Paris wedding charivari (Shivaree)

In France, the custom of charivari now often includes a drive through the town in a parade of decorated cars with horns blaring.  The older custom was to make noise as the couple left the church or at the home of the newlyweds on their wedding night, but customs change over the years.  This was…

Spanish Mantilla

The Spanish mantilla is the traditional veil worn by brides in Spain and Mexico.

Almonds at Weddings

Candied almonds have historically been given as wedding gifts or served to the guests as wedding favors.  In France, Calissons d’Aix en Provence are said to have been served at the wedding of the king in the 1400s.  The Italians serve five almonds to signify five wishes for the bride and groom –  health, wealth,…

Amsterdam wedding

With so many canals in Amsterdam, some couples arrive by boat to their wedding.  There may be a party on the boat before the reception.  Dutch law only acknowledges civil marriages, which are performed by a registrar of marriages, so the civil ceremony takes place before the religious ceremony, sometimes at the same location.

Swiss wedding traditions

Some brides in Switzerland still follow the tradition of wearing a wedding wreath of flowers.  The custom was to burn the wreath after the ceremony, and if it burned quickly, the couple would have good luck.  This photo is of a wreath for a wedding in Basel Switzerland.