Exchanging vows, tossing the bouquet, and quirky, hilarious and heartfelt speeches are just a few Canadian wedding traditions.
Have you ever been curious about wedding traditions in other countries?
At Ten Thousand Villages, we work with artisan partners from many countries and cultures around the world—and we love learning about their customs! Weddings may be a universal tradition, but each country has their own beloved rituals that make their special day memorable.
Here are some beautiful wedding traditions from around the globe:
India: Beautiful Body Art
There are many beautiful customs in Indian weddings, but one of the most beloved and well-known is the Mehndi ceremony. Most people are familiar with the Indian tradition of henna among female wedding guests. Prior to the wedding, intricate designs are hand-painted directly on the bride’s skin with a paste made from dried and powdered henna leaves. The artwork often includes paisley, flowers, and vines—and sometimes the henna artist will hide the groom’s initials within the design! Mehndi art symbolizes joy, beauty, hope and love.
Vietnam: What White Wedding?
There are no white weddings here! In Vietnam, the colour red symbolizes good luck; so the choices of attire and décor at most Vietnamese weddings is red! Often the groom’s family will visit the home of the bride’s parents with offerings of wine, fruit and cake that is either wrapped in red paper or attractively laid out on red platters. Vietnamese people believe that odd numbers and the colour red will bring good luck to the couple.
Phillipines: Release the Doves!
Doves are a symbol of peace and love. In the Philipines, the happy couple release a pair of white doves, one male, the other female, during the reception to symbolize a harmonious life together.
Kenya: Wishing Good Luck!
In the Masai culture, it is not uncommon for the father of the bride to spit on his daughter as she leaves the village with her new husband. The Masai people of Kenya strongly believe that by being disrespectful rather than celebrating and praising excessively, they avoid tempting fate and welcoming bad luck to the marriage.
Peru: A Little More Than Cake!
At Peruvian weddings, rather than a bouquet toss, the cake is typically the center of attention for eligible singles. Assembled with hanging ribbons and one inexpensive ring embedded in the center, single women pull ribbons from the cake – the one who pulls the ribbon with the ring is said to be the next to get married!