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Bride and Groom Breaking BreadFood plays a big part in most major celebrations in life. This is especially true of weddings. When you think back on all of the different weddings you’ve been to in your life, you might specifically remember the various dishes you had the pleasure of devouring during each event. Though eating and drinking during a reception is quite common, this is not the only way that brides and grooms work food into their weddings. In fact, there are many marriage customs from around the world that center around food.

If you’re currently planning your own wedding, now might be a good time to explore some of the ways that people from other countries utilize food when getting ready for their big days. Learning about international wedding customs might not help you make your decision on what caterer to choose, but you’ll definitely be able to see your own customs in a totally new light.

Breaking Bread

A great deal of wedding rituals and superstitions center around providing the happy couple with as much luck as possible as they begin their lives together. In Poland, this task is accomplished by giving bread to the happy couple. According to tradition, the parents of the bride and groom offer a loaf of bread that has been gently seasoned with salt. Upon handing the bread to the happy individuals, the parents remark that the bread is meant to offer a lifetime of abundance to the couple as they journey toward married life.

On a symbolic level, the bread is meant to showcase the fact that the bride and groom will not want for food in the future. By salting the bread, the parents teach the couple that times will prove tough, but dedication and perseverance will help their relationship through the struggles. Often, wine is given alongside the bread to sweeten the experience and also to symbolize the idea that the couple will not go thirsty in the days ahead as long as they remain together.           

Putting On the Pounds    

Food often symbolizes prosperity in old customs, especially where marriages are concerned. In Mauritius, this idea is taken to new heights. While many brides across America and Europe spend months preparing for their weddings by exercising and slimming down, women in Mauritius do just the opposite. In fact, women who are engaged to be wed are encouraged to eat as much as possible and to add some body weight before the big day finally arrives.           

The idea here is somewhat similar to the Polish bread tradition: food means prosperity. In this case, the bride puts on as much weight as possible before the wedding to showcase the wealth of the groom. The heavier the bride, the more prosperous the couple is said to be upon marriage. Of course, the downside of this tradition is that many brides overeat before the wedding and many develop minor stomach troubles before the wedding actually arrives.

Surprises Inside

Finally, in Norway, there is a fun wedding tradition involving cake. This special cake, known as a kransekage, is a tall cake with a hollow center. This cone-like cake is hollowed out to allow surprises to be hidden within. More often than not, a bottle of expensive wine will be hidden within the cake, providing the couple with a lavish gift to help kick off their marriage.      

Each and every culture around the world has its own unique customs when it comes to marriage. In most cases, food is involved in some capacity. Learning more about international food-related traditions can help you to discover some unique ideas for your own event or, at the very least, make you feel glad you don’t need to stuff your face and put on excessive weight before your big day.


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