WORLDWIDE WEDDINGS

  • For all religions and beliefs in the world, the married life holds inside a strong spiritual push.
    Those who want a wedding to be happy, should think of sanctity and dignity of this sacrament, which goes beyond pure natural love. The rite of Christian wedding is almost identical throughout the world and replaces or supports local traditions. Specifically, in many non western countries three rites are celebrated: the delivery of dowry, civil marriage (often imported by the same colonizers who Christianized the area) and religious wedding. The last one is often considered the most important.
    On the Bible: Grooms love your brides as Jesus Christ loves his Church, brides love your grooms as the Church loves its saviour.

Jewish rite

Wedding is authorized only if bride and groom are both Jewish: if one of them is not, the Jewish parent disinherits the son or daughter.
The wedding rite is celebrated in Hebrew or in ancient Aramaic.
All is based on the rite of the ring and happah (a canopy covered with flowers, symbol of couple's unity). First of all the groom promises to comply with religious obligations; the rabbi offers to him a handkerchief and then he can lift the veil from the face of the bride.
The couple approaches the happah where the bride turns many times around the groom, then they drink wine in a blessed goblet.

Islam

The wedding is allowed only if bride and groom are both Muslim: if one of them is not, the parent (extremist) does not give consent even at life's cost.
In Islam wedding is an actual wedding contract, it has no sacrament value, therefore it is not part of some ceremony. In the first stage the families of bride and groom and bride and groom meet for the first time, the wedding promise is made and the dowry amount is established for the future bride in case they divorce one day, whereas to the family it is given in that moment. The woman (who sets the amount of dowry) cannot refuse the groom, but if the man does not have a pleasant aspect she can increase the price so that the groom cannot afford it, forcing them to give up on the wedding.

Japanese rite

Many Japanese celebrate the Shinto rite in a temple with a priest of that faith, others instead celebrate it at groom's home.
The bride leaves home with a white dress, that represents mourning (she dies for her parents to be born again with the groom), she is accompanied by a nankodo (a sort of friend of her family) to the house of the groom where the wedding is celebrated in the form of a banquet. The rite is called san-san-ku-do: bride and groom drink in three different goblets of three different sizes three times, then nakodo accompanies bride and groom to the bedroom, where they drink again three times from three different goblets.

Hindu rite

For most Hindus, for women wedding is a sort of initiation. There are eight kinds of ceremony, the most popular one is Brahamana.
Even in this case bride and groom who still don't know each other are introduced separately in a pavilion, then the father of the bride hands his daughter to the young man (it's the woman who takes the dowry to the groom's family, since the male son is taken away from them, a source of revenue, so the living is ensured to his parents).
The young groom shall promise to his father and to the future bride to behave with dignity with her and to comply with the three objectives of life: wellness, devotion and pleasure. The ceremony takes place around the fire where offerings are placed, the groom guides the bride around fire tying together his clothes with hers. Then they climb a grinder and take seven steps on seven piles of rice. At the end of the ceremony bride and groom are sprinkled with blessed water.

FAR EAST

In this wide territory ancient Chinese, Hindu, Malaysian ceremonies are mixed together with autochthon civilization, but wedding is a strictly private event, and its complex traditional heritage is hardly understandable to western eyes. The Chinese wedding has an intimate nature and the most propitious date is set by astrologists. Once the young woman was claimed by the suitor with a sum currently used for the nuptial dress. Once the rite is celebrated, the tea ceremony starts, at groom's parents' home first, then at bride's parents' one. Then the party is for friends with a wedding banquet. The Malaysian wedding complies with Islamic ceremony: the rite is carried out at evening, the groom vows before the best men and the officer and only family and close friends attend. The day after there is the party. At lunch time the family of the bride sends to groom's house a tray with food and nuptial dress; the groom goes to bride's home with musicians who invoke the blessing of the couple; the groom has to overcome a series of obstacles, then once he gets permission to see her with her face unveiled, he finally goes with her on two thrones set up for the ceremony. Guests walk by launching leaves and flower petals, perfumed water and rice. Bride and groom feed each other with rice to represent the new unity and finally there is the party with friends. The Indian wedding generally takes place in the early morning: the bride enters among guests sitting on the floor, after ritual offerings to the gods: nine types of cereals for prosperity, bananas for continuity of the descent, a sacred vase for religious devotion, rice for fertility, and flowers for beauty. The groom ties to the neck of the bride the Thali, a golden jewel with religious drawings blessed the day earlier with a long prayer. After purification chants and prayers to Ganesh , the groom receives the Kapu, a small wrist lace to keep wicked spirits away. And a ring is put on bride's foot. At this point the couple with the music playing, takes seven steps around the sacred fire, then the golden pendant is tied on bride's forehead. The following banquet takes place inside the temple, and is usually vegetarian.

Africa

- The bride wears a veil of braided hair, representing privacy.
- The attendants wear traditional regional clothes. Wine is poured on the floor as an offering to the divinity.

Germany

- In the earlier night party, jokes are made to the couple and dishes are broken.
- Beer, wine and marzipan are served.

Arabia

- The bride wears a refined Caftan and her hands and feed are decorated with henna
- During the reception, men and women are separated.

Caribbean & Bermuda

- The cake is made with fruits and rum; it can have many shapes.
- Calypso music is played.
- In Bermuda people usually sow the seed of a tree for prosperity.

China

- Decorations and festoons are red since this color (just as golden) represents happiness and richness.
- There are always fireworks for protection against the wicked.

Scotland

- As the procession starts, bagpipe is played.
- The groom wears the traditional kilt.

France

- Bride's dowry is the "nuptial wardrobe ", carved by hand with symbols of health and wealth.
- The couple drinks at the traditional nuptial goblet. All decorations are white.

Greece

- Waiters bring caramelized almonds (caramel is a symbol of fertility) wrapped in tulle.
- During the reception Kaslamantiano, a dance with the handkerchief.

Holland

- The couple sows lilac seeds in its garden after the wedding.
- Each year, when plants blossom, love is renewed.