Imagine dreaming of meeting the love of your life and one day walking down the aisle to be joined together in marriage. You might spend months planning your wedding day. In addition to a beautiful gown and tuxedo, you’d be surrounded by lovely decorations and your closest family and friends. Now, imagine, if you will, that just as the entrance song begins to play and the bride takes her first steps toward her groom, all the guests start spitting on her! It’s a Greek custom to “pretend” to spit on the bride to ward off evil spirits. You know as well as I do, though, that SOMEONE is going to accidentally let some real spit fly! Such wedding customs are common in Kenya, Africa, too.
In that country, however, it’s the father of the bride who spits on his daughter’s breasts and head as a wish of good luck and a blessing upon her marriage. In the United States, we generally consider spitting a disgusting habit. Most people who are born and raised in America would find these wedding customs a bit strange. You might not think spitting is so bad, however, when you learn what Romanians do to their brides! They kidnap them! In Romania and other parts of Eastern Europe, the groom must rescue his kidnapped bride-to-be. He does this in one of several ways. He can pay a ransom. Buying drinks for all the kidnappers is also a key to release the bride, or the groom can be overly romantic.
Would you participate in these wedding customs?
If you think you’d be okay with these types of wedding customs, then you might also be willing to join the Greeks in some of their other weddings customs. For instance, the groom shows how much he trusts his best man, known as the “koumbaro” in Greek. He does this by allowing his bestie to give him a close shave before the wedding! And, to make sure that a Greek couple will have lots of Greek babies, there’s a fertility tradition. They roll a baby (as in, a real, live one!) all around on the soon-to-be-married couple’s bed.
If you are marrying a Spaniard, you might be a little wealthier by the end of your wedding day. This is because wedding customs in Spain include the groom gifting his bride-to-be with 13 gold coins! It symbolizes a willingness to share all that they have with each other. After researching wedding customs for this post, I decided that I’m quite relieved that I did not get married in Scotland.
This is where pre-wedding blackenings occur! A blackening usually happens to the groom but can also happen to the bride. Picture yourself feeling anxious and excited about your wedding day to follow, when suddenly you are abducted by a group of your “friends”. These “friends” strip your clothes off and cover you in black soot, dark syrup, flour and feathers! As if that’s not enough, your “pals” would then parade you around for all to see!
Less violent traditions that might be to your liking
In Venezuela, they have a sweet wedding custom. The bride and groom sneak away from their reception party without anyone noticing. They consider it good luck if they don’t get caught during their escape. If you happen to be the first one to notice that they’re gone, then some of that good luck is showered on you, as well! Polterabend is a German custom. After your wedding guests smash a ton of pottery all over the place, you and your beloved sweep it up together. It is your first task as husband and wife, and it symbolizes your willingness and ability to help each other overcome adversities in life.
Do you have any special wedding customs in your family, country or community? While we’re talking about unique wedding day traditions, you might want to check out this article. It’s about trending Christian wedding customs!