Wedding is much more than throwing the bouquet, scandalously removing the garter, the couple’s first dance, the cutting of the cake, and the life-affirming moment that the Electric Slide begins. These are all wedding traditions that most of us know and love. Wedding may be a universal celebration, but for some it’s an unbelievable crazy adventure.
Around the world, wedding traditions are a little bit different: Some of them are heartwarmingly romantic, and some of them are a little strange, and some of them might make you a little bit uncomfortable.
It can be gross, confusing or terrifying. Imagine shooting the bride or marrying a banana tree. How’s that for a wedding?
The Blackening of the Bride
In Scotland, there is a particularly nasty pre-wedding tradition that involves the bride and groom being pelted with food trash, including rotten eggs and fish. The Scots believe that if a couple can withstand this, their marriage can withstand anything.
The Bridesmaid Blockade
In China, when a groom comes to get his bride, he must first break through an aggressive wall of her angry bridesmaids. The bridesmaids demand money from him, and put him through a series of silly performances and tasks – all meant to prove just how strong his love really is.
The Courting Hut
Some African tribes allow women to enter a “courting hut” so they can hang out with potential spouses away from the prying eyes of their parents – and the rest of the village.
The Bridal Kidnapping
In Krygyzstan, an old adage claims that tears on a wedding day will make for a happy marriage. Until 1991 (when it was finally made illegal) many parents would consent to the marriage of a kidnapped young girl, especially if she was crying.
The Graveside Wedding
In an average display of somberness and seriousness, many Russians choose to be married at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.
The Love Without Bathroom Breaks
In Borneo, one tribe does not allow newlyweds to leave their homes during their wedding day, not even to go to the bathroom. Like most odd traditions, it is said to bring the couple good luck.
The Gerewol Festival for the Ladies
In Niger, men have to dress in elaborate costumes and perform for their potential mates. When the performance is over, the women get to choose the man they like best.
Beating the groom’s feet: Korea
Korean tradition dictates that the groom has his feet beaten with fish or a cane before his first night as a married man. It can be painful but it’s over quickly and more fun than cruel. This is supposed to make sure the groom doesn’t disappoint on his wedding night.
The Questionable Mate-Grabbing
In some gypsy groups, there is a controversial tradition that involves male suitors to grab a girl and start forcefully kissing her. It might be love – or it just might be an unwanted assault.
Spitting on the Bride: Massai nation, Kenya
At a Massai wedding, the father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts. She then leaves the village with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone.