19 Weird Wedding Traditions from Around the World

Do you know that some countries have rather weird wedding traditions? For instance in China, a groom shoots a bride with arrow while couples in Congo aren’t allowed to smile at the nuptials. In this post, we have gathered 19 weird wedding traditions around the world that impressed us.

Mehndi Tradition in India

Though it’s not very weird, we love this unusual tradition. Before the wedding, an Indian bride and her girlfriends have a mehndi ritual when their skin is painted with henna in an intricate way. That looks incredibly beautiful.

Indian bride with mehndi

Indian bride with mehndi


Congolese Newlyweds Aren’t Allowed to Smile

While there aren’t very weird wedding traditions in the US, there are many of them in Africa. For instance, in Congo, neither bride nor groom is allowed to smile during their entire wedding in order to prove that they are serious about the marriage.

Norwegians Drink a Cake

Though it seems to be one of very strange wedding customs, the things are pretty simple. There is a special type of cake at Norwegian weddings called kransekake. It’s made of iced almond cake rings located in the form of a cone while a bottle of wine is placed in its hollow center.

Norwegian wedding cake

Norwegian wedding cake


Chinese Grooms Shoot Their Brides with Arrows

It seems to be not only one of Chinese weird wedding traditions but also a harsh one. A future husband needs to shoot his bride with headless arrows several times. After that, he collects the arrows and breaks them during the wedding ceremony. That ritual means that their love will last forever.

A Tooth Gift in Fiji

Fiji people can also boast of strange marriage customs. Thus, when a man asks a woman’s father for her hand, he needs to gift a whale tooth to his future father-in-law.

Whale tooth

Whale tooth


Groomsman as a Barber in Greece

In Greece, a groomsman needs to shave the groom’s face with a razor on the wedding day. After that, a groom gets honey and almonds from his future mother-in-law.

Bell Breaking in Guatemala

The parents of newlyweds in Guatemala are allowed smashing things at the wedding. One of the traditions includes breaking a white ceramic bell containing grains when a bride and a groom arrive. This ritual is believed to bring prosperity.

Germans Saw a Log

Soon after the nuptials, the newlyweds in Germany are gifted a log and a saw. They need to saw the log together in order to prove that they can overcome all the obstacles and be a team.

German wedding tradition

German wedding tradition


The Magic Force of a Baby in the Czech Republic

In order to enhance fertility, a baby is placed in the couple’s bed before the wedding. For the same purpose, wedding guests throw rice, peas and lentils on the newlyweds.

Karavay Biting in Russia

In Russia and Ukraine, the newlyweds need to bite a sweetbread adorned with wheat called karavay. Whoever bites the biggest piece without using hands will be the head of the family.

Karavay wedding ritual

Karavay wedding ritual


Wedding Door Games in China

Another example of weird Chinese wedding traditions is door games. Bridesmaids organize a quest for the groom in the morning of his wedding day to prove that he is a decent man to marry the bride. Afterwards, the groom gives the girls envelopes with money.

Bouquet Toss Alternative in Peru

Sometimes, unusual wedding customs have something in common with rather famed rituals. For instance, instead of catching a bridal bouquet, single ladies at Peruvian weddings need to grab a ribbon from a special cake containing a fake wedding ring. The girl who finds the ring is believed to become a bride soon.

Peruvian wedding tradition

Peruvian wedding tradition


Bride’s Abduction in Romania

This is one of unusual marriage rituals that seem to be very scary. But actually, wedding guests playfully abduct a bride and demand a ransom from the groom. As a rule, they ask for a bottle of alcohol or ask the groom to make some actions, like to sing a song. By the way, this custom also exists in Russia and some other countries.

Money Dance in Cuba

When a man dances with a bride at the wedding, he needs to pin money to her dress to help the couple to cover their wedding costs. So, the more men dance with the bride, the more money the newlyweds get.

Money dance tradition

Money dance tradition


Chicken’s Liver Custom in Mongolia

It’s definitely one of the most ruthless and weird marriage rituals in the world. Before setting the wedding date, Mongolian couples need to kill a baby chicken and extract its liver together. If the liver is healthy, they can set the date. Moreover, the newlyweds need to keep it until they are successful.

Public Humiliation in Scotland

The day before their wedding, a bride and a groom are assaulted by their friends and get covered with trash: everything from rotten eggs to flour and feathers. Afterwards, they need to walk around the town. The Scottish people believe that this custom helps to ward off evil spirits.

Scottish wedding tradition

Scottish wedding tradition


Money Earning at Spanish Weddings

The groom’s friends are allowed to cut his tie in small pieces and sell them to the guests. Sometimes, the same is done to the bridal garter. In such a way, they earn the first money for the new family.

Marriage to a Tree

For Western people, that’s one of the most weird marriage rituals which are still followed while it’s absolutely normal for Indian people. The thing is if a bride was born during particular astrological periods that are believed to be cursed, this curse may cause an early death of her husband. In order to get rid of the curse, a girl needs to marry a tree and then the tree is cut down.

Beating the Groom’s Feet in South Korea

It’s another example of harsh and weird wedding traditions. South Korean grooms are subjected to a feet beating ritual before the marriage. His relatives or friends bind his ankles with a rope, take a stick or a dried fish and start beating him. Throughout the process, the groom is questioned and quizzed. In such a way, his character and strength are tested.

Groom's feet beating

Groom's feet beating


Lesly White

Hi everyone! My name is Lesly White. I am the chief editor at TheBestWeddingDresses.com Blog. I am obsessed with wedding dresses and everything related to weddings. In my posts, I like to share the ideas of wedding gowns and accessories as well as provide brides with tips on how to prepare for a wedding.

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