Bells are ringing, everyone is dressed up fancy and rings are exchanged…sounds a lot like WEDDING TIME!
Ever since I have been traveling, I visited 6 international weddings. Each of them have been special and unique in its own way.
Before I will tell you all about it, here is a fun fact: Do you know why the ring goes onto the ring finger?
…because it is the only finger with a vein that connects to the heart.
Unique Wedding Outfits
While in Europe, the bride wears a beautiful and fancy wedding dress, usually in white, I had the opportunity to dress up into local outfits, when attending international weddings.
In South Africa, for example, I wore traditional tribal clothing, consisting out of a red skirt and a breaded necklace.
In India it is common to wear Sarees, which should be colorful and not black or white. Last named colors are usually worn at funerals, so make sure to avoid those.
New Traditions and Rituals
During international weddings, you will see lots of local traditions and rituals the bride and groom have to fulfill.
Weddings in Germany
In Germany, for example, it is common to have “Polterabend” – an evening when family and friends gather and break lots of kitchenware. The couple then has to clean up together, showing that they get along well.
During the wedding itself, the groom has to get the bride’s garment without using his hands and afterwards sell it to the highest bidder.
Other traditions include sawing a log together or cutting out a heart of cloth, where the groom then has to carry the bride through.
I believe, European weddings are all celebrated in kind of the same style. The only differences are the local traditions and small cultural differences.
Wedding in India
However, Asian and African weddings have been a really unique experience for me. In India a wedding lasts for about 3 days and includes lots of eating and dancing. For example Punjab – a popular and common folk dance.
Another tradition on the 2nd day is to paint the hands and feet of the bride with ”Mehndi” (henna tattoo paste).
Furthermore, no rings are exchanged at an Indian westing but the bride is wearing a necklace (Mangala Sutra), which symbolizes the union of both for 100 years.
Wedding in South Africa
In South Africa, the wedding also lasts for multiple days. The first day is more dedicated towards the whole family, while on the second day all attention is on the groom and wife.
The traditional ceremony includes present exchanges, lots of singing and dancing as well as local rituals. You can read more about my experience of being a Zulu girl for one day on my blog.
One of the best parts of international weddings is its location. While I am used to basic but nicely decorated huge rooms or churches, I had the chance to be at much more unique locations.
This includes a wedding in a fancy church in the USA, a beach wedding in Greece and a fort in Germany to just name a few.
Delicious and local food
Last but not least, we cannot forget about the food. While I am used to finger food, huge cakes and 3 course menus or a buffet, I have eaten some delicious local food at international weddings.
My favourite food of all times is Indian Naan bread with lots of different dips and samosas (pastries with different fillings such as meat or vegetables).
Now it’s your turn! Have you ever been to an international wedding? Tell me your unique experiences!