Unique bridal traditions from around the globe

Marriage is sacred in many cultures, the main difference between ceremonies is the way brides prepare and celebrate the happy couple’s nuptials. Below, with help from Maxi Dress retailer QUIZ, are some of the fascinating traditions in which brides around the world celebrate their special day.


Like China, Indian wedding can be different depending on the region they are happening in. This of course means that the traditions which take place differ too.

Unlike having one special wedding day like in many other countries, Indian wedding can go on for many days.

Before the wedding day the bride would take part in a Mehendi ceremony. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.

Depending on where the bride was born, what she wears will be different. In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others, she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.

A key element in an Indian wedding is the walk around the fire. The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.


As well as many other things, wedding are done slightly differently in Spain than they are in the UK.For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.

Black lace is the traditional material to use for both the Veil and the dress. However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.

Starting in the early morning it is traditional for a Spanish wedding to carrying on into the early hours. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.

In Spain the orange blossom symbolises purity, this is an important factor in the wedding. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!


Many of the traditions in Germany begin before the big day starts. As an example, women save pennies, before she is even engaged which will then be used before the wedding to buy her wedding shoes. The meaning behind this is so that newlywed couple “get off on the right foot”.

Here the traditional white dress is a must and the groom wears a 3 piece suit.

Sending out wedding invitations in Germany is not as simple as just sending an invite out to the guests through the p ost.They send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!

The town registry is the only place in Germany where a civil ceremony can take place. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.

A few days after a civil ceremony takes places, it is important for Polterabend to happen in the next couple of days.Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.

Sawing logs often occurs following a service in the church. A log is set up on a sawhorse and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!

While the bride and groom dance, the brides veil is help up and the couple are underneath, this happens at the wedding reception.When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.


Many regions of China have different traditions, this expected because of the large size of china.

The month leading up the wedding, it is traditional for Tujia brides to cry every day for a month. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.

In Yugar, the grooms will shoot their new wife with an arrow. Fortunately for the brides the arrows do not have arrowheads and cause no damage. After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.

To help with bridal preparations, a ‘good luck woman’ is there on the day of the wedding to do the brides hair how she wishes. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.

The bride will be at her home the morning of the wedding, this is where the groom will collect her. He is greeted at the home by the friends for the bride who block his entry into the house, this is all in good spirit of course.The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.

Qi Pao is the red dress which brides in northern china wear on their wedding day, the dress is covered in gold and silver detailing. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing.

On the wedding night, the bride is given a half-cooked dumpling. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.

From Chinese brides getting shot by a bow and arrow, to being painted in delicate patterns, bridal traditions are very different depending on where you live. But, they’re all a celebration of love and happiness and are special in their own ways. Will you take any inspiration from these traditions for your special day?

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