Category Archives: Weddings

Arras

What’s with the coins?


In Spain, Panama, and Mexico, grooms give their brides 13 gold coins as a sign of their wealth and ability to provide for their marriage. The priest will bless these coins during the ceremony and be handed back and forth between the bride and groom, ultimately ending in the hands of the bride. A new tradition involves the bride bringing her own coins to exchange, showing equality in the responsibility of the success of the marriage.

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A tid bit from a Puerto Rican wedding

During a traditional Puerto Rican wedding ceremony, the priest will bless a plate of coins for the groom. After the wedding vows have been exchanged, the groom gives the plate of coins to the bride. The brides will keep these coins as a wedding present from her new husband. The gift of coins represent good luck and prosperity for the newlyweds.

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2 Interesting German Wedding Traditions

1) According to German wedding tradition, when a baby girl is born in Germany, several trees are planted in honor of her birth. When her wedding date is set, the trees are sold, and the money is used for her dowry.

2) A unique German pre-wedding custom is the creation of a wedding newspaper by the friends and family of the bride and groom. This newspaper, or booklet, is filled with pictures, articles and stories of the engaged couple. The newspaper is sold at the wedding reception, to assist with the expenses of the honeymoon.

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Hindu Wedding Traditions

Wedding Traditions

The Indian culture celebrates marriage as a sacrament (Sanskara), a rite enabling two individuals to start their journey in life together. In a Hindu wedding, the multiplicity of creation becomes possible when spirit (Purush) unites with matter (Prakritti). The Hindu wedding lays emphasis on three essential values: happiness, harmony, and growth.

The institution of marriage can be traced back to Vedic times. The ceremony should be held on a day in the “bright half” of the northern course of the sun. Months before the wedding an engagement ceremony known as Mangni is held. This is to bless the couple, who are then given gifts of jewelry and clothing by their new family.

Jaimala (Exchange of Garlands)
The couple exchanges garlands as a gesture of acceptance of one another and a pledge to respect one another as partners.

Madhupak (Offering of Yogurt and Honey)
The bride’s father offers the groom yogurt and honey as the expression of welcome and respect.

Kanyadan (Giving Away of the Bride)
The father of the bride places her hand in the groom’s hand requesting him to accept her as an equal partner. The concept behind Kanyadan is that the bride is a form of the goddess Lamxi and the groom is Lord Narayana. The parents are facilitating their union.

Havan (Lighting of the Sacred Fire)
The couple invokes Agni, the god of Fire, to witness their commitment to each other. Crushed sandalwood, herbs, sugar rice and oil are offered to the ceremonial fire.

Rajaham (Sacrifice to the Sacred Fire)
The bride places both her hands into the groom’s and her brother then places rice into her hands. Together the bride and groom offer the rice as a sacrifice into the fire.

Gath Bandhan (Tying of the Nuptial Knot)
The scarves placed around the bride and groom are tied together symbolizing their eternal bond. This signifies their pledge before God to love each other and remain faithful.

Mangalphera (Walk Around the Fire)
The couple makes four Mangalpheras around the fire in a clockwise direction representing four goals in life: Dharma, religious and moral duties; Artha, prosperity; Kama, earthly pleasures; Moksha, spiritual salvation and liberation. The bride leads the Pheras first, signifying her determination to stand first beside her husband in all happiness and sorrow.

Saptapardi (Seven Steps Together)
The bride and groom walk seven steps togehr to signify the beginning of their journey through life together. Each step represents a marital vow:

First step: To respect and honor each other
Second step: To share each other’s joy and sorrow
Third step: To trust and be loyal to each other
Fourth step: To cultivate appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice and service
Fifth step: To reconfirm their vow of purity, love family duties and spiritual growth
Sixth step: To follow principles of Dharma (righteousness) Seventh step: To nurture an eternal bond of friendship and love

Jalastnchana (Blessing of the Couple)
The parents of the bride and groom bless the wedded couple by dipping a rose in water and sprinking it over the couple.

Sindhoor (Red Powder)
The groom applies a small dot of vermilion, a powdered red lead, to the bride’s forehead and welcomes her as his partner for life. It is applied for the first time to a woman during the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom himself adorns her with it.

Aashirvad (Parental Blessing)
The parents of the bride and groom give their blessings to the couple. The couple touches the feet of their parents as a sign of respect.

Menhdi (Henna Ceremony)
The traditional art of adorning the hands and feet with a paste made from the finely ground leaves of the Henna plant. The term refers to the material, the design, and the ceremony. It is tradition for the names of the bride and groom to be hidden in the design, and the wedding night is not to commence until the groom has found both names. After the wedding, the bride is not expected to perform any housework until her Menhdi has faded away.

Mangalasutra (Thread of Goodwill)
A necklace worn specifically by married women as a symbol of their marriage.

More details can be found here.

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Wedding traditions from Germany

Never-ceasing and still growing number of emails with questions on German wedding traditions prompted this article’s uprise. Indeed, Germans respect and love their traditions and maintain them through time and distances. Foreigners travel to Germany and marry there, Germans living abroad wish to get married in accordance with their native rituals, so it is high time to get brides and grooms acquainted with what they will have to do on their German-like Hochzeit (wedWedding traditions in Germany differ from region to region. Here are some of the highlights:

Car Procession after the wedding a car procession is formed and drives through town honking their horns – others honk back wishing the couple good luck.
Costs the father of the bride has to pay the wedding. This is an old custom but today normally both parents and the couple itself divide the costs for the wedding.
Dance the first dance is danced by the bride and the groom, it is traditionally a waltz. The next dance is only for bride with her father and groom with mother, while bride’s mother dances with groom’s father.
First Night to make the first night as difficult as possible, friends of the couple do lots of funny or sometimes cruel things. They fill up the rooms with balloons, hide lots of alarm clocks in the bedroom, take apart the bed, and so on.
Flowers besides the flowers for the bride and in church, the hood of the wedding car is decorated with lots of flowers.
Junggesellenabschied a few days before the wedding the groom and his male friends go to a pub or sometimes other places to drink and have fun. (the last time?)
Kidnapping of the bride in some areas (mostly in small villages) friends kidnap the bride and the groom has to find her. Normally, he has to search in a lot of pubs and invite all people in there (or pay the whole bill). Sometimes this ritual ends badly.
Polterabend this is an informal (informal dress and food) party at the evening before the wedding where plates and dishes are smashed (the broken pieces are thought to bring good luck to the bride). The bride and groom have to clean up everything.
Rice after the wedding when the bride leaves the church, friends throw rice on them and it is said that they will get as many children as rice grains stay in the hair of the bride.
Veil Dance this is a popular game for a wedding evening. Every woman or man who wants to dance with the groom or bride, has to pay for it.
Wedding Cake the wedding cake, mostly a large cake with lots of ornaments, has to be cut by the bride and the groom together.
Wedding Evening
at the wedding evening a lot of games are played, speeches are held (the first normally from the father of the bride), sometimes a wedding newspaper is handed out. Songs are sung, and so on.
White Ribbon the bride carries lengths of white ribbon with her bouquet, and after the church ceremony is over and the guests are leaving the church, she hands each driver a ribbon that they tie to the radio antenna.
Wedding Rings Germans wear wedding rings on the right hand – the groom and the bride have normally identical rings (wedding “bands” — no diamonds).
Wedding Shoes another tradition is to collect pennies for years and buy wedding shoes for the bride with this money.

Courtesy GermanCulture.com

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Jewish Wedding Traditions

The Jewish Ketubah

Traditional Hebrew wedding ceremonies begin with the bride and groom signing a marriage contract, called the Ketubah. The agreement, which once assured the bride’s legal status, states the expectations and duties of the couple once they are married. This beautiful, ornate document will be framed and displayed in the couples’ home.

After the couple have signed the Ketubah, the groom lowers his bride’s wedding veil after studying her face. This wedding custom recalls the biblical story of Jacob, who married the wrong woman when she covered her face with a veil.

In the Jewish tradition, the wedding ring should be simple, a band with no details, no stones, and nothing engraved, with nothing to distinguish the beginning from the end. The rabbi, groom, groomsmen, and Jewish male guests traditionally wear a white-colored cap called a yamulkes.

The Traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony begins with a procession of the wedding party members. At the wedding site, both sets of parents escort the bride and groom down the aisle. The marriage ceremony is performed under a special canopy, called a huppah, which represents God’s presence, shelter and protection.

After exchanging wedding vows, seven marriage blessings are read. The groom then steps on a wine glass, to symbolize the fragility of human happiness, a hallmark of Jewish history. It is also traditional for the bride and groom to be alone together for a few moments immediately after the ceremony. This tradition, called yichud, originated so that the marriage could be consummated, but now it is observed as a lovely time to be together before the reception. There is rarely, therefore, a receiving line at a Jewish wedding.

Favorite Jewish Wedding Dances

Wedding receptions are joyous celebrations, with much singing and many traditional dances. A lively Israeli dance called the Hora is performed at the wedding reception. While they hold on to either end of a handkerchief, bride and groom are lifted into the air on chairs by their joyful guests, as they are celebrated as ‘king and queen of the night’.

A lovely Jewish custom called the “Krenzl” — which means ‘crowning’ honors the bride’s mother when her last daughter is wed. The mother is seated in the center of the room and is crowned with a wreath of flowers, then all her daughters dance around her to a very lively Yiddish song. The Mizinke is a dance of celebration reserved for both parents who have just seen their last son or daughter married. The guests encircle the mother and father, while bestowing them with wedding flowers and kisses.

Another traditional dance is called “gladdening of the bride.” All of the guests at the reception circle the bride while they dance and sing praises about her.

A Jewish wedding would not be complete without a sumptuous meal to satisfy the entire wedding party and guests.

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Weddings with a French Flair

For many brides and grooms, acknowledging their ethnicity during their wedding ceremony is a way to pay homage to the family that’s come before them. Here in the United States, where we enjoy a melting pot of ethnic and religious backgrounds, the opportunity to bear witness to the traditions of other cultures is highly accessible, providing us with a multitude of ways to celebrate our heritage – especially if ours is a mix of several different cultures.

According to “Brides Magazine,” 12% of US couples will include customs from their ethnic background in their weddings. Additionally, more will include customs that aren’t necessarily from their own backgrounds, but from cultures they find personally meaningful.

If you’re looking to include some French customs or traditions into your wedding celebrations, why not consider the following:

In many smaller French towns, the groom will meet his betrothed at her home on the day of the wedding and escort her to the ceremony. Across the road, children stretch white ribbons which the bride cuts as they proceed towards the chapel.

You might choose to emulate this custom by having white ribbons strung across the center aisle of the temple or church. (Guests can be seated using the outside aisles.) Then, as you proceed down the aisle towards your husband-to-be, you (or a small child) could cut the ribbons with silver-handled scissors.

Use laurel leaves instead of rose petals to line the path towards the altar.

Some French bridal couples choose to serve a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake. This tasty desert is a pyramid of crème-filled pastry puffs that are drizzled with a caramel glaze. You might consider having one instead of, or in addition to, a regular wedding cake. You might also request your baker to create a cake in the shape of the Eiffel Tower or another famous French landmark.

You could recite part of your vows in French, then repeat them in English – or have the translation be a part of your wedding program.

Another tradition you could incorporate into your wedding celebration is that of “beheading” a bottle of champagne with a sabre specially-made for the occasion. Begun as a means of showing off their skill on horseback, the Hussards under Napoleon’s command celebrated their victories by ‘sabring’ off the top of a bottle of champagne. As legend has it, these skilled horsemen would ride on horseback at a full gallop while brave (or foolhardy!) ladies would hold up the bottles. With over 100 lbs. of pressure per square inch in a bottle of champagne, the sabre must strike the neck at exactly the right angle.

Today, celebrants can purchase decorative replicas of these sabres that have been faithfully recreated by artisans in Thiers, France – the French capital of cutlery and use them at their own wedding feasts. (You can view one of these specialized sabres by clicking on the related link at the top righthand side of this page…)

In France, during the reception the couple often uses a toasting cup called a “Coupe de Marriage.” (In fact, the origin of giving a toast began in France when a small piece of toast was dropped into the couple’s wine to ensure a healthy life. Hence the reference to lifting your glass in a “toast.”) Instead of lighting a unity candle, you might consider sipping from a Coupe de Marriage once the ceremony is complete, thereby signifying your new status as a couple. Use your favorite search engine to help you locate one of these special wedding cups online.

Undoubtedly, whatever way you choose to celebrate, your wedding ceremony will be as unique and filled with love as you are!

courtesy BellaOnline

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