7 most bizarre wedding traditions

7 of the world’s most unusual wedding traditions

Marriage is a universal occasion and is one of the few similarities countries across the globe have in common. In many societies, preparing for a wedding involves booking a venue, getting the wedding dress and inviting the guests. But with the following weird and wonderful wedding traditions it is clear just how diverse weddings can be; varying from smelly, gross, painful and just plain weird.

Woman hugging tree

Weird wedding tradition 1: Finding the right spouse

Finding the right person to marry is usually based on personality, however, the Daur people from China see this in a completely different way. The Daur people get a baby chick and as a sign of union cut it open holding the knife together (just a little different from cutting a wedding cake!). They then remove and examine the liver and if it is in good shape it’s a sign that the marriage will be a success and the wedding date can be set. However if it’s a bad liver, the couple continue searching for a healthy chick’s liver before they can marry.

Weird wedding tradition 2: ‘Do you take this tree as your lawfully wedded husband?’.

Weirdly enough it’s been known for people to marry outside of the human race. In Australia a man took the phrase ‘man’s best friend’ to a new level when he married his dog, but what tops that on the weird-ometer is tree weddings. As part of an Indian superstition, if women are born when Mars and Saturn are under the seventh house, this makes them ‘mangliks’. Mangliks are thought to be cursed resulting in either divorce or the death of a spouse. To protect themselves from this curse the women must be married first… to a tree. After the ceremony the tree is cut down and killed to take the curse with it. After this the marriage will be a great success!

Weird wedding tradition 3: Weeping in joy

The Tujia people of China prepare for a wedding one month before the wedding day by weeping. The bride begins by weeping for an hour a day, and is then joined by her mother 10 days later. The day after this, the grandmother must join in and this continues until all the females in the family are crying daily for an hour. Thankfully it’s not an act of sadness but of joy, and because the women all weep in different tones the collected noise sounds almost like a song.

Weird wedding tradition 4: Marital bonding

Unfortunately for the Indonesian Tidong community that horrible feeling of not being able to go to the toilet is just part of their marriage customs. The newlyweds must be confined to the house for three days after the wedding, and during this time cannot use the bathroom or leave. The Tidong people believe that if the couple can make it through something this hard, then they will have a successful marriage filled with healthy babies! And of course they’ve always got the glorious relief to look forward to at the end.

Weird wedding tradition 5: Blackening of the bride

In Scotland the ‘blackening of the bride’ is a unique pre-wedding tradition in which friends and family find anything disgusting and sloppy then simultaneously throw it at the bride; smelly fish, rotten eggs, baked beans, the contents of bin cans – yuck! The idea is that if the bride can learn to face humiliation then she is more prepared for marriage. Surely making her sing karaoke would be slightly more hygienic, but just as humiliating?

Weird wedding tradition 6: The wooden spoon

Some hopeful brides dream of that sparkling diamond ring and the joy of presenting it to their friends and family. But how would the bride feel if they were presented with a wooden spoon instead? Traditionally given to the person who came last in a British sporting competition, being given a wooden spoon to mark your engagement seems a bit disheartening. In Wales, the man carves a ‘love spoon’ which symbolises his desire to feed his future wife and provide for her. The bride is supposed to wear the wooden spoon around her neck instead of a ring – certainly a cheaper option but far from glamourous!

Weird wedding tradition 7: Fishy feet

In most cultures the wedding reception usually means a night of fun. Unfortunately for the men of South Korea the wedding is concluded in a slightly different way. The groom is subjected to having his feet beaten with a cane, but most often, with a stinky fish! The family members and groomsmen tie the groom’s feet together and take turns to beat the soles of his feet; a sometimes painful tradition, but intended to be humorous. Only after the beating is over may he retire to his wife for the night, that’s if she lets him in the bed with his smelly feet!

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