Beautiful and out of the ordinary – Wedding traditions around the world

Popping the question is an exciting and rewarding experience. Proposal statistics have shown that men and women differ quite significantly on this issue, making the endless array of worrisome questions that swarm your mind “Will she say yes? Will she love the ring? Where should I propose?” even more difficult to answer.

Regardless of these differences, it is a momentous time in anyone’s life, one that will always be remembered. For this reason we want the proposal to be special, thoughtful – perfect. From the perfect ring to the perfect night everything needs to fall into place for your special engagement.

If you are thinking about asking for someone’s hand in marriage but the expected, romantic candlelit dinner is not for you. Why not draw some inspiration from the wedding traditions around the world? From gold engagements in Thailand, dancing for approval in Russia to presenting beads in Kenya, we will inspire you with some of the world’s most amusing, endearing and sometimes daring marriage traditions.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky


China has its fair share of unique wedding customs. Previously, arranged marriages were very common. During the proposal the groom’s family would present the bride with a wide variety of gifts, food and desserts. But these days, western traditions like presenting the bride with a diamond ring are much more common. However, some of the older traditions still remain.

In the vein of Cupid, some Chinese grooms collect a bow and fire off several arrows at their bride in a gesture of love. The arrows are then collected and broken to ensure that the couple’s love lasts forever.

The Tujia people of China turn a somber gesture into an expression of happiness. According to tradition, one month before the bride is to marry she starts to cry for one hour each day. After these 10 days her mother follows suit and 10 days after that grandma joins in on the waterworks. By the end of the month all the woman in the family are crying along with the bride. The women weep in joy and the different tones of their wailing is supposedly reminiscent of a song.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky


According to older traditions of Thai culture men propose to their future wife during a “thong mun”, which translates to “gold engagement”. This engagement does not see the exchange of a typical diamond ring, instead the fiancée and her family is showered in gifts made from gold.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky


It seems as if weddings warm up Mother Russia with some light-hearted marriage customs. Here the groom must go to his bride’s parents’ home and prove his worth to the family by paying a “ransom” for the bride. The groom can also impress by dazzling the family with tons of gifts or instead he can dance and sing to the family until they agree to the marriage.


During the actual wedding the new couple share a sweetbread called karavaya. Without using their hands, whoever takes the biggest bite of the karavaya is considered to be the head of the household.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky


Maybe these two countries have it all figured out. Instead of facing possible rejection, Kenyan men send their hopeful brides-to-be beads. If she accepts the beads, her family will add some decorations to them, acknowledging and agreeing to the proposal.

In Ghana, grooms also don’t have to feel the pressure of bending the knee. Instead of asking for her hand in marriage himself, the groom’s uncle and mother visit the prospective fiancée and propose marriage on his behalf.

The “knocking ceremony” is also commonly practiced in Ghana. According to this tradition, the groom and some of his family members visit the bride’s family home to knock on the front door. This gesture signifies his intentions for marriage.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky


In Hindu tradition, the groom’s father must ask the bride’s father for the permission to have their children enter into a marriage. When both parties agree to the match, a vow confirming the marriage is written and signed during a ceremony called Lagna Patrika.

For the superstitious among us the following Indian tradition should peak your interest. A woman born during the astrological period when Mars and Saturn are both under the seventh house is believed to be cursed. It is thought that if this woman gets married she should prepare for early widowhood. However, there is a cure: Marry a tree first. Supposedly cutting down this tree breaks the evil spell enabling her to freely enter a long and prosperous union with the man of her dreams.

At the end of the day wedding traditions around the world all have one thing in common – love. Across the world people go to great lengths for the person they wish to spend the rest of their life with. You may have to shoot some arrows, shower families with gifts or dance your way to yes, but ultimately it’s all for that special person in your life.

Wedding Trends Around The World | Shimansky

Preparing your proposal can make even the most strong and resolute among us buckle. Have a look at our marriage proposal tips to set your mind at ease. At Shimansky we can at least ensure one thing – the perfect ring. We understand the importance of this moment in your life and with our clean, classic, contemporary and timeless designs you can’t go wrong.

Spoil the one you love and let’s celebrate this special occasion together. Book an appointment at one of our stores today to find the perfect diamond engagement ring.