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Global wedding traditions

Who said you have to wear a white dress and walk down an aisle of a church? The world is full of many different wedding traditions and getting married can mean anything from saying “I do” with Elvis on the streets of Vegas to planning a huge wedding in a cathedral with 500 people. Here are some examples of how traditions can be so different across the world. Some are surprising, some are quaint and all are based on years of folklore and cultural influence.

Hate it when there is an elephant in the room? In parts of India it is preferred. Elephants can be used for transportation and, of course, decoration at the wedding. You can decorate your elephant with flowers, blankets, saddle, and a head piece to make the look more complete. In India they use the elephant to transport the groom to the wedding. Elephants are said to bring prosperity and good luck to the newlyweds.

Most brides picture the walk down the aisle towards their future husband. In Italy the bride and groom walk together. Along the way friends and family create obstacles the bride and groom will see to predict how they will treat each other in their marriage. For example, the bride might pick up a mop – therefore she will keep a clean house. If there is a child and they stop to help it is thought they will be good parents. Before the wedding the couple cut a log in half with a saw symbolizing their partnership and commitment to each other.

In Ireland the bride does not wear white. She wears blue. In ancient times this represented purity. Not until recently did the white wedding dress become relevant. If you are at all interested in an Irish inspired wedding this is a wonderful way to surprise your guests. In Spain, a bride will sometimes wear a black lace dress with a black veil. Her groom will wear a shirt she handmade him.

In Germany vows are very important. While the bride and groom are on their knees saying their vows the man will traditionally stand over the woman’s wedding dress to show who will wear the pants in the relationship (hey – we aren’t saying this is for everyone!). If the woman doesn’t agree she will stand on his feet when they arise. This would be a clever way to lighten the mood at the ceremony and add some German flavor!

Perhaps you have a direct link to some of these cultural traditions – or perhaps not. But maybe they spark some creativity in your mind that can add another aspect to your already unique wedding day.

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