European Bridal Customs

European bridal customs add a jovial combination of customs and frolicsome challenges to a woman’s journey into matrimony, from breaking dishes to sawing through logs. Family and friends gather outside the bride’s home to break numerous ceramic meals to deliver great fortune to the child’s wedding in one of the pre-wedding rituals known as Polterabend. The pair is then required to remove all the fragments themselves, reiterating their commitment to working up through any challenges that may arise in the future.

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La rotie, a post-wedding ceremony in Italy, is greatly sexual and scatological, but it has a strong connection to rural tradition there. Following the ceremony, a group of buddies abduct the bride and groom, who then transports them to a pub or restaurant where they serve the newlyweds with a beverage of champagne and chocolate served in a compartment bowl. The couple will next share a bowl of onion soup, which represents married life’s daily intimateity.

Although it may seem common to most people to pour wheat or petals on newlyweds, in Poland, oats and barley are also sprinkled on the couple to wish them good fortune 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» and wish them good fortune and abundance.