10 Worldwide Wedding Traditions
Posted by Kosmopolitan Weddings

 

MEXICO

Wedding Lasso

In Mexican weddings, a lasso (typically made of white ribbon or orange blossoms, which represent fertility and happiness) symbolizes the everlasting bonds of love. Have an honored guest place the lasso in a figure-eight shape around both of your shoulders (groom's first) to tie you together as you exchange vows. At the end of the ceremony, the same person removes the lasso.

INDIA

Cumin & Brown Sugar

During traditional ceremonies in parts of India, the bride's family prepares a paste of cumin seeds and brown sugar, which is formed into two small patties or balls. At an auspicious moment during the ceremony, hold the paste over each other's heads to symbolize that marriage means "sticking together" during both the sweet and bitter experiences in life.

JAPAN

Sake

The number three is considered sacred in Japan, where couples take three sips of sake, or rice wine, from three cups (nine means triple happiness). This moment symbolizes sealing the marriage, a meaning that dates back to when sharing sake signaled a formal bond. Other guests may also sip sake to seal the bonds of family and friendship.

GREECE

Wedding Crowns

Ask your officiant to bestow you and your groom with stefana, wedding crowns that can be fashioned from any durable material (from beads and pearls to faux flowers and Swarovski crystals) and are joined by a white ribbon to represent unity. Signifying the nobility of marriage, they crown the bride and groom as queen and king of their home

SCOTLAND

Shawl

After exchanging vows, the groom (alone or together with his parents and other relatives) symbolically welcomes the bride into his family; using a silver pin, traditionally of Scottish design, he fastens a shawl or sash in his clan's tartan colors around the bride's shoulders. If you don't have an actual tartan, consider using a beloved family quilt or other fabric heirloom.

HAWAII

Leis

Exchange leis at the start of the ceremony to signify the sweetness of your love. First, the bride presents a garland to the groom, which dates to when a woman left a lei on the doorstep of her chosen guy. For weddings, brides wear fragrant flowers like tuberose; maile leaf is popular for grooms. And since it's OK to kiss after the lei exchange, you don't have to wait till the end of the ceremony!

SPAIN & SOUTH AMERICA

Gold Coins

The groom gifts the bride with arras, 13 gold or silver coins that represent tenets of marriage such as trust, respect, commitment and harmony. The coins symbolize the groom's commitment to the bride (as if he is giving her control of all his worldly possessions), as well as the couple's dedication to each contributing to the relationship

AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

Wedding Vase

To honor Native American spirituality and reverence for nature, toast your new union with water or herbal tea from a traditional wedding vase (a hand-painted ceramic pot with a spout on each side). To symbolize the couple's individuality and unity, the bride takes a drink first, and then she hands the vase to the groom, who drinks from the opposite side.

BERMUDA

Moon Gate

Following the ceremony, walk hand in hand under one of the island's moon gates — limestone archways with Chinese origin that serve as a national symbol. Similar to wedding rings', their circular shape signifies unity. Couples who kiss under a moon gate are said to enjoy good luck and a long life together. (Bermuda's oldest moon gate is in Par-la-Ville Park.)