Planning your wedding means that you’re considering many different details all at one time. You’re picking your colors, your reception food and even your wedding cake flavor. It may make you feel like you’re going to end up with the same wedding as everyone else, but that’s when you should look into different traditions.
Traditions make weddings even more personal, especially if it has to do with the bride or groom’s families or their heritage. Think about any traditions your family members may have mentioned about their own weddings to see if there are some they can pass down to you.
For those who want something new or don’t have family traditions of their own, check out these beautiful wedding traditions from around the world. They’ll inspire you and leave you with fresh dreams and aspirations for your wedding, so you can keep planning it with an extra special something to look forward to.
1. Choose With an Astrologer
If you’ve already chosen a date for your wedding, then you know how much pressure you can feel when you’re trying to decide when your wedding will happen. It’s such a momentous occasion and you want it to be the best day ever, so how can anyone decide what exact day it should be?
An old Chinese tradition takes this pressure off the shoulders of the newly engaged couple and places it in the hands of astrology. In this tradition, the couple goes to an astrologer, who finds the best date according to their birth dates.
Those interested in astrology and birth signs may be interested in doing the same thing, or working out your date based on the astrology you follow.
2. Walk to the Chapel on Foot
Depending on where you’re getting married, you may be able to take part in an old Italian tradition. Back in the day, Italian couples would walk to the chapel on foot with their respective wedding parties, finally seeing each other for the first time in the chapel.
The idea was that it was bad luck for the groom to turn around once he stepped foot outside his house. If anything was forgotten, members of the groom’s party could run back and get it.
This may not be possible if you’re getting ready at a hotel that’s miles from your venue, but see if your venue has a place nearby where you can both walk from. If not, walking from the car to the alter can still count as a journey you both make to your ceremony.
photo by Bajan Wed Vendor Asia Pimentel
3. Sew Undergarment Ribbons
You may want to have a wedding tradition that you can do just for yourself, which is where a Mexican tradition can come in handy. In Mexico, the bride would choose her wedding undergarments a few weeks in advance and sew three ribbons on the inside.
Each ribbon had a different color — yellow, blue and red. Each symbolized an abundance of food, money and passion in her future. You can do the same under your wedding dress with a simple sewing kit from your local grocery store. They’ll be sweet keepsakes to have after your wedding. You probably won’t wear your wedding dress after your ceremony, but you can bring those ribbons along with you to other special events with your future spouse to relive your wedding day.
4. Make Harvest Knot Favors
Those with Irish ancestry or who may be getting married in Ireland will want to consider including harvest knot favors at the end of your reception.
To thank your guests for coming, make harvest knots ahead of time to celebrate your devotion to everyone who came. The Irish made these at weddings because they were easy to do and symbolized something special between the married couple and their guests.
Include some harvest knots in your wedding favor bags with other trinkets according to your wedding theme or the time of year. Make sure to leave a little note with them that explains why the knots are significant.
5. Host a Henna Party
In Morrocco, brides started celebrating their wedding in the days leading up to the actual event. All her female friends and family members would come to draw henna tattoos on the bride’s hands and feet.
These tattoos weren’t permanent, but the beautiful tradition left intricate drawings all over the bride to promote optimism, beauty and fertility. After the bride was finished, the other female friends and family members could get henna tattoos as well.
photo by Bajan Wed Vendor Live View Studios
6. Sneak in Some Coins
This tradition may be a bit harder to work with considering today’s currency, but it still holds all the charm it used to.
Brides in Sweden walked down the aisle with one gold coin in her right shoe and a silver coin in the other. Her father would present the gold coin and her mother would give the silver coin, which people believed guaranteed that the newly married couple would never be found wanting.
7. Hide the Groom’s Shoes
Another fun tradition that you could get many people involved with is the Indian tradition of hiding the groom’s shoes.
The tradition says that the bride and groom must remove their shoes before they enter the space where they will be married. Then the bride’s relatives hide the groom’s shoes near the venue, and he can’t leave until he’s found them.
He can either find them or pay a ransom to the bride’s family for the shoes, either of which bonds everyone together.
8. Pull the Cake Apart
Is the idea of tossing your bouquet too mainstream for you? Have a cake pulled apart instead. Peruvian brides had a cake made separate from their wedding cake, which had a ring in it. Multiple white ribbons draped from the inside of the cake to the outside, and every girl at the wedding got to pull one at the same time.
The ribbon with the ring attached was the sign for who would be married next. It’s definitely a fun and delicious tradition that puts a nice twist on the old bouquet toss.
Find Your Own Tradition
Not every family has their own wedding traditions, and that’s okay! Even if you don’t like the traditions your family has always done, you can always make new ones of your own.
Draw from the traditions of history by reading about activities like these. Other cultures will inspire you to try something new, which may be exactly what you’re looking for to make your wedding day perfect.
photo by Bajan Wed Vendor Callie Manion
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!