If youve been to more weddings than you can count with the fingers of both hands, you probably think that all wedding parties pretty much look the same. While there may be subtle variations depending on the bride and grooms individual preferences, theres basically a format that the Western world follows: The bride walks down the aisle in a white dress while the groom waits patiently wearing his tux. They have the wedding ceremony and reception, dance to a sweet love song played by a wedding DJ, and the newlyweds leave for their honeymoon once the party ends.
But in other parts of the world, in Asia specifically, there are some wedding customs and traditions that will not just impress you, but will also make your jaw drop. Here are some of the most unique wedding traditions from different countries.
Chinese brides are said to be the happiest because they dont just wear one frilly white dress on their special day; they wear three! The first dress is usually something traditional for the traditional tea ceremony, like a qipao or cheongsam in red. The second dress is a white Western-style piece that is worn for the actual wedding ceremony. And the third is a cocktail gown for the reception.
Japanese brides getting married in a traditional Shinto ceremony are expected to wear a full white outfit comprising of a kimono, headgear, and makeup to symbolize purity in front of the kami or the spirits of nature. The headgear, which looks like a hood, is meant to conceal the horns of jealousy and selfishness that the bride has and is also a symbol of her resolve to be an obedient wife to her new husband.
India takes the prize for the longest wedding ceremonies, since festivities can last for several days, depending on the religion and region. Another wedding tradition that India is famous for is the intricate tattoos that brides get on their hands and feet before the big day. These mehndi tattoos, drawn with henna, is believed to make the bride more attractive and lovable to her future husband and in-laws. The darker the mehndi, the more her future family will love and accept her.
At the end of every wedding, guests often toss rice and confetti at the newlyweds as they exit the church. This is meant to symbolize prosperity and good fortune that will fall on the couple in their new life together. In the Philippines, this tradition is taken literally as it is more acceptable for guests to pin money on the couple as they take center stage for their first dance as husband and wife.