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Wedding Traditions From Around The World

In Japan purple is the color of love and a young bride may choose to wear an elaborately-embroidered silk kimono covered in purple flowers. In a Buddhist ceremony during which two strings of beads are interwoven, great emphasis is placed on the joining of two families into one.

In Korea it is traditional for a fortune-teller, known as a kung-hap, to look into the couple’s future before they are married. The question at stake is whether the couple will live together in harmony. Harmony is key, especially when engagement gifts alone for a traditional Korean wedding can cost upwards of $40,000.

A bride and groom from India, or any Hindu culture, are not permitted to see each other for several days before saying their nuptials. Once the wedding takes place, several items are used during the ceremony to symbolize wealth, happiness and fertility including milk, leaves, rice and oats.

After a close friend or family member makes a toast at the reception, everyone in the room throws their champagne glass on the floor. It is considered good luck if the glasses break when they hit the floor.

Swedish weddings include many customs and traditions. For instance, it is customary for the guests to be intermixed during the dinner portion of the reception. Each man receives the name of a woman in attendance. It is his duty to find her among the crown and escort her to dinner. The only couples that remain seated together are the ones that are engaged-to-be-married and the bride and groom. Swedish weddings also include toasts given by many of the guests, not just the best man and maid/matron-of -honor. A toastmaster is assigned prior to the event and anyone wishing to make a toast must arrange it with the toastmaster. Toasts may consist of poems, songs, funny anecdotes or blessings.

On the day of the Greek wedding ceremony, the groom asks the bride's father for his daughter's hand in marriage. The groom's best man then accompanies the couple to the church, to be married. The best man, along with the priest, is in charge of the ceremony. He places gold crowns or wreathes made of orange blossoms on the heads of the bride and groom. These crowns or wreathes are linked by a silk ribbon. For the rest of their wedding day the newlyweds are honored as king and queen. At the reception, dishes are smashed on the floor for good luck and money is thrown at the musicians.

During the marriage vows, a white ribbon or rosary, called a "lasso", is symbolically wrapped around the necks of the couple, which represents their joining. As the newlyweds leave the church, red beads may be tossed at them, to bring good luck. At the wedding reception, all the guests will join hands and form a heart shape around the newly married couple as they have their first dance.

The traditional bridal trousseau, or hope chest, originated in France and came from the French word trousse, meaning bundle. After the wedding reception, and even later into the couple's wedding night, friends of the newlyweds might show up outside their bridal suite banging pots and pans, singing boisterous tunes. The groom is expected to invite them in for snacks.

Sunday marriages are believed to be the luckiest. It is considered bad luck for a bride to wear any gold, on the day she is married, until wedding rings are exchanged. Symbolic foods for fertility and for good luck are 'confetti -- candy covered almonds tied in mesh bags to toss at the couple; and twists of fried dough powdered with sugar called wanda (bow ties).

The bride and groom walk to the church together to exchange vows. As they walk by, onlookers throw items at them such as rice or even large items like pots and pans. The bride wears blue or white to symbolize purity and she often braids her hair as a symbol of feminine strength.

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