From the bride tossing her bouquet to single female guests to wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue, American wedding customs are still so popular today that even the most nontraditional brides happily take part. (Why tempt fate and start off your new marriage with anything other than good luck vibes?) But America doesn't have a monopoly on such rituals — other countries too have their own beloved wedding customs.
Some are sweet (female guests in Sweden kiss the groom when his new wife leaves the room). Some are perplexing (couples in Congo are forbidden to smile on their wedding day). And some are downright strange (engaged pairs in Mongolia must kill and butcher a chicken to find a healthy liver before being allowed to wed). But what binds these seemingly disparate customs from near and far is one simple thing: love.
If you follow this custom, the theory goes, you will find eternal joy with your soul mate. So even if certain Indian brides must first marry a tree or a South Korean groom has to tolerate getting his feet whipped by family and friends, it's all worth it in the end. When love and happiness ever after are the outcomes, it's a win-win for brides and grooms.
We've rounded up 45 of the most awe-inspiring rituals from lands far, far away to give you an idea of what's happening beyond your backyard. If you're particularly charmed by a certain custom, feel free to adopt it for your own "I dos" even if it's outside your heritage. When it comes to love and weddings, there are no borders.