Garments: White gowns and tuxedos are usual with the groom wearing a kippah (a cloth head covering).
Ceremony: The rabbi leads the couple through the cultural rituals, including a ceremony held under a canopy or huppah.
First, the couple signs a Jewish marriage contract (the Ketubah). Then the groom covers his bride with a veil, symbolizing that he will protect her.
The couple enters the huppah with the bride entering last. The bride walks around the groom seven times, then they exchange rings and recite prayers. A common interpretation of the “breaking the glass” during the ceremony is that it represents the destruction of the temples in Jerusalem.
Finally, there’s the sound of breaking glass and “Mazel Tov” is yelled. Then, the couple spends some time alone.
Reception: One traditional dance is the chair dance, or the Hora. The bride and groom are seated on chairs and lifted into the air while the guests dance around them in a circle.
Kosher foods meet the standards of the Hebrew bible.
Garments: The bride is in white, the groom wears a tuxedo.
Ceremony: Greek couples aren’t allowed to marry on Christian holidays, such as Christmas.
Both bride and groom wear only one ring which is worn on their left hand during the engagement. When the priest blesses the rings, they are then worn on the right hand.
During the ceremony, a cup of wine is shared representing a “common cup of life”. Finally, their crowns are removed and God is asked to welcome the couple into His kingdom.
Reception: The bride and the groom lead their guests in the Kaslamantiano, where guests dance in a circle. Guests often bake loaves of bread and cakes for the big day. Candied almonds are a common wedding favour. After the reception, there may be a “money dance”. Guests either pin money on the couple’s clothes or drop it on the dance floor.
Garments: Brides wear red dresses with artful embroidery. Depending on the region, brides may wear either a qi pao, a tight-fitting, one-piece dress, or a kua, a two-piece dress. The groom often wears a dragon-embroidered dark blue robe with a black overcoat.
Today, bride and groom often wear western apparel and then change into traditional Chinese dress.
Ceremony: During the ceremony, the couple bow to the family and to each other. The person leading the service will tie the hands of the couple to symbolize family unity.
A tea ceremony shows appreciation and respect to the family. Traditionally, the couple served tea to the groom’s family, but today it’s served to both families. Afterward, the couple is given a lucky red pocket filled with money.
Reception: Guests are served eight-course meals since eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture. Common dishes include a whole fish, which represents plentiful, and Peking duck or lobster to signify happiness. All dates are chosen according to an astrological calendar.
Garments: White is associated with funerals so a traditional Indian wedding is colourful. Red and gold are lucky colours. A bride typically wears an embroidered and beaded sari. The groom wears a long coat and often a turban.
Ceremony: Indian weddings are usually a three-day affair. First, the couple, bridal party, family and priest gather and pray to Lord Ganesh, a Hindu deity known to remove obstacles. The next day, all the females gather for a mehendi ceremony to apply henna designs on their hands and feet. Two or three days before the wedding there may be a sangeet party with singing and dancing.
On the wedding day, the groom arrives in a grand procession with his family and friends, which sometimes includes fireworks, loud music and dancing. Traditionally, he arrives on a white horse. For a more extravagant entrance, he could show up on an elephant. The bride waits at the venue and when the groom arrives, they exchange garlands and their hands are tied together. A fire is lit and together the couple take seven steps around it.
Reception: Traditional Indian dancers entertain and guests take part in easy-to-learn Indian dances.