5 Wedding Traditions from around the world

There are so many cultures here in Toronto and just as many wedding traditions from around the world. In any age where mixed marriages dominate, at least here in Canada, couples take variations of traditions and personalize them for their weddings in order to embrace the two cultures and unite the families. We looked for some of the most unique and symbolic traditions and this is what we came up with. If you have more to add, please do so by commenting in the comment section.

Jewish: Breaking of the Glass

The breaking of the glass at the end of the Jewish Ceremony under the Chuppah represents the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.  The Groom crushes the glass with his right foot as the guests shout out “Mazel Tov” meaning Good luck as the couple sets out to rebuild the ‘house of God’ within their now married lives within their happy Jewish home.

Republic of Macedonian: Pig Dance

In the Republic of Macedonia they take part in what is known as the Pig Dance. Usually the Groomsmen come out clanging knives and carrying a huge platter with a whole roasted pig. This symbolizes the couple’s first meal together as husband and wife. The pig is circulated from table to table and guests toss money onto the tray to wish the couple prosperity in their married life together.

Indian: Painted Hands or Henna

Usually held a day prior to the ceremony and often combined with Sangeet, the Mehendi Ceremony (Painted Hands) symbolizes the bond that marriage brings between the couple and the family.  They also say the darkness of the Mehendi on the Bride’s hand indicates how deep the couple’s love is.

Japanese: “San-San-Kudo”.

The literal translation here is 3-3-9 times. The ceremony itself involves the Bride and Groom sipping Sake from 3 different cups 3 times in turn.  Since 9 is a very lucky number and symbolizes happiness, sipping nine times by each one in the couple means unity and a happy start to their marriage.

Russian: Ransom for the Bride

On the day of the wedding the Groom has to go to her Parents house and ask for his Bride. He then undergoes a series of tasks, banters and must offer payment and jest to win the parents over so that he can have her. Once he fulfills all the family’s wishes and they feel he is worthy, he is allowed to see his Bride-to-be.

Tips on choosing the right Toronto Venue

Choosing the right Toronto venue for your wedding is mandatory. Here are 7 tips that will help you in selecting the perfect wedding spot.

Budget

As we’ve said in past blog posts, you must know your budget. Without it, you are asking for trouble. There are so many things to consider when it comes to budget that ultimately we recommend you consult with a professional Wedding Planner or Coordinator to create a preliminary budget sheet for you to follow. There are often fees like SOCAN, Landmark Fees, Service Fees, Venue Fees and Gratuities that are often not mentioned when you are being quoted a per person price.  In addition, they may charge for other items that you don’t even think about when booking.  Items like linens, specific napkins, parking and even the labour on certain napkin folds and décor placement. Make sure you ask as many questions as possible and get the answers you need.

Capacity

How many people does the venue hold? Simple right? Not necessarily. Make sure when you are being quote on maximum capacities you ask if that includes a dancefloor big enough for all the guests to dance as well as a DJ station. Also, you should make sure that tables are not going to be so close together that people are packed in like sardines.

Location

Consider your guests. Where are most going to be coming from? Is parking accessible easily or will your guests need to go on a hunt? If the venue is all stairs, do they have a handicap accessibility point?  Your location can make or break your event. If you want to invite 200 people but it’s inconvenient for 100 or more of them, it would make for a very uncomfortable situation. However, if your heart is set on a location that is an hour away, perhaps considering the option of Bus transportation for your guests would make sense.

Venue’s Flexibility.

When selecting your location you also want to explore the venues flexibility.  What will they allow you to bring in; what are their restrictions? Some venues have preferred vendors that they solely use (Décor, DJ, Catering, Cakes etc). If you have your heart set on a late night food truck or Ice Cream Truck, it’s bet to check before you put down deposit. You also want to find out what time set up can occur and when you need to clear out by. Will they allow you to come in to set up in the morning or will you need to do it 2 hours before your event. With some venues hosting multiple weddings a day, they need to accommodate which may mean your times will be specific.

Availability.

Does the venue have availability? Is your preferred date available and furthermore if you are having your ceremony and reception on one site will there be time logistically for both? Make sure your timing coincides with theirs.

Know what you want.

Don’t go into the venue with no ideas of what you want. Even if it’s just the number of guests, menu, bar & times preferred. Price will be very different depending on the dish. Remember you get what you pay for, so be realistic. Getting Surf and Turf on a Roast Chicken budget is reason to question the quality of your food.

Time of Year.

Always be mindful of the time of year of your wedding. Not simply because of weather but also because of road closures, traffic and construction schedules.

Also, during the winter, it is recommended that your venue is close to your ceremony location so that your guests don’t need to get back on the road in case of bad weather. As we all know, Toronto is a hub for special events, marathons and construction so road closures are not only common, expected.

The Wedding Ring: A Universal Token of Love with a Tremendous History

Photo Credit: http://haciendofotos.com/wp-content/uploads/Ring_on_Book_w_heart_shadow_by_JonEastwood.jpg

Aside from the gorgeous wedding gown and the breathtaking reception venue, at the core of every wedding day lie a variety of cultural traditions that make each and every wedding ceremony and reception as unique as the couple themselves. There is however one undeniable common denominator to the millions of wedding ceremonies that take place all around the world. It is the most recognized symbol of love that a couple cherishes and keeps long after their wedding day. They wear it with pride and it is a constant reminder of their love and commitment to each other.

The global common denominator that transcends cultural and religious differences is the wedding ring. So how did something as small as a wedding ring come to mean so much? Well, it happens to be a piece of jewelry with a tremendously rich and long history. A history that began in the deserts of North Africa with the ancient Egyptian civilization.

At the time, the ancient Egyptian civilization developed along the luscious flood plains of the Nile River. To the Pharaoh’s people, the river was a source of great fortune and life. In fact, the very first wedding rings were fashioned from plants growing along its banks. Growing alongside the ever-popular papyrus were sedges and reeds that were twisted and braided into rings for fingers.

For Egyptians and many ancient cultures, the ring of course is a circle and the circle was a symbol of eternity. Just like time, it has no beginning and no end; and much like life, it returned to itself. The shape was also worshipped in the form of the Sun and the Moon. Even the empty center of the ring held great meaning: It is the symbol of the gateway leading to events both known and unknown. This is precisely how the ring began to be associated with love in hopes that this great emotion would take on the characteristics of the circle and be captured for eternity.

The ancient Egyptians wore the ring just like we do today, on the third finger of the left hand. They believed that particular finger has a vein that connects directly to the heart. The Greek later took on this legend when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. The Greek then passed it on to the Romans who called it the ‘vena amoris’, which is Latin for the ‘vein of love’.

These early rings lasted about one year before wear and tear took their toll. It wasn’t long before some decided that they wanted longer lasting material like leather, bone or ivory to craft their token of love.

To this day, the wedding ring is a universal token of love that, as history dictates, was born with the start of civilization. Just like the emotion it represents, the wedding ring and its significance continue to stand the test of time.

Do you have a favourite Wedding Tradition? Please share below! We’d love to hear it!