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American wedding customs are still popular today, from the bride tossing her bouquet to single female guests, to wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue. Even the most non-traditional bride happily takes part.
However, America doesn’t have a monopoly on wedding rituals — many other countries have their own beloved customs.
Some are sweet (female guests in Sweden kiss the groom when his new wife leaves the room).
Some are perplexing (certain Indian brides must first marry a tree for her husband to chop down).
And some are downright strange (engaged pairs in Mongolia must kill and butcher a chicken to find a healthy liver before being allowed to wed).
But what binds these seemingly disparate customs from near and far is one simple thing: love. If you find them charming, adopt it for your own ‘‘I dos’’ even if its outside your heritage. When it comes to love and weddings there are no borders.
❏ Up for a party? Wedding celebrations in Morocco can be a week-long affair, with preparation rituals, pre-wedding ceremonies, and a days-long feast.
❏ Instead of confetti, in Italy the couple are showered with coloured candy almonds - five each for health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.
❏ In Ireland brides and grooms must keep both feet on the floor at all times when dancing or evil fairies will sweep her away.
❏ Congolese brides and grooms must not smile for the entire wedding day, to show they’re taking the marriage seriously.
❏ In China the prospective husband shoots his bride with a bow and arrow (hopefully with the arrowheads removed) then breaks the arrows during the ceremony.
❏ Opting for a wishing tree over the traditional guest book, the Dutch are encouraged to hang notes of good wishes on a small potted tree.
❏ No crash dieting for brides on Mauritus: the chubbier the better for the husband who is thought to be wealthy with such a well-fed wife.
❏ Kenya Masai brides’ dads spit on them so as to not tempt fate by being too supportive.
❏ A South Korean groom has to tolerate having his feet whipped by family and friends.
❏ Every man who dances with a Cuban bride pins money to her dress to help the couple pay for their wedding and honeymoon.