Every culture has unique rituals for ceremonies and celebrations. Couples usually follow traditions from their heritage or religious backgrounds; however, some couples adopt different traditions to make their wedding unique. If you are searching for ways to make your wedding a little different, you might consider these wedding traditions.
Roman Wedding Traditions
Ancient Roman law required ten witnesses, creating the concept of a wedding party. Weddings were a business transaction, and the best man was a little more than a representative. The best man was about having the best swordsmanship to help the groom deal with the business transaction and round up a runaway bride. Today, the groom brings his friend for emotional support. Flowers are one of the most loved wedding traditions. In ancient Greek and Roman ceremonies, brides and grooms were adorned with garlands to represent fertility and the beginning of their life together. We have the 1840 marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to thank for changing wedding bouquets to the beautiful variety of flowers we love. The bouquet toss is part of wedding traditions. Whoever catches the bouquet is believed to be the next to marry.
What We did in the Dark Ages
The garter toss originated in the Dark Ages. It was thought to be good luck to rip a piece of the bride’s wedding gown for a keepsake. To appease the guests and save the gown, the groom tossed the garter to the crowd. Tossing the garter would buy them just enough time to make their escape. The honeymoon was something quite different during those times, and the garter was a needed diversion. Today, the groom removes the garter during the reception and tosses it into the crowd.
Native American Wedding Traditions
If you are searching for customs to incorporate into your wedding ceremony that acknowledge nature and spiritual forces, you might consider Native American wedding traditions. Native American culture involves rituals that revolve around a deep respect for the universe and natural forces. Weddings typically take place in the evening. Water is a powerful symbol during the ceremony. The bride and groom wash their hands to symbolize washing away the past and embracing the future together. Traditionally, a vase is made by the groom’s family, and given during the ceremony for the bride to drink from one end, and for the groom to drink from the other. This ritual symbolizes a union of the couple. Contemporary wedding traditions incorporate silver wedding rings with turquoise for the bride, and opal for the groom. You might include flutes, drums, vocal performances and dancing during the reception.
Irish Wedding Traditions
The Irish have given us a couple meaningful wedding traditions that you might want to make part of your wedding day. While you are choosing something borrowed and something blue, you might consider some unique Irish customs. Add horseshoe charms to your jewelry or bouquet for some added luck. A broach shaped like a horseshoe will add a little elegance and luck to your bridal bouquet. One of the oldest Irish wedding traditions is a handfasting ceremony. Handfasting dates back to 7,000 B.C., at a time when ancient Celts officially joined in the bonds of matrimony by handfasting. The couple was met with a feast to celebrate their engagement. During an engagement ceremony, a Druid priest bound their hands together with a braided chord. The handfasting ritual was later adopted by Christian Irish as the exclusive method of marriage, and is still recognized as a legal marriage today in some villages in Ireland.
Wales, Scotland and England
These countries have a common tradition that dates back to the 1700’s in Wales at a time when the marriages of gypsies were not accepted by the church. The ritual was known as a besom wedding, named after the Besom broom. Broom jumping became a popular trend and marriage right in Scotland and England in the 1800s. You might consider adding it to your wedding. A broom jumping ceremony involves placing a decorative broom on the ground in front of the bride and groom. The couple holds hands and jumps over the broom together. This symbolizes jumping into a new life together.
Pacific Islander Traditions
Pacific Islander wedding traditions are focused on the beauty of the islands and family. If you are considering an island theme, you might consider Pacific Islander customs. Necklaces are made from island flowers and placed on the bride and groom. These garlands are commonly known as a lei. The lei symbolizes respect and love between the couple. The couple usually wears all white during their ceremony. Traditionally, the groom wears a red or black sash around his waist. In some cultures, the bride wears a gown from tapa cloth, which comes from the bark of Mulberry trees. The bride wears a different gown during her reception. The Hawaiian Wedding Song is performed during the reception. Two white doves are released, symbolizing the beginning of a new life together in love and peace.
Asian customs can be drastically different, depending on the country. Traditions in China are very different from Korea, Japan and Taiwan. You can choose different customs and make your wedding unique with a fusion of traditions at your celebration. According to Korean wedding traditions, brides switch between multiple gowns throughout the day. You might choose a red Mandarin dress to incorporate Chinese or Taiwanese traditions. If you are attempting to create a Chinese themed wedding, it is important to remember that white is a funeral color. A bride never wears white at the reception. Cambodian wedding traditions include a knot tying ceremony, in which family members tie red strings around the couple’s wrist and provide well wishes for their marriage. A Filipino cord and veil ceremony includes male and female sponsors from each family. The couple kneels, and the sponsors place a veil over their shoulders to symbolize being clothed as one. A cord is looped around the couple in a figure eight to represent unity. Tea ceremonies are common Asian wedding traditions. In Chinese culture, the bride and groom see the guests off, instead of the other way around. This can make your wedding more personal.
Greek Wedding Traditions
You might want to include culturally significant rituals from 11th century Greek wedding traditions. The bride and groom are both crowned by a priest, and the crowns are tied together three times by the Koumbaros or sponsor. A tied ribbon completes the ritual and symbolizes the union. The ceremony, the Koumbaros distributes a lapel pin with a ribbon to the guests. Food is an important part of Greek wedding traditions. The traditional foods include lamb or beef stew with orzo, tiropita and baklava. Add Jordan almonds to your candy bar. You might want to do the dollar dance. This is where guests toss dollar bills at the bride and groom as they dance.
Crystal Ballroom at Veranda
If you need a little help creating an unforgettable wedding ceremony and reception with all of your unique wedding traditions, bring imagination to Crystal Ballroom at Veranda. Meet with professional wedding designers to create an unforgettable experience. This all-inclusive wedding venue masters design. Choose your flowers, colors and décor, and let the designers bring your dream to life. Contact Crystal Ballroom to begin planning.