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5 Unique Wedding Traditions Around the World

A beautiful Latina lying on the ground, in her white dress.
Learn the most bizarre wedding traditions around the world.

Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between countries, cultures, ethnicities, religious beliefs and social classes. While everyone adheres to their own ways, sometimes it’s difficult to avoid comparing one from the other.

Unique customary practices, superstitions, and rituals are what set wedding ceremonies apart from each other. From stolen shoes in India, ransoming the bride in Russia, to burying bourbon in Southern USA, here are 5 of the most interesting and zany wedding customs from all over the world:

  1. Burying Bourbon in Southern USA

    In some of America's southern states, they practice all sorts of superstitious beliefs and rituals which have also influenced their wedding traditions. One of their most distinct practices is burying a full bottle of bourbon at or near the wedding venue exactly one month before the couple exchange vows.

    Southerners believe that this tradition can help ward off rain during the wedding day. Regardless if the weather plays along or not, the bourbon will be dug up, shared and enjoyed by everyone during the reception.

  2. Joota Chupai (Hiding the Shoes) of India

    Joota Chupai is a jovial ritual present in almost all Indian weddings. This famous Indian tradition can only be characterized in two words, mischievous and fun. Joota is a traditional Indian footwear with complex patterns embroidered all over it. It is what the typical Hindu groom usually sports during the wedding ceremony.

    On his way to the mandap (altar), the groom will take off his shoes marking the start of the ritual. Consequently, the bride's family would attempt to steal or hide the shoes in order to hold it hostage for the groom to ransom it later on. The groom’s family, on the other hand, will try their best to thwart the bride’s family and friends from stealing the shoes.

    This tradition is meant to symbolize both sides of the family’s willingness to share a lifetime of laughter and fun together.

  3. Russia’s Ransom Bride

    Russia’s tradition of vykup nevesty or buying out the bride is one of the most playful and mischievous wedding practices around the world. This tradition kicks off with the bride’s family and friends stealing and hiding her away from the groom.

    In order for him to get his bride back, a series of challenges designed and arranged by the bridesmaids need to be completed. If the groom fails to complete a challenge, he has to pay either real cash or any kind of gift as compensation.

    This playful tradition is meant to symbolize that Russian women will never settle for a man who will not fight tooth and nail for them.

  4. The Crying Brides of China

    An existing wedding custom in an ethnic group from China requires the bride to cry on purpose for an hour each day one month before the wedding. 10 days later, her mother joins in, and then another 10 days later, her grandmother joins them both. By the end of the month, every female in the family is expected to cry alongside the bride.

    It’s meant to signify extreme happiness towards the upcoming wedding. On the wedding day, as the women weep in different tones, it produces a sound almost like a song.

    Historically, Asian women were inferior to men. Although gender equality in most Asian countries has already come a long way since, this Chinese wedding custom reflects the highly patriarchal societies of the past.

  5. Peru’s Cintas de la Torta or Cake Pull

    This Latin wedding tradition is equivalent to the bouquet toss. In a typical Peruvian wedding, the wedding cake is purposely baked with strings in it. One of the strings is attached to a ring buried inside the cake.

    During the reception, Latina guests are then invited to gather around the wedding cake and choose which end of the string they’d like to pull. Whoever pulls a string with the ring tied to it is believed to be the next bride.

    If you plan to marry a foreign bride, having at least a bit of an idea on how different cultures hold their wedding ceremonies is of immense importance. You might find these wedding customs a bit bizarre, however, they are a reflection of a country’s culture and heritage.


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You have to meet the women to marry them! We have group singles tours departing nearly every month!