No Maid of Honour or Best Man
In the United Kingdom, bridal and groom parties for royal weddings are traditionally made up exclusively of children. The tradition was only broken for the 2011 royal wedding, in which kids were passed over in favour of adults.
You May Kiss the Bride…All of You
Swedish royal weddings are on par with English royal weddings for extravagance. However, there is a Swedish custom that sees the bride and groom kiss everyone after the nuptials. This sees all the men line up to kiss the bride. And all the women line up for the groom to do the same. Smooch-arama.
Crowns and Tiaras
Royal weddings usually call for crowns and tiaras. But in the United Kingdom, tiaras are sometimes used as wedding presents. And in Bhutan, crowns are also worn during the ceremony, such as the Raven Crown seen in Bhutan’s last royal wedding.
Don’t Forget Your Hat
A royal wedding tradition from the United Kingdom (again!) declares that female guests must wear a hat at all times. It’s in writing, right there on the invite. Also, men must wear a “morning coat.” Fancy.
Invitation by Command
Normal wedding invites are a pretty serious business to begin with, but royal wedding invites are on a whole other level in England. Not only are they going to celebs and a who’s who of people in the public eye, but they’re sent by the Queen herself, aren’t they? Of course not. The Queen doesn’t lick envelopes herself. She commands someone else to invite people. That person is the Lord Chamberlain of the Household, who’s the most senior officer of the royal household.
A Bouquet for Another
In Spanish royal wedding tradition, the bride – rather than chucking her bouquet over her shoulder to be caught by whoever’s next to walk the aisle – leaves it at the feet of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Church or Imperial Palace?
In Japan, imperial weddings take place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Behind the big castle walls lies a place known as “Three Palace Sanctuaries.” Here, imperial enthronement and weddings take place. For a Japanese imperial wedding, events are more reserved with a quiet ritual and tea ceremony that takes place.
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All illustrations and animations by Chris Hull.