Wedding Traditions from Around the World

At Marry Me Ireland we like to think outside the box to give couples their ideal weddings because while love is universal, the way couples celebrate marriage is not. Every culture has their own traditions and beliefs which makes their wedding ceremonies unique. As there’s no right or wrong way to marry the person you love, combining traditions and ideas from other cultures that hold special meaning for you can create a beautiful, diverse ceremony that reflects the love between you and your spouse. Here are some wedding traditions we’ve found that are particularly eye-catching.


  1. Bread and Salt

Upon arrival at the wedding reception, the couple’s parents present the newlyweds with a plate of bread and salt which symbolise both the prosperity and hardship the couple will face together throughout their marriage.

  1. One Hundred Years

The song “Sto lat” is a popular one, used on many occasions including birthdays and weddings. When the bride and groom arrive at the wedding reception, their guests serenade them with this song, wishing them “one hundred years” of health and good fortune.

  1. The Unveiling

The tradition of  “oczepiny”, or unveiling, rounds out the night. This is the moment the bride’s veil is removed as a representation of her transition from a young adult to a married woman. Some couples choose to toss the veil and the groom’s tie to unmarried men and women with the implication that whoever catches it will be married soon.


  1. The Rending of the Tie

The groom’s tie is cut into pieces by the best man, and each piece is sold to the highest bidder at the wedding. The collected money then goes toward the couple’s honeymoon fund.

  1. The Midas Touch

Brazilian brides traditionally wear gold shoes to go with their white dresses. During the reception, known as the ceremonial, one of the bride’s heels is placed in the middle of the dance floor where guests can drop money into it to start the couple’s financial future off right!

  1. Y.O.D. (Tame Your Own Donkey)

To prove himself worthy and sincere according to an ancient custom, the groom was meant to tame a donkey! Successfully training the animal indicated that he was ready and able to care for his future bride.


  1. Lucky Thirteen

The groom presents his bride-to-be with thirteen gold coins, or arras (unity coins), on their wedding day. The coins, blessed by a priest, are placed in a special purse or ornate box. They represent both Christ and his apostles and the wealth and financial responsibilities the couple will share in their new life together.

  1. Flowers Delivered to Your Door

Most brides love designing their bouquet to fit their tastes, but in Spain, it isn’t uncommon for the best man to take on that responsibility. The best man chooses the bride’s bouquet and presents it to her the morning of the wedding, often with a handwritten poem attached to wish her luck and love throughout her marriage.

  1. Dance Until They Drop

The bride gives out pins or corsages to the single ladies in attendance, who then pin them upside-down on their dresses. If the pin falls off during the dancing done throughout the course of the evening, it’s believed the woman will soon be married.


  1. The Designs of Love

The Mehndi Ceremony is an integral part of Indian wedding celebrations. Elaborate henna designs are painted on the bride’s hands and feet, as well as those of her female family and friends, to represent the love and joy associated with the celebration.

  1. Flowers of Acceptance

The bride and groom exchange flower garlands during the ceremony, placing one around the other’s neck to symbolize their acceptance and love for each other.

  1. The Sacred Fire

During the ceremony, the couple must complete the ritual of Mangal Phera, which involves walking around the scared fire four times. Each trip represents the couple’s hopes of achieving the four main goals in life: Dharma (virtue), Artha (wealth), Kama (family) and Moksha (enlightenment).

  1. Handfasting

Known in the Hindu tradition as Hastaganthi, the Hindu priest binds the couple’s right hands together with thumbs interlocked signifying the unity of mind, body, and soul between the couple.

Here at Marry Me Ireland we have a wide variety of exceptional celebrants who can deliver the wedding ceremony of your dreams- traditional, unique or otherwise. So get in touch today and we can start planning your special day!

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