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Weddings Around the World

Yesterday The Big Picture featured captivating pictures of weddings from all over the world. I found it fascinating to  see how these weddings are similar or different from those commonly witnessed in the U.S.

It’s worth taking a look at the rest of the pictures on the site. Sometimes I think we get so self-focused on our own traditions that we ignore the fact that there are cultures around the world who do weddings differently. Some aspects seem to be Western exports (think western hemisphere, not cowboy boots…although that’s popular these days too), while others are unique to one particular culture.

Seeing this variety also helps us stop and think about why weddings are the way they are in our culture. What particular symbolism or traditions do we include, and what are the meanings behind them?

From the website: “They happen as mass ceremonies or from the back of a van all over the world in many different traditions. In the United States alone more than 2 million weddings take place a year at a average cost of $30,000, according to the Bridal Association of America. Here’s a look at some brides and grooms and the events surrounding their big day.” — Lloyd Young

(Special thanks to Gloria for the link)

Newlyweds dressed in Han-dynasty costumes bow to each other during a traditional group wedding ceremony in Xi’an, Shaanxi province on May 1. A total of 130 couples from all over China attended the group wedding ceremony following the nuptial rites of the Han Dynasty. (Reuters) #

I was particularly intrigued by the mass wedding ceremonies, such as these two. Whether the motivation is to keep costs down, or to have a unique wedding, there are many pictures that show these larger ceremonies.

Brides speak to their grooms during a mass wedding ceremony in Amman, Jordan, on July 6. An Islamic charity organized a mass wedding for 46 Jordanian and Syrian couples who are unable to afford expensive ceremonies. (Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

See the rest of the photos here.

What unique traditions or elements have you seen or heard about from different countries? How do these traditions change your perspective on weddings in Western culture?

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