In this article, we explore 15 scary or weird wedding traditions from different cultures. These traditions range from spitting on the bride in Kenya to breaking dishes in Germany, to burying bourbon in the Southern United States. Some of these rituals are intended to bring good luck and prosperity to the couple, while others are designed to protect them from evil spirits or prepare them for the challenges of married life.
Whether you are planning your own wedding or simply curious about the diverse customs around the world, these traditions will surely intrigue and surprise you. Join us as we take a journey through some of the most unusual and fascinating wedding rituals from around the globe.
- Blackening the bride and groom (Scotland): In this tradition, the bride and groom are covered in molasses, flour, and feathers and paraded through town. It's believed to bring good luck to the couple.
- Kidnapping the bride (Romania): In some parts of Romania, the groom is expected to "kidnap" his bride from her family's home. He has to negotiate with her family members and offer gifts to win their approval (on the other hand, a stag kidnapping is a popular, commercial stag do activity, especially in Poland / Krakow)
- Spitting on the bride (Kenya): In some Kenyan tribes, it's customary for the father of the bride to spit on her as a way of blessing her marriage and protecting her from evil spirits.
- Beating the groom's feet (South Korea): In a traditional South Korean wedding, the groom's friends and family members will remove his shoes and beat the soles of his feet with a stick or dried fish. This is supposed to make him stronger and better able to withstand the challenges of married life.
- Tossing the bouquet (USA): In American weddings, the bride tosses her bouquet to the unmarried female guests. It's believed that the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married.
- Breaking dishes (Germany): In some parts of Germany, the bride and groom smash dishes together to symbolize their ability to work together and overcome obstacles.
- Burying the bourbon (Southern United States): In some Southern US weddings, the groom buries a bottle of bourbon upside down at the wedding venue one month before the wedding. It's believed to bring good weather on the wedding day.
- Blackening the groom (Scotland): In this Scottish tradition, the groom is tied to a tree and covered in various substances, such as molasses and feathers, by his friends. It's believed to ward off evil spirits.
- Decorating the car with ribbons (UK): In many British weddings, the couple's car is decorated with ribbons and other decorations. It's believed to bring good luck to the couple.
- Serving pig's head (Sweden): In some Swedish weddings, a pig's head is served as a traditional dish. It's believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the couple.
- Stealing the shoes (India): In some Indian weddings, the groom's shoes are stolen by the bride's sisters or friends. The groom has to pay a ransom to get them back.
- Veil of tears (Sudan): In Sudanese weddings, the bride's mother-in-law will place a veil over her head and sprinkle her with salt and water. It's meant to represent the bride's sadness at leaving her family.
- Polterabend (Germany): In this German tradition, the bride and groom's friends and family members gather at their home the night before the wedding and smash dishes and other household items. It's believed to ward off evil spirits.
- Money dance (Philippines): In some Filipino weddings, the bride and groom will dance while guests pin money to their clothing. It's believed to help the couple start their new life together.
- Crying ritual (China): In some Chinese weddings, the bride will cry for an hour every day for a month leading up to the wedding. Her mother, grandmother, and other female relatives may join in. It's believed to bring good luck to the marriage.