A Celebration of Culture: Wedding Traditions From Around the World

It’s truly fascinating to think about how love and marriage are celebrated in different cultures all around the world, with each having their own unique way of marking the special day. Let’s take a trip around the globe and discover the incredible beauty of some of these traditions. 


There’s no denying that Japanese weddings are a sight to behold, with their intricate Shinto-style ceremonies and elegant traditions. From the stunning white kimono worn by the bride to the formal black kimono adorned with ancestral crests worn by the groom, every detail is carefully designed to reflect the couple’s heritage and mark the beginning of their new chapter together. 

As the ceremony progresses, the couple performs a traditional ritual of sipping sake from three cups, three times each, known as san-san-kudo. This act represents turning flaws into strengths. 

The beauty of Japanese weddings doesn’t stop there. The guests are all presented with Hikidemono, at the end of the reception, as a small token of appreciation. These gifts are often beautifully wrapped and are given to express gratitude for experiencing the couple’s special day, adding a sense of warmth to the celebration.


In the Maasai culture, wedding traditions are as unique as they are captivating. One that is sure to leave a lasting impression Is the blessing ceremony which takes place before a bride embarks on her journey with her new husband. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience where the father of the bride, in an act of symbolic respect and well wishes, spits on his daughter’s head and breasts. While this may seem unconventional to Western cultures, it holds a deep significance for the Maasai people. 

But that’s not all that makes Maasai weddings truly fascinating. Prepare to be enriched be the intricate beadwork that takes centre stage upon the bride’s attire. The jewellery and accessories are not just for aesthetic purposes: each bead carries a specific meaning that relates to her heritage and status.

Did you know about the beautiful signing tradition that takes place during wedding ceremonies? The father of the bride will perform moving songs that bid their daughter farewell, and the groom’s family responds with their own songs of welcome. The exchange is a touching moment that portrays the emotional beauty of this important milestone. 


The bride’s attire for a traditional Indian wedding celebration is a stunning lehenga which is covered with exquisite jewels and decorations. The elegant ensemble symbolises the beauty and grace of the bride on her special day. The groom’s wedding attire is a regal sherwani, which portrays him as honourable and elegant. 

Indian weddings are known for being grand affairs that often take place over multiple days. Often filled with traditional rituals, dancing and huge feasts for everyone to enjoy. A significant aspect is the intricate henna designs that are applied to the bride’s skin during a pre-wedding Mehndi ceremony to symbolise joy, beauty and good luck. 

The Jaimala ceremony is a special moment that marks the beginning of the bride and groom’s journey together. This timeless tradition involves the exchange of garlands between the couple, signifying their acceptance of each other and their lifelong commitment. It’s like a floral declaration of love, setting the tone for the entire celebration. 


Mexico is a country filled with cultural richness and their weddings are no exception. A popular custom is the El Lazo ceremony which involves a large ribbon being placed around the necks of the couple in an infinity symbol, to represent their eternal love and unity. 

A dance called Jarabe Tapatío traditionally follows the stunning ceremony. Originating in the 19th century, this dance is known as the Mexican hat dance and is one of the most iconic and recognisable in the world. It represents the very best of the country’s culture and heritage and consists of intricate footwork, and vibrant costumes coupled with lively music. 


Scotland’s charming wedding traditions have been passed down for generations. One of the most unusual that is performed pre-wedding is known as the ‘blackening’. This involves covering the bride and groom in a concoction of treacle, flour, and feathers by their friends. Despite this seeming like a prank, it actually serves a greater purpose of warding off evil spirits and bringing good luck to the soon-to-be newlyweds.

Another delightful custom that Scottish couples often follow is ‘first footing’. This is when the first guest that enters the couple’s home following the wedding brings along gifts such as coins, bread, salt and whisky. This act of gifting is considered to bring prosperity and luck during the couple’s life together. 

But that’s not all, the bride and groom often incorporate their respective family tartans into their wedding attire. This is a touching tribute to their roots and a beautiful symbol of the bringing together of two families. It’s an honouring display of the past while starting a new journey as a married couple. 

At Arches Beach Weddings, we open our doors to all forms of ceremonies that honour this universal sentiment, and believe every couple deserves a celebration that reflects their unique love story. Book your Arches wedding.