Weird Marriage Traditions around the World

By Neeti Verma
  • Sep 21, 2016

The marriage was instituted in ancient societies as a guarantee for perpetuation of the species, continuity of bloodlines and protection of people’s cultural heritage. Due to its importance, the celebration of marriage, in every corner of the globe, is replete with rituals and traditions characteristics of each culture / religion.

Although all of us must respect cultural diversity and beliefs of every people, let us be honest, there are some people with very weird customs. With regard to marriage, how weird can they get?


1.Do you like her? Take her home!

From perfect strangers until they become husband and wife, all couples go through different stages of their relationship. The first look, the approach, the first kiss, romance ... But some cultures prefer to make things easier, it only takes a touch of criminality.

In Kyrgyzstan, the groom or his family chooses a woman of their liking and simply brings her home. Yes, I'm talking about kidnapping the bride! The chosen bride is taken by the groom, his family and his friends and brought to the groom's parent’s house where older women try to convince her to marry. In some cases women remain in captivity for several days until she give in.

This practice, also known as marriage by abduction or marriage by capture, was a tradition of Roma people for centuries. Today, even constituting a crime towards the law, this practice is still common in many ethnic minorities scattered throughout the world, especially in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Given the strength of tradition among a large number of ethnic minority groups, no governmental entity is willing to take responsibility to ban this criminal act. This is a reality that has called the attention of human rights organizations all around the world.

2.The larger, the sexier!

We already know that the concept of beauty varies in time and geographic location. In Mauritania, men prefer the rounded shapes, they like women who fill (literally) a bed. In fact, this particular taste for bulky women comes from the belief that obesity is a sign of wealth.

Thus, the mothers of future brides begin to prepare their daughters at an early age to ensure that they won’t have difficulties in finding a husband. In this practice named Leblouh, young girls or even children, are forced to eat in large quantities to gain those extra pounds that will make them more attractive. The limit for this fattening is when the girl reaches the weight that the government considers as life-threatening. To make things even more bizarre, Mauritania has authentic fattening farms where professionals in Leblouh receive girls at the request of their parents and take charge of the implementation of that special "diet"... an inverted version of "the bigest loser".

3.The Wet Wedding

Everybody have already witnessed or heard about those persons who fold themselves into tears carried away by the emotion of the wedding. Crying in such events it's a quite natural happening and it usually doesn’t influence the outcome of the ceremony... unless you are in China.

In the Tujia ethnic minority, crying is an important part of the set of pre-marital customs. According to tradition, the bride should start crying about a month before the ceremony, one hour per day. While she cries, she sings songs so charged of emotion that, reportedly, even the manliest men find it difficult to contain their tears. On the wedding ceremony eve, the bride's parents invite nine unmarried girls to join her in this marathon of tears ... all night long. In Tujia culture, the ability of a young bride cry her wedding is considered a criterion in assessing her abilities and virtues. So, from an early age, Tujia girls receive crying lessons from the older women ... a kind of training center specializing drama queens.

4.Forget rice and rose petals

In Scotland, before the marriage, the bride and groom are covered with a mixture of everything you can find more disgusting.

5.If you're happy, keep it to yourself

In the Congo, it's tradition that the couple cannot smile, during the whole ceremony…never! This way they intend to demonstrate that the marriage is to be taken seriously.

6.Mother Voyeur

In Cali, Colombia, the bride's mother must be present in the bedroom with the couple in their first night. could this be some kind of "coaching the bride" during the honeymoon?

7.Fisherman style

In Korea, at the end of the wedding, the groom's feet are beaten with fish by his friends. This will prepare him for the first night as a married man. The question is: does it work?

8.Alone at last

In France the grooms family and friends join at the door of the newlyweds on their first night, armed with pots, mugs or any other appliance that can produce sound. The aim is to be as annoying as possible and force the couple to come out to offer food and drink.

9.Don’t leave me

 In Sweden, during the reception, when one of the grooms is absent from the table, the other stays at mercy of the kisses from the guests of the opposite sex ... lots of kisses!


Well, every culture has their particularity that makes them different, unique and strange from the eyes of others. My advice is, if you're thinking about getting married, beware about the origins and customs of your partner, otherwise the wedding day can become a very bizarre surprise!



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