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Wedding Tradition What does the tradition involve? Country Why?/Fun Fact
Jumping the Broom The couple jump over a broom at the end of the ceremony. African-American Whoever jumps higher over the broom is supposedly the decision-maker in the household.
Smashed Plate Clearing The guests smash porcelain dishes, which are then cleared up by the bride and groom. Germany The smashing wards off evil spirits, and the clearing up proves the couple can deal with any challenge together.
Releasing Doves The bride and groom release two white doves at the end of the ceremony. Philippines The birds symbolise a loving and successful marriage.
Bell-Breaking The groom's mother breaks a white ceramic bell filled with grains when the newlyweds arrive. Guatemala It symbolises that the couple will prosper.
The Irish Bell A bell is rung after reciting the vows. Ireland The chime of the bell is said to ward off evil spirits.
Wedding Ducks Carved wooden ducks or geese are thrown to the bride by her mother-in-law. Korean Weddings Mandarin ducks mate for life, which is supposed to represent the marriage. The bride is supposed to catch the duck - if she succeeds, her first child will supposedly be a boy. If she fails, a girl.
Running Away The bride and groom sneak out of the wedding during the reception. Venezuela It's good luck if they make it away without getting caught, and good luck to any guests that realise they're gone.
Wedding Shave The groom's best man (called a koubaros) shaves his face, while the other friends help dress him. Greece The shaving symbolises the trust between the two men, and the dressing assistance gives them all a role in getting the groom ready.
Confetti Sugar-coated almonds - called "confetti"- are given to wedding guests or the couple. They are also thrown at the couple. Italy A tradition dating back to Roman times, the almonds are a thank you to guests representing health and happiness, but are usually replaced by scraps of paper in modern times.
Baumstamm S├Ągen The couple saw a log together with a two-handle long saw. Germany It represents the first obstacle the couple must overcome together.
Sake-Sharing Ceremony (San-San-Kudo) The couple each take three sips from three sake cups, as do their parents. Japan It is seen as a formal bonding of the families.
Breaking the Glass A goblet made for the wedding is broken, usually underfoot. Most often it is done by the man. Jewish Weddings There are several interpretations, including a reminder of the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem, or to scare off demons.
Cake Ribbons The cake has ribbons leading out of it, tied to charms in the middle. One of these is a fake wedding ring. Peru If a single lady is served the slice with the ring, they're thought to be the next to get married.
Joota Chupai The eldest unmarried girls from the bride's family steal the groom's shoes, while the groom's family try to recover them. Eventually, the girls ransom them back. India No one really knows why, but it's very popular and gets the whole family involved.
Tinkling Crown The bride wears a silver-and-gold crown which has metal charms hanging from it. Norway The clinking of the charms as she moves is said to ward off evil spirits.
Throwing the Bouquet The bride throws her bouquet into a crowd of unmarried women for them to catch. UK The woman who catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next to wed.
Spitting on the Bride The father of the bride spits on her head and chest. Kenya It's good luck for the bride.
Red Chinese brides wear red veils, and a red umbrella is held over their head. China Red is an important colour in Chinese symbolism, symbolising luck, love, boldness, and wealth.
Unity Bowl Every member of the family is provided with coloured stones unique to them. They add these stones to a bowl that is displayed in the couple's house. Australia It's a display to show how the family has "coloured" the couple's life - and to remind the newlyweds of their family.
Tabua To propose, the groom-to-be presents a wreath of whale's teeth ("tabua") to either the bride or her father. Fiji A tabua is a traditional gift in Fijian culture with high value, often used in the past in negotiations between rival chiefs.
Sehra A "sehra" or form of headdress is worn by the groom. It usually incorporates some sort of veil, often made of flowers or beads. Pakistan The veil protects the groom from the evil eye - as well as adding a sense of pride and prestige.