Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting, yet also one of the most stressful situations you could get yourself into. The reason for this is because you’re planning one of the most important days of your life, and you want to make sure that you’re happy with everything, that you remember to tick everything off your to-do list, and that you give your guests a day to remember. One of the best ways to make everyone happy is to give them little wedding favors – but you don’t have to shell out a huge amount of money to do this.
If you want to give your guests a day to remember, then why not give them something that bloom and blossom as the years go by? Mini terrariums are easy to make, and they can also be super cheap if you buy the plants and the pots in bulk. All you need are glass terrariums, some soil, and the plants of your choice. While most people opt for cacti and succulents, the flowering world is your oyster.
Homemade jams are becoming much more popular with couples who want to give their guests something different, but also something delicious and beautiful. These favors can be left until the week before your wedding if you really wanted to, and you can even get seasonal flavors involved! Simply cook up a huge batch of jam, fill your jars with the tasty goodness, and then decorate the jars how you wish. It’s always good to place a personalized label on the jar just to make it extra special.
Your wedding guests have probably watched your love blossom over the years, so why not give them something to remember your wedding by? You can buy wildflower seeds extremely cheap from any home or garden center, but it might be an idea to mix them all together and place them into your own personalized packaging. This could be a hessian bag that you tie up with ribbon, or you could create your own little box. As the flowers start to grow, your guests will always be reminded of your special day.
If you’re currently racking your brain and wondering what to give your guests as favors, these DIY wedding favors will do the trick.
45 Unusual Wedding Traditions From Around the World
The wedding day is often considered the happiest day in a person’s life. Depending on the region you’re in, you might have to follow some odd wedding traditions, such as these customs that people practice around the world.
China – Wedding Door Games
Another Chinese wedding tradition are the so-called wedding door games. This is a series of tests and challenges that the bridesmaids come up with in order to test the groom on the morning of the wedding day.
The whole point of these games is to prove whether the groom is worthy of the bride. Later on, the groom must pay off the bridesmaids with envelopes full of money.
French Polynesia – The Human Rug
One of the most interesting wedding traditions in the world takes place on the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. Here, the bride and groom get to walk over their family members at the end of the wedding ceremony.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly! They literally walk over their relatives who lay down side-by-side with faces down to the ground, forming the perfect human rug. This walk is usually one of the most memorable parts of the ceremony.
Philippines – Releasing Doves
Doves are a universal symbol of peace and harmony. They are also a part of an adorable wedding tradition in the Philippines where the newlyweds have to release a pair of white doves after the ceremony.
They release one male and one female dove into the air to ensure their life will be harmonious and peaceful. The wedding guests follow this tradition with applause as the doves fly away to their newly gained freedom.
China – The Good Luck Woman
It is a tradition in China for the bride’s family to hire a “good luck” woman to follow the bridge to her groom’s house in a uniquely decorated sedan chair. The woman’s job is to make sure everything goes as planned on their way to the groom’s place.
Other attendants also have to shield the bride with parasols and toss rice at the chair, which signifies health and prosperity. This is one of the most popular Chinese wedding traditions that makes you look forward to this special day.
Germany – Sawing the Log
After the wedding, couples in Germany have to split a log together. Even though it sounds like a simple task, they are usually presented with a large log that isn’t so easy to cut through. The point here is to get the couple to work together.
Once the wedding ceremony is complete, the best man gives the couple a large saw and everyone cheers in the back as the two newlyweds get to work. This act signifies that the two are ready to overcome obstacles together.
China – Bow and Arrow
Chinese weddings feature some of the most interesting ceremonies and traditions in the world. One of them is the bow and arrow act where the groom has to shoot his own bride with a headless arrow.
Don’t worry, they don’t actually shoot each other! The goal is for the groom to then collect the arrows and break them, which signifies unity and ensures that their love will last forever. No wedding in China should ever end without the good old bow and arrow tradition.
Scotland – Public Parade
There are some very embarrassing wedding traditions around the world but people in Scotland really took it to the next level. As per their tradition, the friends of the bride and the groom steal the couple away before the ceremony.
They cover the bride and groom with everything they can find, including ash, flour, and feathers. They later parade the couple around town which, as embarrassing as it sounds, serves to ward off evil spirits before the wedding.
Congo – No Smiling Allowed
Many people describe their wedding day as the happiest day of their lives. It is usually a day filled with laughter and warm smiles. Well, that is not the case in Congo because couples in this area have to follow a very unusual tradition.
Namely, they have to restrain from smiling throughout the entire wedding day. If they smile even once, it would mean that they are not serious about the marriage. Imagine not being able to smile on the happiest day of your life!
South Korea – The Falaka Ceremony
There is no doubt that this is one of the strangest wedding traditions in South Korea. Namely, during the Falaka ceremony, the groom has to lay down and let his friends and family beat the bottom of his feet.
To make things even weirder, they beat his feet with a stick or dried fish. In between the hits, the friends and family members usually ask the groom trivia questions to help strengthen his memory, as the tradition states.
Mexico – The Lasso
Mexican couples have to follow a very specific wedding tradition that includes using a lazo, also known as lasso, during the ceremony. A lasso is a rope made of rosary beads and flowers woven together.
During the ceremony, the lasso is wrapped around the couple to form the shape of the number eight, which signifies the symbol of eternity. This tradition strengthens the union of the couple and sets them up for a loving and long-lasting marriage.
Lebanon – The Zaffe Ceremony
Lebanon’s wedding tradition includes a very cheerful celebration known as the Zaffe. The whole thing starts on a very high note with loud music, belly dancers all over the place, and lots of shouting from both the groom’s and the bride’s guests.
The couple spends quite some time with their friends and family enjoying the company of professional dancers and musicians. As per the tradition, they all later end up at the bride’s house where the couple gets showered with blessings.
Guatemala – Smash It
In Guatemala, the tradition states that the groom’s parents have to be the wedding reception hosts. However, this is no ordinary wedding reception. In fact, the groom’s parents get the freedom to do whatever they want during this event.
If you ever find yourself at a wedding in Guatemala, don’t be surprised if you see flying plates and things being smashed all over the place. It is actually a tradition for the groom’s mom to break a white ceramic bell filled with rice and flour at the moment the newlyweds arrive.
India – Joota Chupai
This is by far one of the most fun wedding traditions we’ve heard of! Namely, in a ritual called “Joota Chupai,” the bride’s sisters and female cousins have to steal the groom’s shoes and later demand ransom money for their return.
However, the groom is usually aware of this game so he tries to hide his shoes before it’s too late. Overall, this fun little ritual is a great way to start things off with laughter and ensure everyone’s having a great time.
Norway – Unique Wedding Cake
Most wedding cakes nowadays look the same but that’s not the case in Norway. Here, people have a special, traditional cake they prepare for the wedding day and it looks nothing like the cakes we’re used to.
This is a towering cake called kransekake and it looks like a stack of pancakes. However, it’s actually made of iced almond cake rings and it is shaped like a cone. The tradition states that you should place a wine bottle at the hollow center of the cake.
Spain – Selling Ties
In Spain, there is a very unique wedding custom where the groom’s friends chop up their ties with scissors and sell pieces of them to the guests. Their goal is to raise more money for the couple.
Sometimes, even the bride’s side does the same to help them pay off the wedding fees. However, this is about more than just money – it signifies that true friends will always be there for the newlyweds.
Ireland – Dancing Tradition
In Ireland, people love to dance all the time! They do it even more passionately at weddings. However, there is one specific dance-related wedding tradition that says the bride must keep at least one foot on the floor the entire time.
Apparently, if she lifts both feet up at the same time, some evil spirits will appear and take her away. Well, this just made dancing a lot less fun but the Irish brides are well prepared for the challenge.
Fiji – The Whale’s Tooth
One of the many wedding traditions in Fiji states that the man has to ask the woman’s father for her hand in marriage. However, he can’t just visit and say ‘hey, sir, I’d like to marry your daughter!’
Instead, the groom has to give his future father-in-law a real whale’s tooth. It would be cool if they had to get the whale’s tooth themselves, although we’re sure there are plenty of stores that sell these things in Fiji.
China – Lots of Tears
If you think these wedding traditions couldn’t get any weirder, here’s a Chinese custom that will push the limits even further. In some parts of China, it is a tradition for the bride to start preparing for the wedding a month in advance.
However, she prepares by crying for one hour every day. Ten days into the tradition, her mother joins the crying session and, ten days after that, the grandma jumps in too. At the end, the entire female side of the family is crying along with the bride.
Scotland – Secret Marriage Village
Many centuries ago, England prohibited marriage to anyone under 21. This meant that a lot of young people couldn’t get married if they weren’t of the right age, which, as you can imagine, caused a lot of dissatisfaction.
However, there was a Scottish town nearby where those limits did not exist so many young people eloped to get married over there. This village called Gretna Green still exists to this day and it is a tradition for couples who want to elope to get married here.
Niger – The Camel Dance
We all know of the chicken dance but have you heard of the camel dance? The West African country of Niger has an interesting wedding tradition where the newlyweds have to perform a camel dance in the desert.
This is no joke, the dance is done with a real camel in an actual desert and all the wedding guests get to enjoy this performance. After the camel finishes its rhythmic dance, the wedding can continue.
Italy – The Surprise Party
Although not everyone follows this tradition in Italy, sometimes the groom throws a surprise party outside the bride’s window. He comes by with musicians to serenade his fiancee with the traditional “la serenata.”
However, it doesn’t end there. After the serenade, they head to the party with a lavish buffet, loud music, and all the friends and family who are enjoying the occasion. The Italians really know how to get it going!
Sweden – Sharing Kisses
If you’re the jealous type, then we don’t recommend getting married in Sweden and here’s why! In this country, whenever the bride leaves the table, all the women at the wedding have the right to kiss the groom.
Likewise, whenever the groom leaves the room, the men present at the moment can steal a kiss from the bride. The goal is to make sure neither side is too jealous so they won’t have jealousy issues during the marriage.
Canada – The Sibling’s Dance
In Canada, the tradition states that the couple’s older siblings must perform a special dance wearing odd and brightly colored socks. However, only the unmarried siblings get to carry out this performance.
While they’re dancing, the guests have to throw money at them – the wilder the dance – the more money they’ll get. Later on, the money is collected and given to the newlyweds as a part of their wedding gift.
Germany – Polterabend
In Germany, couples have to engage in a post-ceremonial activity called Polterabend. This tradition states that the couple has to clean up piles of porcelain dishes that their guests have broken during the ceremony.
While the dishes get broken to ward off evil spirits, the couple then has to clean up the mess as their first act of marital teamwork. The lesson here is that the two partners can face challenges more easily as long as they are working together.
Russia – Wedding Photos
This Russian wedding tradition was created specifically for weddings that take place in Moscow. Namely, couples in Moscow often visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and take photos there in a gesture of respect.
After taking the photos, the couple then lays down flowers at the tomb located near the Kremlin. Although not everyone makes this tradition a part of their wedding ceremony, it is a popular ritual at Moscow weddings.
Peru – Special Wedding Cake
In Peru, weddings usually include a fun cake tradition where all the bridesmaids get a chance to compete for a fake wedding ring. Namely, the Peruvian wedding cake comes with special ribbons attached to charms.
One of those charms is a fake wedding ring. During the ceremony, the bridesmaids and all the single women participate in a game called the “cake pull.” Each woman grabs a ribbon and pulls at it. Whoever gets the fake ring will be the next to get married, or at least that’s what the tradition says.
Cuba – Pinning Money
There’s a reason why many people dream of a Cuban wedding and this might be it! One of the wedding traditions in Cuba states that every man who dances with the bride on the wedding day must pin money to her dress.
The point of this tradition is to help the newlyweds pay off their wedding fees and fund their honeymoon. If you ever get invited to a Cuban wedding, prepare some extra cash for this tradition.
Japan – The White Gown
One of the many wedding traditions in Japan is that the bride has to wear all white from head to toe during her Shinto wedding ceremony. Although we’re used to white being the most common wedding dress color, the Japanese really took this to the next level.
Namely, not only does the bride have to wear an all-white kimono but she also must have white makeup and a white hood called tsunokakushi. The hood serves to hide the “horns of jealousy,” which the bride supposedly feels toward her new mother-in-law.
Armenia – Evil Spirits
Armenian people put extra effort into warding off evil spirits during wedding ceremonies. One of their traditions specifically designed to keep the spirits away from the newlyweds involves balancing lavash flatbread on the couple’s shoulders.
Namely, at the wedding reception, which usually takes place at the groom’s house, the couple first has to break a plate for good luck. Later, the groom’s mother gives them lavash and honey, which they balance on their shoulders to start the wedding ceremony.
Venezuela – Sneaking Away
In Venezuela, it is a custom for the bride and groom to try and sneak away from their own wedding before the party is over. Their goal is to leave the party without getting caught but there’s a twist to it.
Everyone knows that the bride and groom are planning an early escape. It is good luck for whoever first notices that they’re gone, or even catches the couple red-handed. What a way to make the day even more interesting!
Romania – Abducting the Bride
This wedding tradition in Romania includes a rather “illegal” act where the guests have to abduct the bride and demand a ransom from the groom. Although this is all just a game, the participants usually take it very seriously.
After kidnapping the bride, the guests take her to a secret location and keep her hidden until the groom shows up with the ransom. Instead of money, they usually ask for drinks or for the groom to sing a song.
Indonesia – Staying at Home
Spending a lot of time together goes hand in hand with getting married, although couples in Indonesia take this habit to a whole new level. One of the wedding traditions in Borneo, Indonesia, requires the couple to spend three days confined to their home.
Besides spending time together, the whole point of this tradition is to keep the newlyweds from using the bathroom throughout this period. Apparently, this helps them strengthen more than just the bond they have with each other!
Wales – Lovespoons
This Welsh tradition dates way back when it was a custom for men to carve spoons from wood as a token of affection for their ladies. The custom remained even to this day where grooms carve lovespoons and give them to their future wives.
Interestingly, they often choose to carve keys and beads onto the wooden spoons. The keys represent the key to the man’s heart, whereas the beads symbolize the number of children he wishes to have.
Russia – Proving His Worth
In Russia, the groom has to prove that he is worthy of the bride by visiting his parents’ home on the day of the wedding. His job is to pay a “ransom” for the bride, that is, present her parents with gifts.
Besides gift giving, the groom can prove he’s worthy of their daughter by singing and dancing until the parents say it’s enough. This is usually way more embarrassing than just showing up with random gifts at the doorstep.
Turkey – Turkish Flag
If you see the Turkish national flag randomly hanging in front of someone’s door, know that this is not done for no reason. It is a tradition in Turkey for the friends of the groom to put a Turkish flag in front of his house on the wedding day.
Thus, if you see a flag as you walk down the streets of Turkey, know that someone in that house is about to get married! People also place fruit, veggies, and even mirrors close to the flag, which signifies that the wedding ceremony has already begun.
India – The Marriage Course
In Hindu culture, it is believed that if a woman is born while Mars and Saturn are both under the seventh house, she carries the marriage course. Apparently, if she decides to get married, she will quickly become a widow.
Luckily, there is a way to lift the course and get married safely. To do so, the woman must first marry a tree and cut it down to break the spell! Imagine what the groom would feel like if he found out that his bride was born under this course?
Norway – The Wedding Crown
Although Norwegian weddings look pretty ordinary at first glance, they do have a couple of interesting traditions that not many people know about. For instance, it is a tradition for the bride to wear a silver and gold crown during the wedding.
The crown has small charms that dangle around it each time she moves. This creates a sound which, as the people in Norway believe, can deflect evil spirits on the day of the wedding. Better keep those spirits away from the newlyweds!
China – Embroidered Dress
China is known for many wedding traditions, one of which is that the bride should walk down the aisle in an embroidered dress called qipao or cheongsam. This is a slim-fitting dress that’s meant to be worn only while walking down the aisle.
Chinese brides change their wedding day outfit a couple of times. For the reception, they change into a more western dress, whereas they usually end the night in a more comfortable cocktail dress to make things even more interesting.
Greece – Grooming Tradition
In Greece, they take the term “groomsman” so literally that the best man has to become the groom’s barber on the day of the wedding. According to the tradition, the koumparos or the best man has to shave the groom’s face before the wedding.
Not only does the groom get a free facial treatment but he also gets to eat honey and almonds served by no other than his new mother-in-law. This interesting tradition was set up to bring the whole group closer together.
Wales – The Bridal Bouquet
In Wales, the bridal bouquet plays an important role in the wedding ceremony. It is important that the bouquet includes myrtle, a special herb that symbolizes love. As per the tradition, the bride has to give a cutting to each of the bridesmaids.
If a bridesmaid plants the myrtle cutting and it blooms successfully, she will be the next one to get married. This tradition is so important that even Kate Middleton followed it during her wedding ceremony.
Mongolia – The Poor Chicken
This isn’t one of those sweet and happy wedding traditions that you’ve read about so far. In Mongolia, it is a custom for the couple to first kill a baby chicken before they can set an official date for their wedding.
Not only do they have to kill the chicken but they have to cut it apart while holding the knife together. The goal is to cut through until they find a healthy liver to take out. This will signify that they are ready to set a wedding date.
France – The Odd Chocolate Tradition
This is perhaps one of the weirdest wedding traditions we’ve ever seen so brace yourselves, it will get a bit nasty! This French wedding tradition involves the bride and the groom eating chocolate and drinking champagne after the reception.
This sounds delightful at first but there’s a wild twist to it. The bad news is, they must consume these treats out of a toilet bowl. Although they clean the toilet thoroughly before engaging in this activity, it’s still something we’d have to say “no” to.
Russia – Sharing Bread
When you think of wedding traditions in a place like Russia, you probably don’t think of something as sweet as sharing bread. However, one of the most popular Russian wedding ceremony traditions is the sharing of karavay, a special type of bread made for this occasion.
Namely, karavay is a type of sweetbread decorated with wheat and it represents prosperity and faithfulness. The way the newlyweds share this bread is quite interesting – they both have to bite into it without using hands and whoever takes the bigger bite is considered the head of the family.
Czech Republic – Infant Tradition
When it comes to weddings, the Czech Republic is known for their tradition of placing an infant at the couple’s bed to bless their fertility. Namely, this has to be done before the two tie the know to ensure they have a bright future when it comes to kids and fertility.
After the wedding, the attendants shower the newlyweds with rice, peas, or lentils to also boost fertility. As you can imagine, fertility is very important to couples in the Czech Republic and no wedding can be completed until this tradition is fulfilled.
India – Henna Tattoos
In India, it takes hours for the bride to get ready for the wedding because of the henna tattoo tradition. Namely, Indian women practice this tradition where they draw temporary tattoos with mehndi, paint made from henna.
These tattoos usually feature unique and artistic patterns that go along with the traditional Indian style. A henna tattoo usually lasts about two weeks before it fades away. It makes for a great detail that matches the wedding dress.