Different cultures, different ways of executing a marriage but one thing in common- the union of two individuals. From smashing of plates down to kidnapping of brides, read on 10 of the most bizarre wedding traditions.
Plate smashing was popularized in Greek weddings as an expression of happiness and abundance. Plates smashing have reached other parts of the world too. In Germany, plate smashing happens the night before the wedding, when guests smashed plates, glass, and teacups before entering the couple’s house, the broken pieces are believed to bring good luck.
In Finland, during the newlyweds’ first dance/waltz, the mother-in-law put china (plate) on top of the bride’s head, once it falls and breaks, the number of broken pieces indicate the number of children the couple will have.
In a wedding reception in Czech, after guests have smashed dishes, the newlyweds will clean it up, believed to bring along and healthy partnership.
French for “rough music” , literally means loud noise. On the wedding night, wedding guests and sometimes the entire neighborhood would come to the newlywed’s house/suite and serenade them or mostly annoy them with loud music, banging of pots and all sorts of rustic noise.
8- DEFINE “LOVE” IN 3 ARROWS
During a traditional wedding at a Yugur tribe in China, the groom would shoot his bride with 3 arrows, (groom’s exes don’t get too excited) the arrows do not have arrowheads. The couple would then break the bow and the arrow to signify a lasting marriage full of love.
7- SHOE STEALING
Indians are notable for a vibrant and elaborate wedding celebrated for days. In some parts of India, the main event happens when the groom takes off his shoe and the groomsmen would try to protect it from getting stolen by the other party—the bridesmaids.
When the ladies got hold of the shoe, they’ll hide it and would demand ransom which sometimes is more expensive than the actual cost of a pair.
In Scotland, blackening is a pre- wedding ritual for the bride and the groom. The family, friends and co-workers of both parties gathered in this event. The soon-to-be couple are tied on a tree or chair and the people who attended the blackening toss whatever rubbish and gross stuff at them.
5- THE HOLY SPIT
In Masai Kenya, the father of the bride sanctify the union by spitting on his daughter’s head and breasts. The newlywed will immediately leave with her groom without looking back or she’ll turn into stone.
4- WHITE PAINTED BRIDE
Don’t get scared to see a white lady down the aisle at a traditional Japanese wedding, some Japanese brides are literally painted white from head to toe and wear white kimono dress. The all white theme symbolizes death to the bride’s family, after the wedding she will change to a red kimono to symbolize rebirth to the groom’s family.
3- NO POTTY BREAK FOR 3 DAYS
The Tidong tribe in the Northern Borneo has a weird wedding tradition, and a painfully one too for the bladder. The night after the wedding the couple are forbidden to use the bathroom for 3 days and nights. Now that’s a bit tough, when getting intimate on your first wedding night to say the least.
2- FORCE FEEDING
While most brides would hit the gym and submit to a low cal diet weeks before the wedding just to look fit and fab on that big day, brides-to-be in Mauritania do the opposite.
Fatness is an indicator of a woman’s affluence, thus force-feeding the girls at a young age is highly encouraged. Flabs and stretch marks attract Mauritania men and they love thick women.
1- BRIDE KIDNAPPING
Bride kidnapping or marriage by abduction is illegal yet traditionally accepted in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. This tradition, also a form of forced marriage usually has unpleasant results, with the bride being kidnapped, raped, and soon became a victim of domestic violence throughout her married life.
Girls as young as 11 years old become victims of bride kidnapping by men 10 or more years older than them in African countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Kenya. Kyrgyzstan tribe elders and customary leaders approve of bride kidnapping as an acceptable way of securing a wife and marriage.
Bride abduction in Kazakhstan, Karakalpakstan, and China happens when a man refuses to pay the bride-price resorting to abducting the woman for the fear of losing her to another suitor.