Cultures of European weddings

Western wedding customs add a cheerful meld of customs and frolicsome challenges to a child’s trip into matrimony, from breaking dishes to sawing through logs. Family and friends gather outside the bride’s home to tear numerous ceramic dishes to bring good fortune to the couple’s wedding. One such pre-wedding tradition is known as Polterabend. The pair is then required to remove all the pieces themselves, reiterating their commitment to working together through any challenges that may arise in the future.

A post-wedding service known as the la rotie in Italy is incredibly intimate and scatological, but it has a strong connection to the government’s rural tradition. Following the marriage, a group of companions abduct the bride and groom, who then transports them to a bar or restaurant where they serve the brides with a refreshment of champagne and chocolate served in a room bowl. The couple does therefore share a bowl of vegetable soup, which represents married life’s daily intimateity.

Although it may seem common to most people to sprinkle corn or petals on newlyweds, in Poland, wheat and barley are also sprinkled on the pair to wish them good health and fecundity. Before the wedding ceremony, the couple is also sprinkled with salt and bread, which symbolize the necessities of life, so that they will always have what they need to survive. Additionally, it is customary for the couple to step on vodka bottles that are displayed at the venue’s “passing gates” to wish them good fortune and abundance.

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