If you follow our blogs, you’re well-versed in all things wedding-related. We’ve written extensively on everything from bachelor’s parties to bridesmaids, drinks to destination weddings, cocktails to cost. Between all of our enlightening and life-changing content, you’re a veritable expert on weddings at this point. Well, with one caveat: you’re an expert on American weddings.
With that info in mind, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to expand your compendium of wedding knowledge to include some of the most unique global wedding traditions from around the globe. Am I an expert on the rich and unique nuances of these cultures and their nuptial observances? Nope. I do, however, have a college degree and a lot of black coffee in my cup, so let’s dive in.
1. Rum, Gossip and the Lash
We’re starting off light here. It’s traditional for Jamaican women to begin soaking fruit in rum as soon as they’re engaged. This fruit will soak for the entirety of the engagement and then be utilized in the wedding cake. The bride also spends the night before her wedding gossiping with her married friends, who will regale her with juicy stories from their wedding nights. Sounds like your garden-variety bachelorette party, to be honest.
2. The Scottish Quaich
Scottish weddings often conclude with a cup filled with whisky being passed around. (Note that this liquor is typically spelled “whiskey” in the U.S. and Ireland and “whisky” in Scotland and Canada.) The bride, groom, participants, and guests all drink from the “quaich.” Leave it to Scotland to find a way to include scotch in the actual wedding ceremony. This is also known as the “loving cup.” I’m sure a few too many drams out of the quaich will make even the most austere Scotsman feel the love. Or fight. It’s really a toss-up.
3. Sternfaced Congolese Weddings
It’s traditional for members of the wedding party to remain complete stone-faced during the ceremony. No laughing, no smiling. The justification is to show how committed one is to the wedding. Perhaps a little stringent but understandable.
4. Tying the Knot in Guatemala and Mexico
This tradition may not be practiced widely in the US, but the terminology is very familiar. The practice is pretty self-explanatory and the symbolism is straightforward. The bride and groom tie a literal knot while tying the knot.
5. A Whale of a Tale
Fijan men must present their would-be bride’s father with a whale’s tooth. That sounds extreme at first take, but it’s comparable to the western tradition of asking for her father’s permission. Fijan boyfriends just need to prove their capability through the procurement of a whale’s tooth, which is admittedly a bit more than demonstrating you’re financially stable.
6. The Tree Wives of India
I have an idea for those of you who follow astrology. In certain parts of India, your date of birth has some serious consequences beyond vague and nebulous predictions in the Sunday paper. Women with particularly bad birthdays are believed to be cursed. This naturally has some serious consequences for their marriage prospects. The best way to remedy this situation is to for the woman in question to marry a tree. The tree will then be cut down, thus absorbing all of his wife’s misfortune. The tree’s widow is now free to marry whoever she wants with no astrological consequences.
7. French brides and grooms eat and drink leftovers from a chamberpot before entering their chambers.
I’ve tried to keep an open mind throughout all of these traditions. I really have. Most of these make sense. But even I have my limits. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME ARE YOU DOING, FRANCE? WHY? THIS MAKES NO SENSE.