handmade save-the-date cards to your guests will make them feel truly welcome to one of the most important moments of your life. Maybe you could include a photo booth at the reception so you and your guests can all take silly pictures too. That’ll make the event memorable.

The entertainment

Make sure the entertainment is spot on too. If you want your wedding to be unforgettable then you have to set it apart from other weddings. Even the transport to the reception venue could be entertaining; maybe you could take your guests in a party bus or even hot air balloons if you’re feeling adventurous. You might even want to consider looking at professional live bands for corporate and high-end wedding events. That’ll give you and your guests some quality live music to enjoy whilst you dance in an inebriated state. Remember, the entertainment for your big day really does make the whole event memorable. It doesn’t have to be overly complex; simplicity is often the key. Weddings are all about getting on the dance floor with your loved ones and making fools of yourselves.

Dining options

A wedding might be a deeply symbolic occasion that marks the lifelong union of two people, but let’s be honest: everybody’s thinking about the food. You and your guests might feel an emotional pull when it comes to the personalised elements of your big day, and the right entertainment will make the event fun for everybody. However, delicious food is the thing that will tie your entire ceremony and reception together. It will be the icing on the cake, you might say. That’s why you have to make your dining options spectacular if you want your entire day to be spectacular. A wedding needs a good standard of cuisine if it’s going to be memorable for the right reasons; people remember their food-based experiences in life.

Make sure you cater to all of your guests. Have meat-based, vegetarian, and even some vegan options available. Have nut-free options too. You need to think about different dietary requirements and make sure that any guests with allergies or an intolerance of certain foods have their own dining options. As for the cake, you should think outside the box. Many traditional wedding cakes are fruit-based, but that might not be your favourite flavour. Why settle for a bland and unexciting cake on your special day? Get a Victoria’s Sponge or a classic chocolate cake to celebrate your matrimony. If you choose a flavour that you and your guests actually enjoy then the cake will be more than a symbolic fixture of the day; it’ll be a tasty and iconic memory that sticks in everyone’s minds.

Beautiful occasion shoes from Lace and Favour

I love shoes, I have so many pairs. Honestly I have more shoes than I know what to do with, that, however does not stop me wanting more. I have found that over more recent years I wear flat shoes or boots. Gone are the days when I would go on a shopping trip wearing stiletto boots, oh how I loved those boots.

Now however I save my heeled shoes for evenings out with my Hubby or with friends. I might not been out every weekend like I once was, but it doesn’t stop me planning out my outfit when it comes to going out. I so often find I over dress for a meal out with the girls, well that or they just don’t make much effort…. haha!

Occasion shoes from Lace and Favour

Lace and Favour are one of my favourite online bridal boutiques, they have all the accessories you could possibly need for your wedding day, including a lovely collection of bridesmaid dresses. They got in touch recently to see if I would like a pair of their occasion shoes, why would I say no to this?

As my regular readers know, I am very indecisive, I probably spent 3 hours over a couple of nights looking at all of the beautiful shoes. I knew quite quickly I loved the Perfect Bridal Company Esme, velvet and t-bar shoes. Of course it wasn’t quite so simple as they come in a collection of different colours, 8 different options to choose from. Velvet or suede, one colour or two, glittery heal or not. For someone like me it wasn’t easy to choose between them all.

Beautiful occasion shoes

I opted in the end of the berry velvet and gold glitter t-bar shoes, something a bit different. The gold glittery heal and the berry velvet of the toe and base, such a lovely contrast. The t-bar and pattern is made of of a non glittery plain gold leather. The soul is a cushioned leather, as soon as you pop your feet into them, you can feel that they are well cushioned.

Occasion-Shoes-from-Lace-and-Favour

I have not worn them out of the house yet, however they have been used in the house. I like to bed in all of my new shoes at home before taking them out, these are very comfy, I think they will be great for a whole day. Although they have a heel hight of 8.2cm they are easy to walk in.

One thing about Lace and Favour that I love is the way your items arrive packed to you. Ivory tissue paper is wrapped around box, with their own sticker and always a small note, which I love. It’s the little touches that really make a company stand out for me and the whole shopping experience with Lace and Favour really is wonderful. My Perfect Bridal Company shoes, arrived in a box, a beautiful boxed covered in pretty flowers, it’s a box I would happily keep to store other items in. I’m a packaging lover, which might seem odd to some but to me it makes all the difference.

As soon as I spotted these shoes, I know they would be a bit different. Not only would they make for lovely bridal or bridesmaid shoes, I knew I would be able to wear them to a ball or attending as wedding as a guest. I also think I would be happy to wear them with a trouser suit or possibly even a pair of jeans, heading out for dinner. My 5 year old daughter said ‘Oh Mummy they are so gorgeous’ she wasn’t wrong!

What do you think to my choice of shoes? Would you wear them?

 

*This is a collaborative post. I was sent these shoes in exchange for this blog post.*