Most people are brought up to understand the traditions of marriages and weddings. But do we know the wedding traditions of other countries?  Here are five international marriage and wedding traditions from around the world that you might not be familiar with:

The ribbon pull: in some western cultures the bride will toss her bouquet to her unmarried female guests. In Peru however, the wedding cake is made with ribbons tucked between the layers and each woman can pull a ribbon out.  The ribbon with a fake wedding ring attached is said to be next in line for marriage.

Jumping over the broom: in African-American weddings it is quite common for the couple to jump over a broom as part of the ceremony.  This tradition is rooted in the days of slavery when marriage between slaves wasn’t permitted and so the couple would jump over the broom together to formalise their union.

Bride bribery: in Russia, the groom has to earn his bride’s hand before they can marry.  He must arrive at the bride’s home on the wedding day where the bride’s friends and family can refuse him until he presents gifts, money or perhaps undergoes some light humiliation. Only after he has passed his tests can he see his bride.

Shoe ransom: after a Pakistani wedding, the couple may return home for the ceremony called “showing of the face” which takes place under a shawl whilst the wife removes her veil.  As this takes place, the wife’s female friends steal the husband’s shoes and demand money for their return.

Wedding dress(es): in modern China, brides often choose three wedding dresses rather than one.  Their dress choices show a clear coming together of the modern and traditional.  The first dress is a typical qipao or cheongsam, which is a traditional embroidered dress, often in red which is considered a strong and lucky colour. Next, the bride might well swap for a more traditional western-style white wedding gown. Later in the day, the third dress change will be to an evening gown in a colour and style of the bride’s choice.

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