Geese are monogamous, eternally devoted birds, and so they have inspired a Korean wedding custom. The goose, like the crane, is known for its faithfulness. Drawing wisdom from these feathered friends, Korean grooms had a tradition of gifting live geese to their mothers-in-law. Why their mothers-in-law?
To make a symbolic commitment that they will remain faithful to their daughters forever. In modern times, though, wooden geese are gifted instead for more, let’s say, practical reasons.
Australian Sacred Stones
Australian couples are known for bestowing stones into the hands of their guests. No, this is not for throwing at the band if they suck. The guests hold the stones while the bride and the groom read their wedding vows to each other.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds collect the stones from their guests and place them in a decorative bowl. The bowl is then displayed in the marital home to symbolize the wedding guests' support on the wedding day.
Venezuelan Couples Vanish!
Do not be surprised at a Venezuelan wedding if the bride and groom make a sudden appearance and then an equally sudden disappearance. Customary at Venezuelan weddings is for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception unannounced and simply slip in amongst the guests.
Their exit is equally perplexing as the newlyweds will simply vanish without saying a single farewell. Does this mean they won’t know if we didn’t buy them a gift?
Scottish Bride Blackening
The blackening of the bride is traditionally a Scottish custom whereby the bride, and sometimes the groom, is abducted by relatives and has an assortment of food, liquids, and just generally sticky stuff poured all over her!
As if this was not enough, she is then exhibited around town for a good old jeering. The roots of this odd custom are not known, but scholars believe it may have originated with the far nobler ceremony of washing the bride’s feet before her wedding.
Wearing the Ring on the Fourth Finger
Ancient Egyptians held the belief that the fourth finger of the left hand carried within it a very special vein: the love vein. Or, in Latin, the vena amoris. In modern times much is known about the circulatory system, and as endearing as this belief is, modern science can confirm there is no such vein.
The tradition persists, however, and in many societies across the globe – especially Western – married couples wear their wedding rings just as the ancient Egyptians used to.