When we recently uncovered some surprising facts behind the wedding traditions we've all come to know, we also came across some pretty unbelievable global wedding traditions we had never heard of. So, without further adieu, here are five "say what?" big-day customs.
If You Thought You Were a Crier...
Brides and females of the Tujia people in China take wedding tears to a whole different level. Starting one month in advance the bride starts to cry for one hour every day. Ten days into the waterworks extravaganza her mother joins the picture, and 10 days after that grandma does the same. By the end of the month, every female in the family is crying alongside the bride. The tradition is believed to be an expression of joy, as the women weep in different tones, reminiscent of a song. Coincidentally enough, this is exactly how we sound when listening to Joni Mitchell.
Hope You're Not the Jealous Type
In Sweden, whenever the bride leaves the table to run to the powder room, all the ladies at the reception are free to steal a kiss from the groom! Luckily (we guess?), Sweden keeps the tradition gender-neutral so whenever the groom leaves the room, all surrounding gentlemen are free to plant a peck on the bride. If you think this sounds like an episode of The Bachelor, you're not alone.
Better Keep Those Feet Firmly Planted
In Ireland, when the bride and groom are dancing, the bride must keep both feet on the floor at all times. Irish folklore states that if they don't, evil fairies will come and sweep her away. We imagine that this might make dancing slightly difficult...
Here's Hoping the Bride and Groom Were Shedding for the Wedding
On the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, once the wedding has come to an end, the relatives of the bride lay side-by-side face down on the ground whilst the bride and groom walk over them like a human rug. Just, ouch.
If You're Shoe-Crazy This One's for You
In parts of India, there is a wedding tradition called "Joota Chupai" or "hiding the shoes." Initially, this sounds like something we could get behind—some shoes are worth lusting after—but the tradition is a little more complicated than your simple Winona Ryder grab and go. While walking to the altar, the groom is required to take off his shoes. Once they're off, everyone from the groom's side of the family is expected to protect the shoe as the bride's family tries to steal and hide them. The tradition is said to be a playful bonding experience between the families. We say if the shoes are cute, game on.