Beyond "I Do"; Wedding Customs to Carry into Marriage

We spend hours planning our wedding ceremony. And in most cultures, there are wedding traditions and customs to make the day special, unique and fun.

What if we applied those same customs and wedding traditions to our marriage? What if we spent just as much time and energy incorporating the values behind these customs into our day to day lives?¬† We’ve highlighted some of the best cultural wedding traditions from around the world and offered simple ways to incorporate them into your just married life.

Wedding Traditions To Keep In Marriage

The Sake Ceremony

In Japan, the bride and groom sip sake together during the ceremony to symbolize their union. It is a gorgeous way to represent two lives becoming one. More importantly, it reminds us that spending a few moments with your spouse over a favourite beverage is a simple, beautiful way to connect. Make a standing date with your spouse to continue the tradition long after you’ve said I do. You will share far more than the coffee, tea, or wine as you sip away.

The Wedding Coin

In Irish weddings, the groom passes a coin to the bride saying, “I give to you all that I possess.” It’s a beautiful, if a bit outdated, custom, but I love the practicality of discussing finances as a married couple. Money arguments are one of the top factors in marital dissatisfaction. Far too many of us go into marriage unprepared to handle them. This tradition highlights how important financial discussions are long before the wedding and throughout the partnership. After all, if you are giving someone all that you possess it’s probably a good idea to know their spending and savings habits beforehand. Make a date to discuss finances before your wedding and then mark your calendar to have these discussions on a regular basis each week after. Preferably with a glass of sake.

The Madhap

In Indian cultures, couples are married under an adorned pavilion called a Madhap. The Madhap is constructed from four pillars, each of which represents the couple’s parents. I love the Madhap because it reminds us that our families are a huge part of our story, both as individuals and as a couple. After marriage, it is easy to fall into the tired habit of complaining about an overbearing mother-in-law or your younger brother who just won’t grow up. Ditch the habit. Remind yourself that you wouldn’t be where you are without your family. Then honour those relationships with time and communication throughout your marriage.

Stealing the Bride {or Groom}

In Germany, the best man “kidnaps” the bride. Together they head off to a local pub with friends until the groom catches up with them. In America, it is common for the bridesmaids to do the same to the groom after the ceremony, with both parties meeting up shortly after. So often our wedding parties (and social lives) are broken down into “his and hers” groups. This fun tradition offers a unique opportunity to bond and creates memories with your spouse’s best mates and vice versa. We recently lost a dear friend in a tragic bicycle accident. Since his death, the men closest to him have stepped up for his wife in children in so many ways. It’s become clear that as much as we need “girl time” or a “guys night out” it’s equally important to develop relationships with each others’ friends throughout our marriage too.

Simple Lessons

The lessons from these customs are quite simple really. Make time to connect- with each other, your families and your friends. Celebrate. Discuss the important things in life, then do it again. Remember that your union should be special, unique and fun every day.  Then watch lovingly as your just married life turns in a long married life.




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