When I got married I made a nod to certain wedding traditions such as my father walking me down the aisle, not seeing the groom before the wedding. Since I grew up in another country I am intrigued by different cultures. I have found a selection for you all that has made me laugh. Enjoy!
In Wales, brides give cuttings of myrtle to their bridesmaids as a token of affection and good luck. If a bridesmaid plants her cutting and it takes root, she will be the next to marry! I have never heard of this one. Any of you?
In Poland, the bride and groom must pass through a series of gates or checkpoints guarded by members of their bridal party. To get through these “passing gates,” the couple must give the gatekeepers a little vodka.
Mexican weddings involve a “lassoing” of the bride and groom: the ceremony’s officiant wraps a cord around the couple in a figure eight to represent eternal love and unity.
Photo Credit: Pintrest
Many couples in Italy believe getting married on a Tuesday or Friday is bad luck.
In Australian weddings, each guest holds a stone during the ceremony, then places it in a large bowl as a beautiful keepsake for the couple. I think this is a lovely gesture.
Photo Credit: Pintrest
Couples in the Netherlands host a pre-wedding cocktail party for their bridesmaids and groomsmen. It’s a great way to relax and set the mood for the day!
In the Czech Republic, the wedding party plants a tree on the couple’s big day, decorating it with technicolor ribbons and painted eggshells.
It used to be common practice in French villages for the groom to walk with his bride through the streets on their wedding day. Children would string white ribbons across the road in front of the couple that the bride would cut as she passed through.
In Scotland, some brides endure the “blackening of the bride,” or a public humiliation ritual in which she is covered in molasses, mud, paint, and feathers—all to prepare her for the trials of lifelong commitment.
In parts of China, it’s customary for brides to wear three distinct looks for their wedding: a traditional embroidered gown for the ceremony, a Western-style wedding dress for the reception, and a cocktail dress for an after party. How much fun would that be!
I hope that you have enjoyed the reading about these golbal wedding traditions. I find it so intriguing at how different we all are. ~ Kate
In this new series of posts Vintage Bride Sophie is going to be investigating Welsh Wedding Traditions and sharing with you ways that you can incorporate them into your wedding day. She kicks off this week with the beautiful tradition of Love Spoons.
Over the next year, I’m going to be looking at various romantic and wedding related Welsh wedding traditions. I’d originally planned to do a single post on these but I wouldn’t be able to do each of them justice (some of them are incredible and some are HYSTERICAL!) so we’ll look at them one at a time.
Today I’m looking at the tradition of giving love spoons. This tradition is thought to date back to the seventeenth century and they were traditionally carved by men to present to young women as a way of asking their girl of choice out or showing affection. It is thought the spoon showed the girls’ father or family that he was good husband material – that he could carve wood and provide for her (grrrr). The earliest known Welsh love spoon dates back to 1667 and is on display at one of our favourite wedding venues, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life (I’m now dreaming of proposals by it. Pleeease say this has happened to one of you!)
These days love spoons are generally given as gifts and presented at weddings, births, christenings and for anniversaries. As I’m sure you’re aware there are many different symbols and meanings associated with the spoons. Symbols are carved into the wood and, collectively, hold a little message. I remember my father giving me a silver love spoon necklace when I was a little girl which was meant to prevent my heart being broken. Of course, I did have my heart broken but I can honestly say that I wasn’t wearing it at the time and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened if I had been.
So let’s have a look at the different meanings and ways you can incorporate love spoons into your wedding. Predominantly, these are the main symbols you will find carved into them.
Wheel: supporting a loved one
Caged balls: the number of children hoped for
Birds: going away together
Stalk: a new birth
Chain: a wish to be together
Diamond: wealth and good fortune
Key, lock or keyhole: security (I will look after you)
Knot: eternal love
Twisted stem: togetherness
Dragon: the protective symbol of Wales
In terms of incorporating this tradition into your day, there are many ways you can do so! You could present your husband or wife-to-be with a bespoke spoon as a gift they can cherish forever. If your budget allows you can buy personalised spoons in bulk to give as favours. You may choose to have spoons made for your bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to say thank you. Or you could put one on your gift list if you’d like one for your own home to remember your day! Left it too late for your wedding? Your fifth anniversary is the one requiring a wooden gift .
If you don’t have the time or expertise to carve love spoons for your guests or loved one, shame on you (although I may be able to help). Luckily, living in Wales, you can buy gorgeous spoons on your doorstep. Or for those further afield, they are readily available online too. Here are my picks…
The Lovespoon Gallery in Mumbles is a gorgeous little shop selling many designs. You can order online and they have a selection of spoons which can be used as favours.
If you’re looking for something really special, Adam King carves the most beautiful bespoke spoons. You can choose exactly what you’d like carving to make your spoon really personal and unique (he’s even carved Care Bears before!) Prices range from £70-£150