Many brides and grooms wish to incorporate wedding elements from their culture and family traditions as a way of honoring their past and their families. Cultural traditionss are meant to bless and honor the couple as they embark on their new journey together as man and wife!
Here’s a look at four unbelievably beautiful traditions from around the world.
Chinese Tea Ceremony
The Chinese Tea ceremony is a pre-wedding celebration that is the most sacred ritual of Chinese nuptials. It serves as the bride’s symbolic introduction to the groom’s family. While the exact presentation can vary, the ceremony revolves around the serving of tea to both sets of families as a way of showing their acceptance of the marriage.
A complete tea set represents harmony and togetherness. Traditionally, the tea set was part of the bride’s dowry and became something she’d save for her own daughter’s ceremony one day. Sweet tea itself is believed to bring happiness to the couple and to help foster good relations between the bride and the groom’s parents. Legend has it that if you place lotus seeds and two red dates in the teapot, children will come into the marriage early on and ensure a lifetime of happiness.
Josh Gruetzmacher Photography
Indian Hindu Mehndi
Traditional Hindu weddings are often big and elaborate affairs filled with different festivities before, during and after the wedding. The pre-wedding painting of the hands and feet of the bride, called a mehndi, is both incredibly beautiful and also filled with tradition and meaning. Henna has been used for hundreds of years to increase the blessings to the couple. Traditional henna tattoos include dedications to Hindu gods and goddesses and depictions of sacred symbols, and modern day designs often hide the groom’s initials among the intricate patterns.
Elizabeth Nord Photography
Greek Wedding Crowns
For Greek Orthodox weddings, there are multiple traditional rituals that are performed throughout the ceremony, each full of profound symbolism and meaning, but the Crowning is the centerpiece. Signifying the nobility of marriage, the priest crowns the couple as queen and king of their home. The priest places the crowns on the couple’s heads while they face the altar, and then the crowns are swapped on the couple’s heads three times. Most rituals are performed three times each, to represent the Holy Trinity.
According to ancient custom, the crowns are to stay with the couple for life—some couples are even buried in them! Crowns are fashioned from any durable material, like garland wreaths, flowers, or semi-precious stones and are joined by a white ribbon to represent unity.
Sophie Kaye Photography
Celtic Claddagh Ring
The Claddagh ring is one of the most well-known Irish wedding traditions, but most people probably don’t realize the significance or symbolism behind them. The ring features a center heart, held in place by two hands with a crown on top, and are typically passed down from mother to daughter. They represent love, friendship, and loyalty.
The hand it is worn on, and the direction the heart is pointing, speaks to the bride’s marital status. Single ladies wear the ring on their right hand with the point of the heart facing downward. When in a relationship, the ring is turned around, symbolizing that her heart has been captured. And when the woman becomes engaged, the ring is moved over to her left hand, with the point of the heart facing the fingers, with it finally being flipped around at the wedding.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Julia Hurwitz is a freelance writer and Marketing Manager based in New York City. Her interests include travel, global craft, healthy baking, entertaining and exploring the outdoors.
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Post tags: Chinese Tea Ceremony, Cultural Traditions, Greek Wedding, Mehndi
Post categories: Moments