If you want your wedding to be unique, you may have to look a little further afield for inspiration than the bridal magazines of your local supermarket. Break with tradition, and turn your humdrum order of ceremony into a procession of surprises, with a whistlestop tour of the world’s most beautiful wedding traditions.
Is white not your colour? Consider one of the many alternatives to add some excitement to your wedding-day get up. In South India, brides have their hair woven around with bright ribbon and flowers, while in Morocco, eye makeup is bold. In Pakistan and China, red is the traditional colour of the wedding dress, and in Bali, the bride’s hair is decorated with a cascade of aromatic jasmine.
Perhaps you don’t have a suitable male relative to walk you down the aisle, or you prefer to share the big moment, arm in arm with your future husband. In Sweden, it is customary for the couple to walk the aisle together as they embark on married life. Generally, Swedish weddings are minimal affairs in comparison to those in the UK, with only one bridesmaid, and one best man present at the ceremony. If you prefer things to be elegant and understated, look to Sweden for some helpful hints.
The wedding cake
Hate the stodginess of traditional wedding cake? It’s not compulsory to chow down on royal icing and fruit loaf: there are plenty of wedding cake styles around the world from which you can take inspiration. If you like pastry, then you should consider the French croquembouche, a tower of dainty profiteroles stuffed with cream covered in sweet, flavoured sauce. Norway, on the other hand, has the kransenkake, a confection of iced almond rings, traditionally built around a wine bottle.
The big, symbolic gesture
Add a little quirk to your big day with a romantic gesture to your intended. In Japan, it is considered lucky for the bride to complete the Herculean feat of folding 1000 origami cranes. In Romania, friends of the bride will ‘steal’ her, and the groom must endeavour to get her back with bribes or romantic gestures. In Wales, the groom must present his bride with a beautiful, carved spoon, symbolic of his intention to always provide for her.