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Samantha and David Clappison, South Causey Inn,
Sept 2014.

World Wedding Traditions Part 2

North East Wedding Band Funk Conspiracy bring you the second installment of our A to Z of wedding customs. Read about fascinating traditions and whacky facts from around the world!

M is for Morocco

Where weddings can last up to a week, and the bride has a purifying ‘milk bath’ before the wedding.

N is for Norway

When they marry, the Norwegian bride and groom take each other’s surnames and combine them.

O is for Oman

In Oman, the wedding ceremony is done in the presence of the bride and groom’s respective families and very close family members only. After this the bride still continues to live in her parents’ house. Whenever the groom visits, the bride no longer has to cover herself like she does in public. However, all the visits remain chaperoned. They only live together as husband and wife after the marriage is officially ‘announced’ at the wedding party. The time period between the ceremony and the announcement can be anywhere between several months to a couple of years. Also, the wedding is for females only. All the staff on hand (photographers, videographers etc) are female too!

P is for Poland

The parents of the newlyweds present them with rye bread sprinkled with salt and a glass of wine. (Phew, no eggs here!) The bread symbolizes a hope that the couple will never go hungry, the salt symbolizes that life will have its difficulties, and the wine is a blessing for health and happiness.

Q is for Qatar

In Qatar people tend to marry within tribes. Marriage is a family and business matter. Virtually all marriages are arranged. Girls are deemed of marriageable age at about 14 or 15 years old. In the past, girls as young as 12 could be married, but the trend in recent years is to wait until the girl has completed her education. The groom's family traditionally pays a bride-price to the bride's family before the wedding.

R is for Romania

Young girls in Romania start planning their wedding day as young as aged six, when they begin collecting the treasures to fill their wedding ‘trousseau.’

S is for Somalia

Men are allowed up to four wives, as long as they can support them all! The men are usually judged on whether they can support their women on how many sheep they own. No Ugg boots here!

T is for Thailand

It is a Thai marriage ritual for the bride and groom to sit together on the floor, each with their hands pressed together, fingers pointing up under their chins. The couple's hands are linked by a chain of flowers. The oldest relative then leads the wedding ceremony and to wish the couple luck, he dips their hands in a conch shell containing water. Their parents and other guests will then do the same.

U is for Ukraine

Instead of a wedding cake, traditional bread called Korovai is served at Ukrainian wedding receptions. This sacred bread is decorated with symbols which represent the everlasting union of the couple getting married. A traditional bride in the Ukraine may be kidnapped from her wedding reception by friends, to symbolize the invasions their country has suffered over the years.

V is for Vietnam

Many young people seek the services of an astrologer to determine whether their future liaison will be successful. If the results are negative, most would withdraw. The young man's parents consult a fortune-teller to see whether the couple is destined to live together as husband and wife. It is only if this meeting produces a desirable result that he will formally request the young woman's hand.

W is for West Indies

Wedding receptions of the French West Indies tend to feature curried goat and white rice. A traditional rum-flavoured wedding cake is hidden from guests with a fine white table cloth. Wedding guests then pay for a lucky peek!

Y is for Yemen

Wedding celebrations in Yemen include the entire community. Music plays an important role at the wedding reception. Professional musicians, as well as the guests, participate in the traditional custom of ‘gladdening the bride’ with music. On the wedding day, all of the women in the bride's family prepare the feast for the wedding reception. This includes traditional sweetened fritters that symbolize a sweet life for the newlyweds.

Z is for Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the most important part of the whole marriage is when both parties set a date for the first leg of the marriage ceremony which is the paying of a dowry by the man. Without this, no white wedding can take place. The dowry can be in the form of money, clothes or cows. In some families, greed has made this an expensive business. The man has to pay some of the dowry at the ceremony, and negotiate to pay the rest in instalments, over many years. Some men have been known to never to finish paying!! As if marriage wasn’t bad enough!

Written by Navella Caretto.

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