Bizarre Wedding Traditions from Around the World

If you think throwing the bouquet and toasting your mother-in-law is weird, then read on; you’ll either realise you’re very lucky to escape these traditions or you might be tempted to include a couple…

The Blackening

In some parts of Scotland, especially the islands off the north coast, there’s a nasty and smelly tradition that promises to get the marriage off to a good start. The bride and groom are pelted with rotten food, coal dust, old fish and other gross items on the day before the wedding. Apparently, if they can handle this, they can handle anything.

It’s all in the liver

In China, in the region of Daur, engaged couples have to cut up a chicken and examine its liver. If the liver is in good condition, they can set a date for the wedding; if not, they have to wait until they find a chicken that’s in better health.

The cursed wives of India

In India, astrology is still very important and girls born with a heavy Mars influence (watch out, men with Aries ladies…) are cursed, apparently. This curse means an early death for their husbands, so a clever workaround sees these women marrying a tree, which is then felled, leaving their second, human, husband, fancy-free (if not footloose).

The Greek money-dance

A slightly more reassuring tradition is the Greek one that requires the newly-weds to have a traditional dance, during which wedding guests pin money to their clothes.

Water, water, everywhere…

Single Armenian girls eat a slice of salty bread before bed in order to dream about their future husband. The man who brings them water to drink in this dream is the right man for them.


An old French tradition dictated that a newly-married couple should drink the leftover booze from their wedding festivities out of a (thankfully replica) toilet bowl. It will come as a relief (ahem) that this tradition is, errr, going down the pan in recent years.

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