Worldly Weddings

by Emily Bailey

Looking at a few unusual customs from around the globe

Germany – Sawing the Log  To prepare a couple for the teamwork that comes with marriage Germans have the bride and groom cut a log in half with a two-person crosscut saw.

Canada – Silly Sock Dance  In French-speaking parts of Canada the older, unwed siblings of the couple perform a dance in socks at the reception. To cheer on the dance guests throw money at the dancers who pass it on to the newlyweds.

Mexico – The Lasso  After a Mexican couple has pledged their vows they are lassoed together, with an elaborately decorated rope, in figure-eight shape representing the couple’s lasting unity.

Spain – Cutting the Groom’s Tie  At Spanish receptions a groom’s tie is cut right off his neck by his closest friends. It’s then auctioned off as good luck to guests. The money earned is given to the bride and groom.

Scotland – Blackening of the Bride  A few days before a Scottish wedding the bride is captured by friends and family, covered with filthy items such as beer, spoiled fish, or treacle and feathers, and paraded through the streets. It’s thought that after this the troubles of marriage should be easy to weather.

Guatemala – Breaking the Bell  In Guatemala a bell, filled with rice, flour and other grains that represent abundance, is hung in the doorway of the groom’s home, where receptions typically take place. Upon the newlyweds arrival the mother of the groom smashes the bell bringing good luck and prosperity.

India – Hiding the Shoes  Indian grooms have their shoes stolen at the wedding by the bride’s family. He and his family go to look for them, but if they can’t be located a ransom is paid by the groom to get them back, showing he is willing to take care of her family as well, even when they steal from him.

Czech Republic – Soup from a Single Spoon The traditional first course of a wedding meal in the Czech Republic is soup, which the newlyweds have to work together to eat, being wrapped together in a sheet and only given one spoon and one bowl.

France – Le Pot de Chambre  On wedding nights in France a chamber pot is filled with leftovers from the reception, usually drinks and desserts and maybe a bit of toilet paper, and given to the newlyweds to consume for strength.

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