Wedding Ceremony Traditions From Around the World

Wedding Ceremony Traditions From Around the World

No matter where you are around the world, you will find rituals at weddings. Wedding ceremony traditions are often specific to a family or faith tradition or ancient cultural practice. 

Perhaps the couple dances while a hat is passed and filled with cash. Sometimes, guests will “pay” for the privilege of waltzing with the bride or groom. In Minnesota, newlyweds know they must stand up and kiss when attendees clink their wine glasses with silverware during the reception. 

Adagio Djay Entertainment respects the practices all cultures, and we are honored to serve you on your special day. We’ll work with you to make sure your ceremony and reception are memorable for decades to come. 

Enjoy this compilation of traditional wedding ceremonies from around the world. 

flowers on a wooden bench


A Mexican wedding often includes beautifully blended elements from indigenous and Spanish culture. Two common rituals are el lazo and las arras

El lazo is a rope or necklace, often made from rosary beads, that is placed around the couple in a figure-eight shape during the vows. The cord symbolizes an eternal union and offers protection to the bride and groom. 

Las arras are gold coins, precisely 13 in number, presented to the groom during the ceremony. The groom then pours the coins into the bride’s cupped hands, and she returns them to him in the same manner. 

This exchange has many symbolic meanings. Some believe the ritual is rooted in Catholicism (Christ and his 12 apostles), or perhaps the promise of shared wealth and prosperity for each month of the year.


The ancient Celtic people of Ireland are the originators of handfasting, one of the oldest known European marriage rites. Though not universally performed in modern weddings, in recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in the rituals. 

To pull this off, you’ll need to find an officiant who is well-versed in the practice and aware of the deeper meaning behind it. You will likely see handfasting incorporated into the wedding vow ceremony, where a rope tied around the couples’ wrists acts as a symbol of everlasting union.

bottle of wine in a box


Nigeria is a vast country full of many unique tribes, languages, and traditions. A popular component of a Yoruba wedding ceremony is the Tasting of the Elements. The newlywed couple is served a plate with four bowls containing something bitter (vinegar), sour (lemon slices), hot (spicy pepper), and sweet (honey or sugar). This meaningful ritual symbolizes the many stages of the couples shared life together.

The Yoruba also practice aso-ebi, which translates to “family clothes.” Well in advance of the ceremony, the bride and groom will choose specific fabrics for the bridal party, respective families and closest friends to wear. Each person has an outfit tailor-made for the event. This practice makes it very easy to tell who belongs to each family at the reception!


Many Filipino wedding ceremonies incorporate an old tradition of releasing a pair of doves together. Doves, of course, are a ubiquitous symbol of peace. The hope is that the birds bring luck for a long and harmonious marriage. 

bride holding gift


Thanks to the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, people around the world are familiar with the kind of loud, joyous parties typical of a Greek marriage ceremony. If the families are members of the Greek Orthodox Church, they will partake in a nearly 1,000-year-old tradition of a Stefana crown. The officiant will place delicate circles of white flowers and ribbons on the heads of the bride and groom during the vows, followed by an elaborate prayer ritual and a symbolic knot-tying.

After the ceremony, everyone in attendance receives a martryika, a tiny pin with a white, blue, or pink ribbon. These small tokens are not merely gifts; they mark the guests as witnesses of the holy sacrament the couple has taken. 


The notoriously progressive Swedes have several lovely wedding practices. Firstly, most bride and grooms walk down the aisle together, eschewing the tradition of a father “giving away” his daughter. 

During the reception, you might find guests smooching the newlyweds! When the bride leaves the room, men at the reception line up and plant a kiss on her cheek. The same goes for the ladies and the groom, of course.

flowers on a bench


If you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a Lebanese wedding, you’ll know it tends to be action-packed! After the religious ceremony, the bride makes a grand entrance into the reception hall with a zaffe dance. 

It begins with a fast-paced dance routine performed by the groom and young men in traditional dress, followed by belly dancers, drummers, and sometimes even flaming swords. Finally, the bride enters to be greeted by thunderous cheers, clapping, and more dancing. 

During the cake cutting ceremony, the bride and groom get to cut their pastry with a giant sword. The evening typically ends just as dramatically as it began, with a lavish display of fireworks. 


An Indian wedding of the Hindu faith is a multi-day affair chock full of flowers, incense, music, prayers, dancing, and feasting. The shortest weddings are three days, though they can last up to a week. There is a pre-wedding, ceremony, and post-wedding during the event. 

Before the wedding day, the families meet to dine, dance, and get to know one another. The bride and her female friends and relatives will seclude themselves for an evening of mehndi.They will painstakingly paint intricate, elaborate floral and religious designs with henna on the hands and feet of the bride, her relatives, and the bridal party.

Hindu folklore dictates that the darker the ink stains, the luckier the bride’s marriage will be. Conveniently, a bride is also not allowed to perform housework until her mehndi has faded! 

bride and groom holding hands

Call Adagio Today

Whatever your plans and ideas for your special day, Adagio Djay Entertainment can help make your day incredible. We will walk with you through all the stages of planning and ensure your day is all you imagined. Give us a call today.

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