Wedding traditions from around the world

26th April 2010


As a destination photographer I travel all over photographing brides and grooms on their happy, happy day, and I thought you might find these wedding traditions from around the world interesting...

  1. Jewish couples stand underneath a Huppah- an ornamental canopy symbolizing the nomadic tents of Israel and the new home the couple will share.
  2. Jewish grooms smash a glass with their foot to remember the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and that sorrow always tempers joy.  Couples may preserve the shards in a symbolic keepsake box
  3. In China, brides wear red and gold
  4. Moroccan women bathe in milk before the ceremony
  5. At a Scottish wedding it is traditional to wash the bride’s feet on the eve of her wedding
  6. At a traditional Italian wedding the groom carries a piece of iron in his pocket
  7. At Egyptian weddings the bride is pinched for good luck
  8. Swedish brides place a gold coin given by her father in one shoe and a silver coin given by the mother in the other
  9. Peas are thrown at Czech newly weds instead of rice
  10. Greek brides tuck a sugar cube into their glove to sweeten the union in marriage
  11. In Holland, a pine tree planted outside the newly weds home is a symbol is a symbol of fertility
  12. If an English bride meets with a chimney sweep en route to the church, and he kisses her it is good luck (He has a vital role in keeping the home fires burning- safely)
  13. Ducks join Korean wedding processions, because like many other fowl, they mate for life
  14. Traditional African parents carry fire from their homes to start a fire in the newly weds home
  15. Mexican couples are bound in marriage with long rosary
  16. An Indian Sikh circles the couple six times and then showers them with rose petals, to ward off evil on life’s long journey
  17. Greek couples circle the altar 3 times for the Holy Trinity
  18. Japanese pairs sip three times from three cups of sake, three and nine are lucky numbers

For more of my wedding pics visit my photo stream on Flickr at
I will also be at the autumn FAB Bridal Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on
1 & 2 May 2010 

The way I see it...

I have photographed countless weddings, one more beautiful than the other, and I have heard all sorts of sermons from all sorts of ministers. I can’t remember any, except for one. I liked this minister, he said: “The secret to a good marriage is this: When you come home after a long hard day at work, don’t kick the dog and scream at the kids, rather sit down and have a Sundowner (or two) with your wife, and discuss your day...” Well, so far so good, we are now married for 15 years. CHEERS!

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Keep those cameras snapping, till next time.

Peter Haarhoff       

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