Indian Wedding Traditions
Sweets, eggs, and money are woven into the wedding themes of India. They symbolize respectively: a sweet life, fertility, and prosperity. Traditionally, an Indian bride will be extravagant in dressing and accessorizing for her wedding. Brides wear pink and red saris and adorn themselves as lavishly as possibly with jewellery and accessories. Henna staining is also a customary art form that is still very much practiced today. On the eve of an Indian bride’s wedding vows, following a traditional ceremonial cleansing, the bride-to-be will have her hands and feet painted with henna, in beautiful and intricate patterns. A special wedding gift is usually given to the bride (a necklace) that symbolizes her married status. As well, an Indian groom will often wear a turban with a veil of flowers streaming down in from of his fact to protect him from evil spirits. An Indian wedding is usually filled with numerous fun-filled and sacred rituals.
• A Hindu tradition: Sisters-in-law hiding the shoes of their “jiji” or brother-in-law and will return them only in exchange for money.
• The hands of the couple are covered with a sacred cloth to ward off ill omens and evil eye during the pheras.
• Another ritual found in almost every community is when the groom brings home his new bride. The groom’s sisters block the entrance to the home and demand money from their brother as a shagun before they let him in. This is a fun filled and amusing ritual.
Mexican Wedding Traditions
Traditionally, the Mexican groom will give his fiancé a wedding gift of thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence. By placing his goods into her care and safekeeping, the bride’s acceptance symbolizes her acceptance of his trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.
During the wedding ceremony the coins are blessed by the priest and a white ribbon called a “lasso,” is wrapped around the necks of the bride and groom. The ribbon symbolizes their joining. As the newlyweds leave the church, red beads may be tossed over them to bring good luck.
At the wedding reception, guests will often form a heart around the newlyweds as they have their first dance as husband and wife. The food you’re likely to see at a Mexican wedding includes: spicy rice, beans, tortilla dishes, and deliciously cold sangria drinks. Salsa, merengue, and flamenco guitar music will play in the background to create that perfectly authentic Latin atmosphere. Last but not least, at a classic Mexican wedding, the wedding cake is usually a fruitcake soaked in rum
Japanese Wedding Traditions
Traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies are Shinto-style and are held at shrines. Brides wear a traditional kimono called shiromuku (white kimono robe) and grooms will wear montsuki (black formal kimono), haori (kimono jacket), and hakama (kimono pants).
It is common that only family members and close relatives attend the Shinto-style wedding ceremony that consists of sake drinking, rituals, exchanging of wedding rings, and more. After the wedding ceremony, wedding reception parties called “kekkon hiroen” are held where relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors are all invited.
At the wedding reception, the newlyweds will usually be seated on a stage where they can enjoy listening and watching the speeches and performances of their guests. It is also very common that the bride and groom will change costumes a few times during the reception. After the wedding ceremony, the bride will usually change into a red kimono and later on into a western-style gown. Guests are expected to offer the couple goshugi (money) as a wedding gift in a special envelope called shugi-bukoro – the amount is usually dependent on your relationship to the couple (unless a fixed amount is indicated on the invitation card) and it is polite to use new bills with no creasing.
Japanese wedding favors are called hikidemono and they often consist of table wares, sweets, interiors, etc. More recently, gift catalogues from which guests can choose gifts from are popular for hikidemono.