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21 Extraordinary Wedding Traditions From Around The Globe

Love is universal, but tying the knot is different everywhere.

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5. Kransekake, Norway

Flickr: uberculture

Norway has its own particular version of the towering layered Western wedding cake, in the form of a kransekake, a tower of iced almond cake rings. It's common to build the tower over a wine bottle so a nice treat appears as guests break off pieces of the dessert.

6. A goose for the bride, Korea

According to Korean tradition, grooms give their new mother-in-laws wild geese or ducks. The monogamous animals represent the groom's pure intentions and loyalty to his bride. In a more modern reincarnation, brides and grooms exchange wooden geese and ducks on their wedding day as a sign of their commitment.


9. Croquembouche, France

French weddings often serve a croquembouche, a truly delightfully tower of cream-filled pastry puffed that can be dipped in any number of sweet sauces, as the wedding cake. A croquembouche can be decorated with fruit, nuts, and glazes, and makes a fantastic centrepiece.

For the wedding reception, there's a less charming tradition: La Soupe, in which leftovers are gathered into a toilet (or toilet-like bowl) from which the bride and groom must eat for good luck.


16. Ransoming the bride, Romania

Flickr: payalnic

In Romania, a mock abduction game is common before wedding ceremonies take place. The bride is kidnapped by friends, family, or hired entertainers, and the groom must come to her rescue and pay her ransom through drinks, money, or romantic gestures.

Bride-napping turns out to be a common trope across European countries, with versions in Russia, Germany, and Wales. In the latter, a Welsh best man takes the bride to the pub before the wedding, and the groom-to-be must find them and pick up the tab.

21. Unity bowl, Australia

Flickr: chefranden

An Australian wedding ceremony might feature the tradition of a unity bowl. Guests are given stones and asked to hold them during the ceremony. At the end, guests place the stones in a decorative bowl that the couple will keep and display afterwards to remind them of the support and presence of their friends and family.

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