Viral weddings are most definitely the thing nowadays. I mean if your wedding isn’t posted all over social media and seemingly jaw dropping enough to make it to one of those Instagram pages dedicated to all things “holy matrimony” – did you even get married?
With the help of social media we are not only bombarded with westernized wedding customs but are given a chance to see the beauty various cultures from around there world.
The following are a list of a few not-so-common wedding traditions that surely challenge the status quo I-do’s.
As expected, French folks consume a whole lot of chocolate and champagne on their wedding days.
But what you probably didn’t know was that the bride and groom are expected to eat the chocolate and drink the champagne out of a toilet bowl. Reasoning being, to provide the couple with some strength before the big day.
If the two can withstand eating out of the toilet, they could withstand just about anything.
This next one will surely seem outlandish in comparison to North American customs but not necessarily in Congo.
Congolese brides and grooms are not expected to smile at one another during their wedding ceremony or at the reception, as it is perceived that the couple is serious about their marriage if they do.
In Armenia the fate of your future spouse is in the dough of salty bread. Single Armenian men and women eat bread prepared by the groom’s grandmother or another middle aged married woman dear to the family. Why you might as?
It turns out this special bread will hopefully cause you to dream about your husband or wife-to-be. or is simply a symbol of good luck and to keep evil spirits away. What better way to know if your partner is the one then to load on the carbs and dream about it in your sleep?
I can’t think of anything either.
If cupid was a real person and not figment of some love struck classical mythology, he or she would probably be Chinese.
According to Chinese customs, the husband-to-be shoots his bride several times…with a bow and arrow, of course. Then collects the arrows and breaks them during the ceremony to ensure an every lasting love.
I for one believe men should do the absolute most to ask for their partner’s hand in marriage and apparently so do the people of Fiji.
When a man asks a woman’s father for their hand in marriage he must first present his future father-in-law with a whale’s tooth.
I’m sure men would be a little more cautious and particular if they knew they had to wrestle with a whale to get engaged (or order an animal tooth on Ebay?)
Strict diets before weddings are a thing in most countries, well not so much in this East African country.
In the Indian Ocean Island Ocean nation of Mauritius, young girls are told to put on the pounds before their weddings.
This custom suggests that the bride’s husband-to-be is a wealthy man who can sustain his partner’s life and eating habits.
You hear that ladies? Get you a real one man that feeds you.
German brides and grooms must undergo a vigorous housekeeping session together. At the wedding, guests throw porcelain dishes on the ground to rid the married couple of the evil eye.
If the couple can manage to work together it is said that the together the newlywed couple could clean and any mess and thus stand the test of time.
In Greece, groomsmen are really expected to groom the man – who knew
Let’s hope Greek men truly trust their friends as on the wedding day the groom’s best friend becomes his barber and shaves his friend’s face with a razor. Damn.
Well, if that doesn’t go well at least the groom has something to look forward to (other than his new wife) his mother-in-law is known to feed him almonds and honey.
In Guatemalan culture the groom’s family (and hosts of the wedding) are free to do whatever they please, even if that means smashing some things.
When the newlyweds arrive at their reception, it’s only right that the groom’s mother breaks a ceramic white bell filled with rice and flour.
Why? It said to bring prosperity to the couple. An abundance of food for everyone.
In the west the bride is usually expected to wear a white dress but in Japan the bride is literally covered in white from head to toe.
In a traditional Shinto ceremony, a Japanese bride is dressed in all white makeup, kimono and hood.
White as a symbol of he maiden status. Her hood is a shield from “horns of jealousy” that she is believed to feel towards her mother-in-law.
Now, Jamaican wedding customs are no joke. It takes a village to raise a child and apparently it also takes a village to determine whether a bride is up-to-par.
Village people line up to view the bride on her way to the ceremony and are known to call out negative slurs if they do not feel her attire is up to standard. If the majority is not impressed, the bride goes back home and makes a second attempt to please the crowd.
If you thought customs in Jamaica were rough, get this.
A Kenyan bride and groom are spit on after his wedding ceremony even in their finest attire.
When a Maasai bride leaves with her new husband, they aren’t greeted with the upmost respect in order to not tempt fate by being a little too supportive of the couple.
In Czechoslovakia the couple’s future children are a focal point the day of their wedding.
An infant is placed on the couple’s bed before the ceremony to enhance their fertility. Once the couple is married their guests take promoting fertility a step further and shower them with rice, peas or lentils.
Russian newlyweds engage in a rather unusual duel to determine the head of the household.
They share a special sweetbread on their wedding called ‘karavaya’ that is decorated with wheat for prosperity and rings that interlock to symbolize faithfulness.
Whoever takes the biggest bite between the husband or wife without using their hands is considered the winner and thus the head of the family.
This just might be my favourite tradition yet. What better way to determine if your future husband is worthy of you as a bride than to put him to the test the day of the wedding!
Chinese brides and her bridesmaids purposely give the groom and his men a hard time through a series of challenges to prove he’s ready for marriage.
Then to drive the point home after all of that, the groom must pay off the bridesmaids with envelopes of money because well, why not?
Dancing is a known tradition in West African wedding cultur but in Niger animals get to break it down too.
Camels are given the floor at the reception to do a little dance. The humpback animal gets his or her groove on to a bumping drumbeat surrounded by loved ones.
In some parts of Papua New Guinea the parents of the potential bride a a negotiate a number of pigs and shells to pay her husband to marry her.
I guess, you really do get what you give as these same pigs are then served at the wedding reception.
We all know weddings can be extremely expensive. Men in Cuba are very upfront when it comes to paying for it all.
It’s a Cuban custom for every man who dances with the new bride to pin money on her wedding dress. To pay for the wedding and honeymoon.
Mo’ Money, Mo’Money, Mo’Money.
Venezuelan brides and grooms go missing in action during their wedding reception.
If you wait too long to congratulate the new husband and wife you may miss them, as it’s good luck for the couple to sneak out before the end of the reception (and not get caught).
It’s also good luck if you catch on to them being gone before the wedding ends.
Sorry to start this one off on such an sad note but before a Mongolian couple sets their wedding date they must first murder a baby chicken, or a few.
While holding the knife together the couple must cut the baby chicken apart and find a healthy liver that they haven’t carelessly punctured.
If they fail to do so, they’ve got to keep killing chickens till they get it right. Like the saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.“
More about dancing.
In Ireland when newlyweds are dancing the bride has got to keep both feet planted on the ground the entire time.
According the Irish folklore, if the bride gets too excited while dancing evil fairies will come, sweep her off her feet and literally take her away.
Now, here it is. The custom we should all adapt into not only our weddings but our lives.
Once the wedding is over for the people of Marquesas Islands in the French Polynesia, relatives of the bride lay side-by-side face down.
Why? So, the bride and groom can make them their personal red carpet for a grand exit.
No, really. The newlyweds walk over their relatives.
A wedding tradition called “Joota Chupai” or “hiding the shoes” takes place in certain parts of India.
The groom is required to take off his shoes while walking to the alter.
It is then the family of the bride’s mission to try to steal and hide the groom’s shoes once they are taken off his feet – as a playful bonding experience between families.
Have you ever wanted to kidnap someone and hold them up for ransom…for fun of course? Well, as a guest at a Romanian wedding you could do just that.
Wedding guests work together to “abduct” the bride. They whisk her away to a random location and demand a price for the groom to pay up.
And it could be anything – money, bottles of alcohol or you could ask that the groom do some completely embarrassing at the wedding reception.