Category Archives: World Weddings

Weddings from the World: Chinese Weddings

Photography: Brandon Kidd http://greenweddingshoes.com/real-wedding-erin-bens-hong-kong-wedding/

Photography: Brandon Kidd
http://greenweddingshoes.com/real-wedding-erin-bens-hong-kong-wedding/

As we have seen these last weeks, marriage ceremonies throughout the world are so different that you will never see exactly the same celebration on any. Each country has different customs and traditions that make their weddings unique. This week, we will be learning about the picturesque Chinese weddings.

Before the process of the wedding starts, an intermediary takes care of all the formalities of the proposal. First they will give one gift to the parents of the bride and the groom and also get the birth information of her so they can investigate. An expert will decide if their marriage will be viable based on astrology. If it is, the groom’s parents will provide details about their son to do the same and compare their astrological chart. If everything goes well, both families will meet and evaluate the agreement.

Once the marriage is decided, they start exchanging gifts between the two families. The parents of the bride are in charge of choosing the date of the wedding. This whole process can take even up to two years.

To prepare for the wedding, the bride will be in a secluded room with her closest friends. During that time, they will sing to cry over the loss of her family. In the meantime, the groom will get the bridal bed installed the day before the wedding. However, they are usually helped by someone who has a lot of children since that is considered to give them luck.

Something very typical about Chinese weddings is color red. Red for them symbolizes love and prosperity. Therefore, it is used in the bride and groom’s gowns, decorations, gifts and much more. The bride, dress in red, will get her hair arranged as a symbol of the initiation of adulthood. Also, she will get a red veil to cover her face and she is taken to her parents as a gratitude sign.  Once she is ready, there will be a procession to take her to her future husband’s house. The groom, also in red, will undergo some ceremonies at the altar.

They will the go to enjoy dinner at the bride’s house and at this point, the veil is taken off the bride’s face which, after a series of rituals, represents that the couple is now married. Then, the couple will offer a cup of tea to their respective parents-in-law to signify they have become one family. After that, the bride receives her wedding gift. A red envelope with money.

Finally, the wedding celebration ends with a huge feast accompanied with fireworks, cigars and confetti.

Weddings from the World: Armenian Weddings

Continuing with our series about Weddings from the World, this week we have chosen to talk about Armenian marriages.  Armenian weddings are full of personality thanks to its wide variety of traditions, customs, dances and music which makes them exceptionally different to what we are accustomed to.

Before the wedding, the future husband’s family will house the future wife and ask her father for permission to let the relationship continue. Once they get permission, the future groom gives the future bride the engagement ring. To celebrate, they toast with Armenian cognac and they even hold an engagement party hosted by the girl’s parents.

Unlike other cultures, in Armenian, the family of the groom are the ones in charge of paying the wedding costs. The celebration will start will a lot of rituals the evening before the religious wedding, let’s go through them:

  • Late at night, the groom, family and friends will go to the bride’s house to deliver the veil she will wear during the wedding. They will play music, dance and bring gifts. While they are celebrating, they steal the shoes that the bride will wear on the wedding ceremony which symbolizes how the girl will be taken away from her family. To recover the shoes, the best man and maid of honor must pay a ransom.
  • The day of the wedding, the groom and his family will take the wedding dress to the bride and will ask the father permission for her to wear it.
  • The brother or the closest male to the bride, will put her shoes on and place money inside to wish her luck and fortune.
  • Before putting her veil on, the bride will pass it over the bridesmaids head to wish them luck in finding good husbands. Then, a happily married woman will put her the veil on to have good luck.
  • Since the bridesmaids are single, the wedding day they will write their names on the right sole of the bride’s shoe. Once the party is over, the bride will check her sole and that name which can still be read, will be the next to get married.
  • Green and red ribbons are placed by his mom on the groom’s jacket to symbolize happiness, promises, health and wellness.

The Religious Wedding

During the ceremony, the priest will bless the rings and then put the hands of the couple together to represent their union.  The couples make their vows and promise to support and commit to each other. The best man will lift a cross over their heads to legitimize their union. After that, the priest puts their forehands together to represent that even if they might have different opinions, they must agree based on trust, love and solidarity. Also, the couple gets crowned to symbolize their power and authority while taking the lead in their home. Finally, the priest will pray, they drink a glass of blessed wine and commit to live their lives as one.

  • When they leave the church, two doves are released to wish the, happiness and love. In the meantime, guests will throw flowers and petals to the couple.
  • Before celebrating, the couple will break decorated plates at the entrance of the venue. This ward off evil spirits as well as negative energies. They also do it before they enter their new home.
  • When they enter, the go under an arch made of flowers which symbolizes happiness and prosperity.
  • To welcome the couple, the guests will have colored scarves (usually red and green as the groom’s ribbons) and they will wave them while dancing.
  • Finally, we have the shabash which consist on throwing money and coins to the couple to wish them fortune, wealth and good luck.

Weddings from World: Italian Wedding

Photography:Darya Kamalova of Thecablookfotolab http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/3342414

Photography:Darya Kamalova of Thecablookfotolab
http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/3342414

We continue with our articles about the different rituals and traditions of weddings around the world. Today, we will talk about Italian weddings. Italians focus more on the ceremony than on the party and they have some other believes before the marriage that we will talk about.  

Before the Wedding

Before the marriage, they start celebrating with what they call “La Promessa” which is a list of questions that the pastor asks the couple at the same church where they will get married. After that, he will give them the certificate to get married which they will take to the town hall. There, they will sing the legal marriage license application which is published for 8 days before the civil marriage is signed.

Few days before the wedding, “fa ill letto” (the bed is made) in the future house of the couple. Friends and family get together to decorate the couple’s bedroom. The couple’s moms make the bed and then they place chocolates, candies, flowers and money on it.

The Wedding

The day of the wedding, family and friends divide to get to the house of the groom and bride. They toast and greet and then, in a caravan, they head to the church behind the couple’s car. The religious ceremony is basically a catholic ceremony; it may have some modifications but it is in essence the same. After the ceremony comes the best part, the party!

As you may already know, Italians have an obsession with food and weddings are not an exception. There is one rule, eat as much as possible. Therefore, once the ceremony ends, the couple go out to take the pictures as the guests enter the venue.

The party starts and the guests have a snack while the couple is out. Once the couple returns, everybody goes to the main room.  There, guests can see the huge menu which is usually really assorted. Two appetizers, two main courses, two garnishes and of course desserts. After that, they serve coffee, fruit, candies and amaro (liqueur) for digestion.

Once everybody eats and have full bellies, the bride and groom stand next to the souvenirs so guests give them money because gifts are no longer in vogue. In the meantime, people go to the disco part of the room and dance!

 

Weddings from the World: Buddhist Weddings

Photography: Alison Mayfield Photography Studio http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/621797

Photography: Alison Mayfield Photography Studio
http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/621797

We have been learning about weddings from the world, their different customs, traditions and much more. This time, we will talk about Buddhist weddings.  When we think on a Buddhist wedding, we might imagine the bride with a super colorful wedding dress and a priest that looks like Dalai Lama. However, our perception and believes of other culture weddings are usually based on what we have seen on movies or TV shows and the reality is nothing similar to that.

When discussing marriage in the Buddhist religion, it is important to take into account that they do not have a specific wedding ritual or ceremony because they do not consider marriage a religious event; therefore, when they celebrate a wedding, what they do is the called couple’s blessing. Even if they take different traditions and symbols from other religion weddings, the ceremony is not as stiff as a Muslim or catholic wedding.

Buddhists give a great deal of importance to astrology, that’s why everything related to commitment and weddings is dictated by the monks who, beforehand, prepare and interpret the couple’s astrological chart. Based on those, they determine different aspects such as the time and date of the wedding.

They marry in front of an altar that has the Buddha. It is usually decorated with flowers and other elements chosen by the couple. Friends and family will be behind the couple and the Buddhist monk will usually be standing higher than the rest of the people.

During the wedding ceremony, the couple must be together in a posture known as the Wai, which is gesture of respect, before receiving the Buddhist monk’s blessing. Then, the monks will start the ceremony with a sermon and once he finishes sharing his thoughts, he will lead the vow interchange which is a vital part of a Buddhist wedding.

Once done, to express their gratitude, the couple offers food to the monks and Buddha and the monks will chant the wedding prayer and then will eat. Only after they finish eating, the senior monk will bless the couple and all the guests with holy water.

The celebration after the wedding ceremony is a traditional wedding party with food, music and dancing. The type of food will depend on the country where the couple is from but it usually includes pork, beef, rice and other traditional dishes.

 

Weddings from the World: Gypsy Weddings

Wedding FamilyWe have been visiting different cultures for the last weeks so you know more about how wedding traditions are in other places of the world and in case you want to theme your wedding based on a culture. This week, it is the turn of gypsies. Gipsy weddings are unique, full of color, celebration and fun, let’s learn more about them.

First of all, you should know that if the bride is not a virgin, she cannot get married unless she finds a man who is not married and wants to marry her despite that. To determine if the bride is a virgin, she has to pass the “test of the handkerchief” which consists of getting the bride into a private room and extract blood from her hymen. The “ajuntaora” uses a handkerchief and it must show three roses to prove her virginity, otherwise, the girl cannot get married. Once they pass the test, the wedding celebration starts. All guests will break their shirts to show joy. The couple will be raised over shoulders and everyone will throw caramelized almonds while singing.

The wedding dress is actually two dresses. One is pink and goes under representing femininity and the other one, white, represents purity. The dress must always be new and purchased by the bride’s father. The groom wears a conventional suit.

Usually the religious ceremony is Christian; however, some gypsies are married at the Roma rite and by the Catholic or evangelistic church while others are just married by the Roma rite. The bridesmaid and best man are usually the same of baptism and some other times, uncles. The pastor usually invites the “church’s elderly man” who, out loud, recites a mix of prayers and petitions for the couple.

Gypsy weddings usually last for several days and they have a huge feast. This may also vary from the region where the gypsies are settled. The gypsy wedding ceremony is all full with hymns or spiritual songs played by guitars and other instruments. Everybody sings in unison so it is basically a chorus coordinated by a director. They are always sung in groups, preventing them individually. So they enjoy a chorus that will be coordinated by a director.

Weddings from the World: Japanese Weddings

Photographer: Vivian Chen  http://www.100layercake.com/blog/2014/03/12/diy-california-chinese-cultural-wedding/

Photographer: Vivian Chen
http://www.100layercake.com/blog/2014/03/12/diy-california-chinese-cultural-wedding/

We have been talking and learning about weddings celebrated in other countries, with cultures very different from ours and that you can bring you so you can immerse into their traditions. Today we will learn about Japanese weddings, which ceremonies are full of tradition even if they have been very influenced by the Western lately.

In Japan, you may see Christian, Buddhist, Shinto and non-religious weddings. In addition, the couple may choose a style of ceremony without being part of their religion.

When you receive the invitation for a Japanese wedding, the recipient must return it with an answer. Also, you have to take cash with you so you can give it to them as a gift in a special envelope called “Shugi-bukuro” with your name written on the front. The amount for the gift will depend on the relationship you have with the couple. Just take into account that the amount must always start with an odd number because when the Japanese marry, they are looking forward union and not dividing anything between two.

The bride and groom’s gowns are very traditional. The bride wears the “shiramuko” which is a white silk kimono. The most appealing detail is that they cover they head with a circular hat called “tsuno-kakushi” which purpose is to cover the horns (jealousy) to her mother-in-law and future mother. Really traditional brides will also paint their faces white to symbolize virginity and purity. Once they are married, the bride usually changes her costume to celebrate. They usually use red because it is a good luck color. The groom carries a “montsuki” which is black kimono. They also change for the celebration by wearing a gray kimono or a black Western suit.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The wedding are held in a temple called “Shinto”. Guests and family are to enter first, followed by the bride who enters taking her mother’s hand and leaves by taking her mother-in-law’s hand. After that, the groom enters taking his father’s hand. Finally, the Shinto priest enters lastly.  The ceremony take approximately 20 minutes. It begins with a prayer in classical Japanese, then the couple exchanges the “Juzu” which is a type of old rosary and then exchange the rings.

The most important part of the ceremony is when they drink the “San San Kudu,” which means Three-Three-Nine and represents heaven, earth and man. This act symbolizes union of the couple and the gods. They use three cups called “sakazuki” and drink in three sips. Number nine is three times number three, which is a sacred number meant to bring happiness to the couple.

After the ceremony, all the guests and family members walk, in procession following the couple for the family photos. Now is when the bride takes off her hat. Japanese do not usually have physical contact or displays of affection in public, for you to take into consideration.

Weddings from the World: Orthodox Weddings

 

Photography:Whitney Rae Photography http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/298404

Photography:Whitney Rae Photography
http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/image/298404

Wedding ceremonies around the world are varied and really interesting. Through these weeks, we will be learning about the different rituals, customs and traditions of different weddings ceremonies such as the Muslim, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and others. Today, let’s talk about Orthodox wedding ceremonies.

The Orthodox ceremony is very meaningful rite that has been celebrated for centuries. It is full of symbolism which marriage. For instance, love, mutual respect, equality and sacrifice. Everything that happens on it has a special meaning, especially the repetition of most ritual three times to represent and invoke the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity.

The rings used in the ceremony are blessed by the priest beforehand. Then, he will hold the rings while pressing three times the forehead of the groom and bride. Once done, the rings are exchanged and placed on the third finger of the right hand.

After the rings are exchanged, the priest gives the couple lit candles that represent the couple’s purification and their willingness to receive God in their lives. Then, comes the crowning which is the main ritual of Orthodox weddings. The crowns represent the couples as they are the kings of their new home. The crowns are swapped in their heads three times.watch The Belko Experiment movie online now

When the crowning has ended, the couple is guided by the priest in circles around the altar together with the godparents that will guide them through the marriage steps. The will walk three times around the altar with the Bible and the Cross.

Finally, the priest gives his blessing for the couple to have a long, happy and fruitful life together. The rest of the celebration such as the entrance to the church, the party and the dress code is very similar to a catholic wedding.

 

Weddings from the World: Muslim Weddings

Photographer: Marisa Holmes  http://www.stylemepretty.com/2008/07/11/real-wedding-12/

Photographer: Marisa Holmes
http://www.stylemepretty.com/2008/07/11/real-wedding-12/

If you have been invited to a Muslim wedding and you are not sure what to expect, keep reading this comprehensive guide to avoid any surprise. Find below the most important facts:

  • Muslim weddings are held in a Mosque and before the Imam (religious and sometimes political leader). The tradition dictates that all preparations related to the bride’s wedding day, such as clothing or accessories, should not be seen by the groom before the wedding ceremony or it will be bad luck.
  • Islam allows men to marry Christian or Jewish women because those religions have a holy book, however, Muslim women are not allowed to marry a man who is not Muslim.
  • The marriage contract has to be certified by the groom and his tutor—known as Wali—and at the ceremony, the Wali dedicates some words to the couple.
  • The provisions and laws are contained in their holy book called the Koran which is read during the ceremony.
  • The traditional dowry is not what most people believe. It is a gift from the future husband to his wife-to-be; for instance, an engagement ring, earrings, among others.
  • The couple must appear before the “sheikh” (a kind of Islamic magistrate) with three witnesses to perform the marriage contract.
  • According to Islamic law, after the ceremony, the couple is legally and spiritually bound; nevertheless, the bride returns home to plan the wedding celebration which happens one or two weeks after.
  • A Muslim wedding usually lasts from three days to a week.
  • The first night’s celebration is exclusive for women. The bride wears a kaftan and has henna marks on her hands and feet to keep the evil spirits away. Each symbol drawn has a meaning. The bride also enjoys a Hamman which is a relaxing steam bath that purifies her. That night, she is escorted by other women with candles, incense, chants and dances that allude to her beauty and to the process she is about to experience.
  • The mother of the groom, hands a tray with keys, bread and milk. The key represents the welcoming to the new family and the food represents abundance.
  • From the second night and on, there is a festival for all family and friends. The celebration depicts all the Muslim tradition and folklore.
  • Unlike other religions, in Muslim weddings, women open the dance!