Part of what makes planning your wedding so great is that you get to personalize it. Every part of the ceremony and reception will reflect the love between you and your fiance! From the colors you pick to the location of the ceremony, each detail will be made special with meaning and love. It’ll be a day you both remember forever, but there are ways you can step up your wedding planning game even more.
To get a little inspiration, read on about different ways people celebrate their marriages all over the world. You may find one you love and could include in your wedding day plans.
1. Say You Have Heavy Feet
For those brides out there who are dreading their reception dances, this may be the tradition for you. For centuries in Ireland, there’s been a rule that when a bride is dancing at her reception, she must never have both feet lifted off the ground at the same time. It’s said that if that happens, evil beings and spirits will whisk her away. You may get out of a few dance moves by citing this old tradition!
2. Present a Pair of Wooden Ducks
Of all the wedding gifts you’ve thought of by now, you may not have considered giving some wooden ducks to your future in-laws. Way back in South Korea’s history, the groom would give his in-laws two ducks, as they mate for life and symbolized his commitment to their daughter.
Couples nowadays may choose to give wooden ducks instead. The meaning stays the same, but the in-laws don’t have to care for the ducks afterward. You can even have the ducks featured on top of your wedding cake or as a centerpiece at your reception table.
3. Steal the Groom’s Shoes
In a recently popular wedding game, the married couple sits back to back and raises either their own shoe or the shoe of their partner to indicate who’s guilty of a question that’s asked of the both of them — such as who does the most cleaning. It’s fun, but what may be even more fun is enjoying the Indian tradition of stealing the groom’s shoes.
After the wedding ceremony, the bride’s family steals the groom’s shoes, which is a tradition called “joota.” After they’re hidden, the groom’s family will help him look for them. He can’t leave the venue until they’re found, or he can pay a ransom to the bride. This could be anything from a kiss to even an extra slice of wedding cake.
4. Cut the Groom’s Sock
In order to pledge his commitment to his wife, a groom in Denmark is lifted into the air or held to a chair by all of the men who attend the wedding. He must point out which knee he knelt on to propose, and the men remove the shoe and sock on that foot. They then cut off the end of the sock and present to the bride. Bring an extra pair of socks for the groom if this tradition interests you!
5. Wear a Twinkling Crown
Another tradition that wards off evil spirits and bad luck comes from Sweden. Brides there wear a silver and gold crown on their wedding day that has silver charms all around it. The jingling sound they make keeps negativity away, and it’s also a great way to get to wear a crown on your wedding day.
6. Enjoy a Croquembouche Cake
Trying to figure out what you want your wedding cake to look like can be challenging, especially when the price tags just continue to rise. In France, there’s a tradition that will put a spin on your wedding desserts. Instead of cake, they pile puff-pastries called “choux” into a tower and decorate it with lots of sugar and icing. It’s easy to cut and serve and looks gorgeous at any wedding.
7. Skip Out Early
Weddings can last long into the night, which may be exhausting to think about. In Venezuela, there’s a tradition that can help with that. At some point during the reception, the bride and groom try to sneak out without being caught. All the guests compete to see who will be the one to catch them leaving. If they leave successfully, the reception continues for the guests to enjoy.
8. Release a Few Doves
Weddings on TV and in movies almost always have doves released as the newly married couple leaves the wedding venue, but that actually comes from a tradition. People in the Philippines have long released a pair of doves to celebrate a wedding because doves mate for life and represent fidelity. They also stand for purity and peace, because of their white coloring.
9. Party on the Way There
There’s always a celebration after a wedding, but you can party on the way to your venue by enacting a Lebanese tradition. In Lebanon, a party called the “zaffe” starts at the homes of the bride and groom and continues as they make their way to the venue. It’s a way to make sure the entire day is filled with joy and happiness.
10. Plant a Tree
In the Netherlands, newly married couples have a sapling of their choice placed next to their reception table that acts as a wishing tree. During the party, guests tie encouraging notes and wishes to each branch. The couple then takes the tree home afterward and plants it as a symbol of their life together.
Which Is Your Favorite?
Planning out your wedding comes with a lot of fun, like sifting through traditions to see if any of them would be right for you. See if anything rings true to your heart and if it could be done at your own wedding. It’ll be a special and unique way to celebrate your wedding and make the day truly your own.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!