Traditions

Traditions

Photography by Nicole Carmen

Weddings accentuate our traditions, and Utah has some peculiar ones. We all know it. But that doesn’t mean we have the monopoly on strange customs. We compiled the following survey of four different cultures to make our peculiarities seem a little more normal.

Utah

Engagement 

After knowing each other for indeterminate span of time (ranging from 24 months to 24 hours), the guy asks the girl to marry him. The wedding date is fixed and then they inform their parents of their planned marriage. The wedding usually occurs within three to six months after the engagement. On few occasions, the engagement may last nine months to a year, although most couples are far too excited to wait that long.

 

Pre-Wedding Events 

Bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, Jello temples and other oddities abound in this state.

 

Wedding Day 

Most couples get married in places of religious significance. In Utah, many couples get married in Mormon temples, where only a certain members are allowed to enter.

 

Reception 

All too often Utah receptions are held in gyms at a Mormon meeting house, complete with half-court lines and basketball hoops. Also common are the backyards of residential homes, a reception center or finely manicured gardens, depending on the time of the year and the couple’s preferences. Most weddings in Utah have a family line, where the bride, groom and family members stand at the entrance of the reception venue and shake hands with every guest. Occasionally the bride and groom just mingle and greet people. Finger foods and desert are typically provided, and on rare occasions a full dinner is served.

 

Nigeria

Engagement 

The guy and his family would go to the girl’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage. Who the guy goes with depends on what part of Nigeria he or the girl is from. From the southern, western and eastern part of Nigeria, the guy would have to go with his dad, uncles and friends. In the northern part of Nigeria, the guy and his family would be required to bring a bottle of wine to ask for the girl’s hand in marriage. This introduction could happen between nine and twelve months before the actual wedding date.

 

Pre-Wedding Events 

No bridal shower, few rehearsal dinners and a huge event called traditional engagement ceremony. The guy’s family is given a list of things to bring before he can marry the girl, this list could include foods like rice, yams, vegetable oil and a suitcase filled with clothes for the bride. A goat and wine on most occasions are also required, when this list is checked off, the dowry can be paid. This could amount to $10,000-$20,000 depending on how much schooling the girl has.

 

Wedding Day 

Most couples get married in various places of worship. However, the Muslims get typically get married in residential houses or reception centers. Interesting fact, polygamy is legal in Nigeria, although many religious organizations forbid the practice.

 

Reception 

The location varies. Reception centers, parks or gardens are all used, but never at residential house. Receptions are like a feast, with abundant African delicacies and intense dancing. Most people attend weddings just for the food and the dance. The wedding is considered successful based on how many people attend, eat the food
and dance.

 

 

South Korea

Engagement 

Similar to Utah, the guy buys a ring and asks the girl to marry him, and the wedding follows three to five months after the proposal.

 

Pre-Wedding Events

Preparation for the wedding involves shopping for dresses, cooking, etc.

 

Wedding Day 

Two kinds of weddings take place, the first depends on what religion the couples are. The religious ceremony starts in the morning and the traditional Korean wedding takes place that afternoon. The order of events at the traditional wedding includes bowing to each other, throwing dates at the bride by the groom (the number of dates the bride catches signify how many children she will have). Other activities include bowing to both parents and an exchange of letters of well wishes for the couple.

 

Reception 

Both parts of the wedding ceremony and the reception transpire in the same reception hall but in different rooms. Lots of food like galbee, bulgogi, kimchi and japchae are served. Music and fun activities ensue, and soft classical music floats in the background.

 

India

Engagement

Generally, marriages are arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. The parents also set the date for the wedding. The girl’s family offers a dowry (gift or money), this could be whatever amount the family can afford.

 

Pre-Wedding Events

The wedding usually starts ten days before the actual wedding ceremony, various activities happen within those days—decoration of the house, Henna tattooing (the mother in-law typically decorates the brides hand), painting of the house, cooking, and Rangoli (an ancient folk art where patterns are drawn on the floor to invite Hindu deities into the home). These ten days help the couple and their families get to know each other better.

 

Wedding Day

The wedding is generally held on the seventh day of the 10-day celebration. Bridesmaids will carry a young tree, which will later be given to the couple as a symbol of new beginning. The bride will be sprayed with fragrant incense and/or rose water. The groom’s family will decorate the wedding bed with lavish floral arrangements.

 

Reception 

Receptions can be done anywhere the bride’s family prefers. It could be at a residential home or a reception hall. The ten days of preparation is considered the reception, and contain all kinds of Indian food, music and dancing. Extravagant decorations, including brightly colored fabric and gems are common in the Hindu tradition.

 

By Gloria Kajo
Photography by Nicole Carman  nicolecarmanphotography.blogspot.com

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