You’ve Never Heard of These Global Marriage “Traditions”

A bride typically has a vision, for the big wedding day, when the spotlight is on her and her groom. However, sometimes traditional marriage customs, as weird as they may be, intervene and are practiced. Here are some of the strangest most shocking marriage customs you have probably never heard of, from around the world.

Marry A Tree First

Marry A Tree First

In India, there is an ancient tradition that makes women marry a tree if she was born within a certain astrological timeframe because she is thought be cursed. The curse? She is destined to murder her husband, so by marrying a tree first and cutting it down, the curse is broken!

The dowry is no good

The dowry is no good

In Russia, some parts, offer a dowry; typically the grooms family will pay a dowry and then the wife will be present by her own family. However, if the dowry is insufficient the brides family will send a cross-dresser instead.

Kiss, kiss

Kiss, kiss

In Sweden it is tradition to attack the bride and groom with kisses, but only whenever they are left alone. So, if the bride goes to the bathroom, the groom will get smothered with kisses.

Kidnap the wife?

Kidnap the wife?

In Romania, it is tradition for the groom to kidnap the woman he wants to marry, and if she sticks with him for 2-3 days then that means they will be well-suited (she wants to marry him too).

Get your hair did

Get your hair did

In China, for some, the wedding day is the last day the bride will have long hair, because she will have her head shaved except for a strand, because it shows cleanliness and beauty.

The blackening

The blackening

In Scotland, friends and family of the bride gather the most disgusting liquids (dead fish, curdled milk, mud, tar, flour) into a bucket and throw it over her. She is then tied to a tree, but then released eventually for a night of drinking. This tradition is in place because the Scottish believe if the bride can handle this, she can handle anything (including marriage).

Cry It Out

Cry It Out

In China, the Tujia people require that the bride (and sometimes her family) cry for one hour a day, for a month leading up to the wedding.

Not so ticklish

Not so ticklish

In Korea, it is custom for the groom to get a beating, on his feet.

A not so fun honeymoon

A not so fun honeymoon

In Indonesia, it is tradition for the newlyweds to be housebound without being allowed to use the restroom, and only minimal amounts of food and drink, because it is thought to lead to a happy marriage full of prosperous children.

Chick liver

Chick liver

In China, inner Mongolia, it is common for the wedding date to be selected through a chick killing process. The couple holds the knife together and is looking for a healthy, which means they are ready; otherwise, they have to keep killing chicks.

No shoes for you

No shoes for you

In some parts of India the groom must take off his shoes prior to making his way down the aisle. A hectic, and typically fun, battle ensues; the grooms family is supposed to protect the shoes while the wife’s family is supposed to try to capture the shoe.

Two is the magic number

Two is the magic number

In the southern region of Sudan, it is custom for the wife to be mandated to have two children before the marriage is official. If this does not happen, the husband can divorce.

Get tough

Get tough

In Spartan culture, the bride would typically shave her head and dress like a man, and await to be stolen away by her groom.

Here comes the spray

Here comes the spray

In Kenya, it is typical for the father of the bride to spit on his daughter(her head and breasts) before her husband whisks her away and she leaves the village. Yuck.

Whale tooth

Whale tooth

In Fiji, the man is supposed to offer the father of the bride a whales tooth for his daughters hand in marriage.

Leftovers, anyone?

Leftovers, anyone?

In France, the wedding party and guests are supposed to gather all the leftovers together and make a mushy soup, and put it in a toilet bowl for the bride and groom to eat. The yuckiest.

A human red carpet

A human red carpet

A french Polynesian tradition, in the Maruesas Islands, is for the brides family to lay flat, in a row, as a walkway for the bride and the groom to walk on.

Stay grounded

In Ireland it is tradition for the bride and groom to dance but only as long as the bride feet stay grounded on the floor, otherwise she will be taken by fairies.

Happy couple on wedding day Bride and Groom Vintage wedding

First comes love, then comes arrows

First comes love, then comes arrows

In Yugur culture, the groom is required to shoot a bow and arrow at his bride three times, although the arrows do not have arrowheads. Then the groom breaks the arrows he shot, and this means the couple will love each other for eternity.

A Straw-boy dance

A Straw-boy dance

In the Irish counties of Leitrim and Mayo, there is a group of young men that go visit the brides the night before the wedding day, for a dance. If the bride is accompanied by more women, they all dance!

Get destructive

Get destructive

In many parts of Germany there is a tradition called Polterabend. The bride and groom are showered with new dishes and the couple smashes them.

Motherly love

Motherly love

In some African villages it is common for an older mother, or grandmother to accompany the newlyweds in the bedroom so that she can offer a little guidance.

Don’t Smile

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In the Congo, a wedding day is supposed to be serious, so the bride and groom cannot smile, if they want their marriage to be take seriously.

A loud affair

Student Protests

A French tradition, where friends and family visit the newlyweds house and bang on pots and pans, or yell and scream. The married couple is expected to greet their noisy guests with drinks and snacks.

Fat farms

Fat farms

In Mauritania, potential brides go to fat farms to be plumped up, so that they are ready for to be offered for marriage, because plumpness means fertility and beauty there.

White dresses

White dresses

Although it is the complete norm for a bride o wear white on her wedding day, for Westerners, most other parts of the world celebrate a wedding day in vibrant, bright colors.

A performance

A performance

In Niger, the men are required to dress in elaborate costumes and put on a performance for their future brides. After, the women get to chose their mate.

Dollface

Dollface

In Puerto Rico, surrounded by charms and little gifts the bride is placed at the head of a table (in doll form). Then, at the end, the guests get to take home the trinkets that surrounded the doll.

Jumping the broom

Jumping the broom

A tradition fro America’s deepest south, the bride and groom jump over a broom to represent they’re moving forward in their lives as husband and wife, together.

Dancing in dough

Dancing in dough

It is Greek tradition for the bride and groom to share a dance where guests pin money onto the newlyweds clothing.

Bachelor Nation

Bachelor Nation

When television shows are broadcast in hopes that the finale will present a newly engaged couple.

Tattooed

Tattooed

In a few part of the world–Africa, India, and in Arabic tradition–the bride is dressed in romantic henna tattoos to exude elegance.

A salty treat

A salty treat

In Armenia, single women eat a piece of salty bread to bring on the prophetic dream about the man they will marry; in the dream, the man that brings them a glass of water is the one they will marry.

Where the youngsters go..

Where the youngsters go..

Because there are no laws on age and marriage in Scotland, Greta Green became a popularized location for elopements for couples that were too young, otherwise.

Let’s spoon

Let’s spoon

In Wales, it is common for the man to offer his love a spoon to represent that she will never go hungry.

A solemn wedding

In Russia, a wedding is commonly practiced at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Moscow, to represent a display of seriousness and somber.

A solemn wedding

“If you wanna be my lover…you gotta get with my friends”

“If you wanna be my lover…you gotta get with my friends”

In China, it is common practice for the bridesmaids to put up a playful front when the groom comes for the bride, by blockading her and testing his true love.

A courting hut

A courting hut

In a few African villages, courting huts are available for families to send their children to be courted away from the judgmental eyes of their families.

Evil Spirits

Evil Spirits

Have you ever seen those photos of a bride being carried over the grooms back? The tradition is thought to have started in Medieval times,to ward off evil spirits which were picked up through the feet, by the bride.

Tears of joy?

Tears of joy?

An old, cringe-worthy tradition of Krygyzstan was that tears on the wedding day meant a happy marriage would take place. However, even if the young bride was kidnapped and crying the families would give consent because tears equal happiness.