5. Cake Pull
Western marriages usually involved a bouquet being thrown to the assembled female guests by a bride at her wedding ceremony. This is said to determine who’s next in line for marriage, however Peruvians do things a little differently. What they do instead is place a series of charms inside the wedding cake itself. These are attached to ribbons. Female guests grab a ribbon apiece and pull. The woman who pulls the ribbon containing a fake wedding ring at the end is the woman who is is supposedly due to get married next.
4. Slaughtering a Cow
Country: South Africa and surrounding countries (Zulu tradition)
In what may appear a rather gruesome wedding tradition to outsiders, a Zulu groom’s family slaughters a cow to welcome the bride into their family. As a reciprocal gesture, the bride places money inside the cow’s stomach to symbolize that she is now part of it. On a more light-hearted note, Zulu weddings are permeated with vibrant colors and intense dance-offs between the bride and groom’s families.
3. Joyous Processional
The zaffe is a rowdy, traditional escort for the groom that consists of his friends and family. In some instances, professional dancers and musicians also take part. They make a racket outside his door with music, dancing and shouting before escorting him to the bride’s house. Once the bride and groom are united, the zaffe sends them off in a shower of shouted blessings and flower petals.
2. Ransom for the Bride
A Russian groom is made to work hard to be deemed deserving of his beloved. He is tasked with showing up to the bride’s home and asking for her. Gathered friends and family refuse his request until he has paid his dues in the form of gifts, money, jewelry or being humiliated to the point that he is deemed worthy of her hand. The shenanigans involve doing silly dances, answering riddles and performing goofy tests of worthiness, such as diapering a baby doll. The groom only gets to see the bride once her family and friends are satisfied with his vykup nevesty performance.
1. Ransom for the Shoes
A Pakistani groom actually has to pay to get his stolen shoes back on his wedding day. During the “showing of the face” ceremony, which takes place after a couple is married, family and friends hold a green shawl over the newlyweds’ heads, together with holding up a mirror allowing them to gaze at one another. While this is going on, the groom’s shoes are taken by the bride’s female relatives, who then demand money for them to be returned safely.