Wedding is a universal tradition, but it is celebrated differently all over the world. Traditions vary according to culture and country: what is common in one region may be unknown in another. My role as International Wedding Planner has allowed me to work with couples from different cultures, coming from all over the world and to help integrate their customs into the organization of their weddings. I have also been able to share French wedding traditions for those who have chosen to celebrate their wedding in France and wish to incorporate a local touch.
Here are seven beautiful wedding traditions from around the world:
China: Choose the Date
Choosing a wedding date is a very important part of Chinese tradition. Couples consult the Chinese calendar with a fortune teller who informs them of the date to choose. Celebrating the wedding on the right date is supposed to bring luck and ensure the success of a wedding while the wrong date can lead to an unhappy union.
Arab Countries: Henna Festival
A tradition common to all Arab countries is the Henna festival which takes place a few days before the wedding. It is more or less the equivalent of a bachelorette party. All the women on both sides of the bride and groom gather together to draw the henna on the bride’s hands and feet. It is a festive celebration in which the groom’s family presents the jewelry that will be given to the bride-to-be.
France: the Wedding Procession & the Croquembouche
In French villages, it was customary for the groom to pick up the bride-to-be from her home for their wedding. Then, they walked in procession with their families and musicians to the ceremony while children tied white ribbons along the way. The bride will then cut them: this act symbolizes her ability to overcome the obstacles of married life.
If you are planning a wedding in France, you can of course expect to enjoy delicious food (and good wine)! For dessert, we usually serve a croquembouche. This dessert is a tower of pastries filled with cream, covered with caramel and decorated with fruits and nuts. Not only does it taste divine, but it makes an impressive centerpiece!
Sweden: Myrtle wreaths
Swedish brides traditionally wear a crown made of myrtle. This pretty flower symbolizes love, luck and fidelity. Modern brides add a branch of this plant in their bouquets.
China: The red dress
Chinese brides usually wear up to four dresses. This includes an embroidered red dress called quipao and sometimes a red veil. In Chinese culture, the color red symbolizes happiness, prosperity and luck. Nowadays, modern brides tend to change into a traditional western white wedding dress, a beautiful ball gown and sometimes a cocktail dress to end the evening. It’s elegant!
Korea: Wedding ducks
During Korean wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom exchange wooden ducks as a sign of commitment. This is because Mandarin ducks are known to mate for life. After the wedding, they will also present a pair of ducks at home. If all goes well, the ducks will face each other, but if the couple fights, they will turn around.
What wedding traditions will you honor on your big day?