Go Global! 5 Unique Wedding Ideas From Around the World

Ceremony & Vows
Global Wedding Traditions

Photo: Getty Images

Weddings are chock-full of sweet traditions that you already know about&mdash:and are no doubt planning to include in your own celebration. (We're especially fond of "you may now kiss the bride!") But we think these unique wedding ideas from around the world deserve some consideration, too. Incorporate one (or all!) of these global wedding traditions for a stand-out day that your guests will remember:

Hello, wardrobe changes!
In China, brides typically walk down the aisle in a slim-fitting, embroidered dress ... what is called a traditional qipao or cheongsam. For the reception, they change into a more poofy, decked out gown with Western flare. But the bridal fashion show doesn't end there! To cap the night, Chinese brides often make a final change into a cocktail dress. Total: three dresses!

Sweet surprises: Forget the garter toss. In Peruvian weddings, the single ladies get cake! In fact, the wedding cake is typically assembled with ribbons attached to charms, with one fake wedding ring embedded into the center. The single lady who is served the slice of cake with the fake wedding ring inside is crowned the next to get married. How sweet is that?

Skin-painting: In India, brides-to-be may not have the bachelorette parties that American women love, but they do something else to celebrate as a group: They get their hands and feet painted! Right before the wedding, it's common for Indian women to gather their closest girlfriends and sit for hours at a time to have their skin intricately painted, in tattoo fashion, with menhdi, which is paint made from henna. The elaborate and beautiful skin art lasts about two weeks.

Pay up: We think this tradition for grooms in Russia is hilarious: According to custom, a Russian man must go to the bride's parents' home on the morning of the wedding and prove his worth by either paying a "ransom" for his lady, showering the bride's family with gifts, or simply humiliating himself by dancing and singing until the family says "okay." (Just imagine what the neighbors would think if your fiancé tried this on the street where you grew up!)

Baby bridesmaids: While American brides love their flower girls, it's traditional in England to welcome girls to be bridesmaids. That's right, a 5-year-old attendant! Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana both had young girls in their bridal party, and we think Pippa will likely do the same (that is, if there's a wedding on the horizon!).

There's more!

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