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American influence stretches far and wide. This is especially true when it comes to weddings, where traditions like tossing the bouquet for the single ladies to catch or cutting the cake and feeding it to one another, have become “standard procedure”.

But ‘normal’ as these traditions might seem to us, they no doubt appear quizzical to people from different cultural backgrounds. In the same way, there are some wedding traditions from other parts of the globe that you might find a little unusual, so we listed a few here.

Couple cutting a wedding cake

Let's count down 5 amazing wedding traditions from around the world

Wedding Tradition #1: Fiji and the whale’s tooth

In most cases either the Fijian bridegroom or his parents, accompanied by a spokesperson for the family, visit the girl’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. In a chiefly wedding, members of the man’s mataqali (clan) approach the girl’s father, taking with them several “tabua”; whale’s teeth. This is followed by a formal speech explaining the reason for their visit and then the father of the girl either accepts or declines the marriage proposal.

Whale teeth presented by Fijian man

Wedding Tradition #2: China and rice throwing

Chinese families hire a "good-luck" woman to ‘assist’ the bride as she travels from her home to the groom's, sometimes she is carried in an elaborately decorated chair. Attendants shield the bride with parasols and toss rice at either her or the chair as a symbol of health and prosperity.

Chinese bridesmaid throwing rice at bride

Wedding tradition #3: No smiles for Congolese couples

For most their wedding day is the happiest day of their lives and they brim with happiness. Not the Congolese. Marriage is considered a very serious affair. Therefore, from the ceremony all the way through the reception, the bride and groom are not allowed to smile. If they do, it would mean that they weren’t taking their marriage seriously enough.

Congolese couple won't smile at wedding

Wedding tradition #4: Take a bite of this in Russia

Newly married Russian couples share a wedding sweetbread called “karavaya” that is usually decorated with wheat, for prosperity, and interlocking rings for faithfulness. Whoever takes the biggest bite (without using their hands) is considered the head of the family.

Russian couple bite traditional bread

Wedding tradition #5: German couples practice teamwork

After the wedding ceremony, German couples are presented with a large log and a saw. They then have to stand on opposite sides and saw the log in half. It is believed they are proving their ability to work together in overcoming obstacles.

German bride sawing log

Whatever tradition you hold dear, Bona Dea will make it happen. Speak to our talented team of wedding planners about your plans for your big day. We can’t wait to hear all about it.