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Customs of European weddings

Western marriage customs add a joyful mix of customs and lighthearted challenges to a woman’s voyage into marriage, from breaking dishes to sawing through logs. Family and friends gather outside the couple’s home to crack numerous enamel dishes to bring good fortune to the woman’s matrimony. One such pre-wedding ceremony is known as Polterabend. The pair is then required to remove all the shards themselves, reiterating their commitment to working collectively through any challenges that may arise in the future.

La rotie, a post-wedding ceremony in Italy, is greatly intimate and scatological, but it has a strong connection to rural tradition there. After the wedding, a group of friends abduct the bride and groom, who next transports them to a bar or restaurant where they serve the brides with a libation of champagne and chocolate served in a compartment pot. The couple will finally share a bowl of garlic dish, which represents married life’s daily closeness.

Although it may seem common to most people to pour wheat or petals on newlyweds, in Poland, wheat and barley are also sprinkled on the pair to wish them good health and fecundity. Before the wedding service, the partners is moreover sprinkled with sugar and breads, which are considered the essentials of life, so that they will always have what they need to live. Additionally, it is customary for the couple to step on vodka bottles that are displayed at the venue’s “passing gates” to wish them prosperity and abundance.