The Weirdest Wedding Traditions In The World

Published November 3, 2013
Updated February 12, 2018

From dumping soot and flour onto a bride to avoiding the bathroom in the name of love, people have crafted some of the weirdest wedding traditions ever.

Blackening Scotland Tradition

Source: Flickr

Weddings are meant to be one of the happiest days in the lives of two devoted partners, but there are a few wacky wedding customs from around the world that can throw a spanner in the works. From throwing soot over the bride to banging pots and pans on the couple’s wedding night, some traditions are just plain weird.

Blackening of the Bride and Groom

Blackening Wedding Traditon

Source: WordPress

Up in the Highlands of Scotland, there lies an age-old wedding custom that quite literally puts the bride and groom in a sticky situation. The ‘Blackening of the Bride’ ritual involves throwing treacle, soot and flour, at the happy couple to ward off evil spirits that might undermine their marriage. Nowadays, it’s a good excuse for the in-laws to hurl things at the bride and it’s believed that if you can endure the blackening, then you can handle marriage.

Weirdest Wedding Traditions: Charivari

The wedding night is one of the most sacred events of a marriage, but for some communities in France, it’s a chance to bang pots and pans outside the bridal suite throughout the night. Charivari, also known as “rough music”, is an old French folk custom where vociferous villagers would ‘serenade’ the couple in a very public and very loud ritual.

However, Charivari’s use wasn’t always one of cacophonous celebration. Sometimes, French townspeople would take to pots and pans in an effort to force unmarried couples to wed, demonstrate disapproval of a marriage or even announce the home of an adulterous villager. Given the myriad meanings of the clamor outside their windows, this ritual must have been quite confusing for newlyweds. The modern age is a little more forgiving, though, and today Charivari is largely ceremonial. Don’t expect to get full peace and quiet on your wedding night, however; couples must also provide snacks for the noisy revelers.

Weirdest Wedding Traditions: Cupid’s Arrows

You’ve seen them in movies, read them in books, and listened to them in songs: all’s fair in love and war, love hurts, is blind, is a battlefield, etc. There’s a trove of cliches about love and pain, but for certain Chinese newlyweds, it’s a bit more literal. A custom from the millennia-old Yugur culture involves the groom at the wedding ceremony shooting three arrows at the bride before breaking the bow and arrows. Luckily, the arrows have no heads but it can still be painful for the fair bride. If done correctly, though, story has it that they will love each other forever.

Weirdest Wedding Traditions Yugur

Source: People

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.