Have you ever stopped to wonder why it's commonplace to see bouquets and garters flying through the air during wedding receptions? While love is a universal language, the ways that the world celebrates the tradition of marriage couldn't be more diverse. Whether they're symbolizing unity or prosperity, wedding traditions add depth (and fun) to your big day. Plus, adding your own twist to traditions as a couple makes them all the more special. Check out these interesting traditions from all over the map.
Mexico: Lasso Ceremony
When couples in Mexico tie the knot, the bride and groom are bound with a lasso—usually with a traditional lasso or rosary beads—in a figure eight shape around their necks after swapping vows as a nod to unity. This couple, from a wedding coordinated by Tasteful Tatters, swapped the traditional lasso materials for a fresh garland that the bride wore for the remainder of the day.
Germany: Sawing a Log
Couples in Germany are put to work practicing their teamwork shortly after saying I do. The two are tasked with sawing a log, representing the "obstacle" they'll overcome in their marriage. The couple above in Columbus, Ohio, whose wedding was featured on The Knot, brought the tradition stateside for their wedding.
Japan: 1,000 Wedding Cranes
The crane holds special significance in Japan, as the birds mate for life and symbolize love. Folding 1,000 origami paper cranes is a custom to bless a long and happy marriage, and they double as meaningful décor, as you can see here in this California wedding featured on Junebug (the groom is Japanese).
Pakistan: Brides Wear a Red Dress
In Pakistan, a bride's elaborate gown is traditionally bright red, as you can see in this Dallas-area wedding from Junebug, which "combined vibrant, rich Pakistani and Bangladesh tradition with American elegance." However many brides choose to play with tradition, as you can see in this modernized Pakistani-meets Mongolian wedding from a Practical Wedding, where the bride opted for a custom-made Pakistani dress in white.