What weddings look like around the world

Marinka Pušlar

A globe-trotting photographer finds emotion rather than perfection in couples’ wedding stories. 

Playing with light and colour

The newly wedded couple steps out of a French registry office in Provence and into a shower of colourful confetti.

The tradition of throwing rice—a symbol of fertility and abundance—at the bride and groom has fallen out of favour. Nowadays, wedding guests throw flower petals or paper confetti instead.

 

Indian bride holding a colourful bouquet

She solemnly stares ahead, moments before she will step into the garden of the Villa di Maiano near Florence, where the ceremony is to take place.

Flowers were a compulsory part of wedding ceremonies even in the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed that the herbs in the bride’s hair chased away evil spirits.

 

A fortunate fusion of nature and civilisation

The wedding couple, surrounded by bridesmaids and groomsmen, kiss in a typical Irish coastal landscape. In the past, the wedding kiss was legally binding and had the same meaning as signing a wedding certificate today.

Apparently, the kiss in the picture is so hot that bridesmaids and groomsmen have to fan themselves to cool down.

 

A playful moment at a wedding in Peru

The bride laughs as the bridegroom struggles to remove the garter from her leg with his teeth. This is a centuries-old tradition: in the old days, everything that the bride wore at the wedding ceremony was thought to bring good luck, so everybody grabbed at her.

They say that the tradition of throwing the bouquet was originally introduced to stop the grabbing.

 

Portrait of a bride with a fisherman

The bride stands on the pier and stares at the narrow strip of light on the horizon. Will her marriage be as calm as the sea stretching in front of her? Coastal weddings are a beautiful way to celebrate the happiest day in the life of a couple.

One of the reasons is that choosing wedding decorations requires a pile of money and hours of worry, but this simple ocean setting offers the perfect backdrop—without the stress.

 

Florine, the sweet-toothed donkey, fancies a snack

And what is the donkey doing at the wedding? This is a so-called barn wedding, increasingly popular even with couples of urban background.

The wedding in question took place in Lübeck near Hamburg, Germany. Donkey pens were in the immediate vicinity of the wedding venue.

 

Dramatic and passionate

The newlyweds dance their first dance as man and wife at a wedding in Paris. Music is one of the many details to consider when planning a wedding. And what are some of the most popular tunes couples choose as a centrepiece of their reception?

“At Last” by Etta James, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, “By Your Side” by Sade and  “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.

 

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