Uniting Wedding Cultures Worldwide
It’s no secret that weddings come in various styles and sizes. Different cultures each offer unique wedding rituals and traditions, making each wedding reflect heritage in a truly special way. In a world so full of rich culture, The Manor has collected a compilation of fascinating customs including Indian, Greek, Jewish, Chinese, and Polish culture to share with you!
Indian Wedding Customs
Did you know that Indian wedding celebrations span a total of three days? Indian culture celebrates a pre-wedding, main wedding, and post wedding consisting of several ceremonies. The parents of the bride prepare for this momentous occasion by fasting prior to the ceremony because it is believed to honor purity. Also, intricate henna tattoos are drawn on the hands and feet of the bride and her bridesmaids prior to the main wedding. These tattoos symbolize a deep bond between the bride and the woman chosen to stand beside her.
An Indian wedding showcases an array of bold and rich beautiful colors such as red, gold, orange and burgundy. The main wedding ceremony takes place under a canopy known as a mandap, which is decorated with vibrant flowers. When you attend an Indian wedding, be sure to express yourself by wearing these fun bold colors and dress them up with statement jewels.
Contrary to American culture, where rings are exchanged, in Indian culture the groom places a necklace, known as the mangalsultra, around the bride’s neck. This necklace is symbolic of a strong bond of their love, enough to last over 100 years.
Greek Wedding Traditions
Similar to American culture, an engagement in Greek culture is customary. The groom asks the bride’s father for her hand in marriage. Unlike American traditions, however, guests participate in a tradition of smashing plates to signify good luck for the new married couple. On their wedding day, the bride and groom wear crowns during the ceremony and are honored as King and Queen for the day.
Dancing is an important custom for a Greek wedding. Guests hold hands in a circle and rotate while performing a traditional dance, “The Kalamatianos”. “Opa!” is the saying that guests joyously proclaim as they dance. To conclude their wedding, the bride and groom finally take to the dance floor. During their last dance as husband and wife, guests pin money onto them for good fortune.
Jewish Weddings That Honor Hebrew Heritage
In Jewish culture, the groom is referred to as “Chatan” while the bride is referred to as “Kallah”. It is traditional for the Chatan and Kallah not see one another for one week prior to their wedding day. This extensive period of time builds anticipation for the wedding day!
Similar to Greek weddings, the Chatan and Kallah are deemed king and queen for the day; the queen sits on her throne while guests toast to both the bride and groom.
The most well-known ritual identified with Jewish weddings is the breaking of the glass. The groom will shatter a glass with his foot, symbolizing the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, thereby concluding the ceremony. Guests will joyously yell, “Mazel Tov,” congratulating the newlyweds and wishing them good luck.
Celebrating Chinese Wedding Culture
When planning a Chinese wedding, the wedding day is carefully chosen. Chinese culture places great importance on the symbolism of birthdays and zodiac signs.
The color red is symbolic on a wedding day, representing luck, loyalty, and loyalty and warding away evil. In fact, wedding invitations are often sent out in a long, red envelope. Additionally, the groom wears a headpiece ornate with red tassels.
A tea ceremony is also a Chinese tradition. As a public display of respect, the bride serves tea to her parents and new in-laws. To conclude the wedding festivities, both the bride and groom parade to each table and thank their guests for attending their special day and the start of their new life together.
Polish Wedding Traditions
It is a polish tradition for the bride and groom walk together down the aisle. After the ceremony, loose change and dollar bills are tossed at the bride and groom on their way out of the church. Once the loose change is collected, guests hug and kiss the newlyweds and gift them with abundant amounts of money.
Instead of catching a bouquet, Polish culture encourages bridesmaids to quickly find the bride outside the church. It is believed that whoever touches the bride first, will become married. During the reception, the bride and groom eat salted bread, a symbol of prosperity.
“Oczepiny”, is a ritual that involves the bride being surrounded by a circle of single women. The maid of honor removes the bride’s veil, and as in custom another married woman pins a cap to the bride’s head. A Polish bride is finally considered a married woman once this ritual is complete.
Each culture celebrates weddings uniquely, from the ceremony and reception to duration, garments and religion. Though one theme is certain, each culture displays and shares the same love. The Manor welcomes weddings from all cultures worldwide, and we look forward to planning a wedding that best reflects your heritage.