Wedding Culture Around the World
Wedding invitations promise a celebration of very different wedding traditions from country to country, but they all share one recurring theme: helping the bride and groom start a happy life together. These marriage celebrations often incorporate symbols of love, harmony, purity, wealth, and good luck.
In China, for example, wedding gowns are bright red and are often adorned with golden phoenixes, chrysanthemums, and peonies, all of which are auspicious signs for the couple. In Japan, however, purple is the color of love and brides often choose to wear elaborately decorated silk kimonos.
Wedding celebrations are multi-day elaborate affairs in many countries. In the Middle East, each marriage consists of five celebrations, each with a different purpose, while in Africa, the families of the couple come together for several days of song, dance, and festive colors. In India, weddings may last as long as six days, and the bride and groom are not considered officially married until they have made seven encirclements around the presence of the Sacred Fire.
In the United States, wedding traditions come from a variety of different sources. The wedding cake originated in Italy where a cake or loaf of bread was traditionally broken over the bride’s head for fertility. The best man tradition comes from Germany where it was often necessary to kidnap one’s bride from a neighboring town and a best man (or several) was needed to keep her family members from stealing her back. One modern tradition that is purely American, however, is that of couples writing their own wedding vows.
No matter the culture, weddings are a time to come together and celebrate!
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