Unique Wedding Traditions in Australia You Should Know About
Weddings are truly one of those ceremonies where every nation has its own set of traditions and customs. However, we live in the 21st century where the world is becoming more and more modern and connected, and many couples are deciding to leave those traditions behind and do things their way instead. Still, many couples still like to do things by the book, and regardless of whether you yourself are an advocate of traditions, chances are you will be able to observe a unique way of doing things wherever you attend a wedding ceremony.
For instance, if you’ve ever been to a wedding in Australia, you probably already know that this continent has its fair share of unique traditions. But why are Australian wedding ceremonies so different and what are some of the customs that characterize a wedding in the Land Down Under? Read on to find out the most unique wedding traditions in Australia.
The Role of Stones
At an Australian wedding, you will find that stones play a role almost as important as the rings or the white dress. In the early days of Australia, instead of rings, settlers used stones to symbolize their union: both parties of the couple would throw a stone into a river, thereby swearing to stay together forever. But this is not the only way stones have kept their role in traditional Aussie weddings.
There is also the ceremony of the unity bowl, which is an especially heartwarming tradition. This ceremony also involves the guests. Traditionally, the friends and family members of the couple would place a stone into a bowl, which signifies their presence in the couple’s life and their support. They may choose colorful stones and in the end, the bowl is given to the couple.
The walk down the aisle
The next Aussie tradition involves the walk down the aisle. Many regard this tradition as a symbol of equality, as it gives the same amount of significance to the mother of the bride as the father. As opposed to the traditional US setting, in Australia, it is common to see both parents leading the bride down the aisle.
Image: Walk down the aisle
Sometimes, the groom may be led by his parents as well. This, of course, signifies the parents “giving away” their child (as opposed to just the father giving away his daughter).
The Smoke Ceremony
Beside the stone ceremony, there are other Aussie traditions that have a long history. For instance, some couples decide to include a smoking ceremony in their wedding which has indigenous roots.
Image: Plant sticks
During this ceremony, plants that are regarded to have cleansing and healing properties as well as are believed to ward off evil spirits are burnt and the smoke is fanned on the couple to cleanse and protect them. The plants may be tied in smudge sticks and waved around the couple as the smoke emerges.
Another Aussie tradition involves the gifting of a keepsake. Depending on whether the family and the couple are religious, the couple may receive a keepsake Bible from a family member on their wedding day. It might be a special Bible that has been passed down for generations.
Usually, it is passed down from the father to the son and this Bible is kept in high regard by Catholic families.
Tailored to Taste
As said, in this day and age, more and more couples are deciding to tailor every last bit of their wedding day to their taste. Especially since multicultural weddings are quite common on the continent and since same-sex marriage has been legalized, people are putting their own twist on the event.
Image: Vintage wedding cars
The majority of weddings are, for example, conducted in a non-religious setting and outdoors instead of a church building. From custom-made wedding rings all the way to vintage wedding cars, couples don’t shy away from getting creative to make their day unique.
A Less Formal Dinner
Similarly to the previous paragraph, in Australia, whether you will have a sit-down dinner is up to your preference. Australians often prefer cocktail party-style to full 3-course dinners, and oftentimes opt for various hearty appetizers instead of the latter option. Canapés and champagne is the name of the game, but of course, this is not written in stone.
The Sound of Australia
Finally, while this is not something that you will find at every single wedding, when you hear the sound of Didgeridoo music, you can be positive that an Aussie wedding is in question. This aboriginal instrument is made of eucalyptus wood and produces a deep sound, making the atmosphere of the ceremony truly special.
Just like every country in the world, Australia has its own wedding traditions, too. Since more and more couples are deciding to do things differently, it is all the more important to learn about these traditions so that they can keep on living.