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15 Crazy Interesting Wedding Customs

by Lauren Jacobson

Maybe it’s because weddings are a mainstay of every human culture, but the world is full of some really unique and amazing wedding traditions.

From ritual sacrifices to seemingly impossible scavenger hunts, there are an incredible variety of wedding traditions around the world.

Here are 15 crazy wedding traditions that may not be great for a Miami Wedding, but could possibly give you inspiration to think outside of the box for any other wedding you may attend.
Even your own.


15. Burning the Effigy in Ukraine

With the anticipation of a terrible future divorce, Ukraine couples precipitately retaliate by burning an effigy of their partner during the wedding ceremony.


 14. Smothered in Sour Milk in Scotland

In Scotland, prior to the wedding, the bride is smothered in sour milk, spoiled food and dead fish (anything from the trash). Afterwards, she is taken out that night to drink. This practice is known as ‘blackening the bride.’ This is said to prepare the bride for any embarrassment later on in the marriage.


13. Walk Over Your Friends in Marquesas Islands

In the region of Tahiti, brides are allowed to walk all over the wedding reception guests, so leave your stilettos at home. Each guest lies down and forms a human carpet while the couple walks over them to go on their honeymoon.


12. Hostile in South Africa

During the ceremony of a South African wedding, the bride’s family and the groom’s family shout insults at each other. The more hurtful the insults, the better it is for everyone.


11. Cry Festivity in China

In China, the bride is expected to begin crying a month before the wedding – every day. In fact, the bride’s mother, aunts, grandmothers and sisters have to join in and help the bride. On the wedding day, she has to sing a ‘crying wedding song.’


10. Marriage to a Goat in India

In India, if a girl is born with a tooth coming out of the gum, she is considered to be cursed. To break the curse, the girl has to prevent further bad luck by marrying some kind of animal like a goat or dog. This will fend off the bad omen.


9. Rolls and Rolls of Fat in Mauritania

Many brides in American try to hit the gym to lose those pounds to fit in her wedding dress, but not the women in Northwest Africa. In fact, the men want their wives to have as much fat as possible on her wedding day. The men love rolls and rolls of fat, stretch marks and overlapped thighs.


8. Kidnapping the Bride in Romania

Although this may sound illegal, in Romania there’s a wedding tradition for kidnapping the bride, and holding her for ransom. It’s all in good fun of course, the kidnappers are friends of the family, and the act is a sort of game to make the party more exciting.


7. Kill the Chicken in Inner Mongolia

The Daur group lives in Inner Mongolia and has a wedding tradition where the bride and groom hold a knife and slay a baby chicken. They gut the chicken and examine its liver. If the baby chicken’s liver looks satisfactory, then the couple can set their wedding date.

handcuffed to a house


6. House Prisoners in the Tidong Region

This Northern Borneo tradition is weird and possibly unhealthy. The couple, immediately after marriage, has to stay in their house for three days and three nights to bond. But, on top of that, they have to refrain completely from using the bathroom within the same timeframe.

whale's tail out of water


5. Get the Fiji Whale Tooth

In Fiji, the groom has to ask for the daughters hand in marriage, but he also has to bring home a whale tooth to the expected bride’s father. Other than the black market, the only other place that he can get this is from the largest sea creature on earth – at the bottom of the sea.

kenya wedding ceremony face paint


4. Spitting Tradition in Massai, Kenya

In Kenya the father of the bride will bless the marriage by spitting directly on her head and breast before she goes away with her husband.

husband kissing bride in church


3. Kiss the Bride in Sweden

During the wedding ceremony, if the groom leaves the room and goes to the bathroom, every male in the ceremony gets the opportunity to kiss the bride. If the bride goes to the bathroom, every female gets to kiss the groom.

irish claddagh ring on table


2. A Beautiful Bride for the Fairies in Ireland

The bride and groom’s feet are not allowed to touch the floor while dancing during the wedding ceremony. If it does, then the bride could be swept away by an evil fairy. The fairy takes the bride away because of loving beautiful things.

indian wedding ceremony


1. Grab the Shoes

In some regions of India, the groom must take his shoes off before he approaches the wedding altar. When he does, the bride’s family tries to steal the shoes and the groom’s family makes attempts to protect the shoes. If the bride’s family wins, the groom’s family has to pay a ransom.

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