Each country in the world has its unique wedding traditions. Many of these are based on culture or religion and take many forms. Australia, although firmly part of the western world, also has some traditions that are unique to the country. The origins of such traditions are unclear and although many people decide to have alternative weddings, the traditional Australian wedding is still the most popular and takes on an even more unique profile if either one of the couple has an aboriginal heritage.
For the purpose of this article, the focus will be on the traditional wedding practices that evolved after the settlement of Europeans.
The Wedding Day Ceremony
The traditionalists amongst you will be pleased to know that the white wedding dress is still a major feature of an Aussie wedding as is the exchange of rings. The buying of the rings is usually done by the groom with or without the presence of his bride to be. Providing the ring size is known, it is easy to buy from high end jewellery retailers and it can be done at the click of a mouse you’re your home or office. If a custom designed ring has been ordered, a trip to the retailer’s shop may be necessary. Shops like Ringleaders can craft exceptional custom made jewellery which would surely suit your unique and beautiful bride-to-be.
One thing that is unique about the wedding ceremony is the presence of a unity bowl, where all family and guests are requested to place a stone in the bowl that symbolises the couple’s unity and is intended to provide strength and support to their union.
In contrast to weddings elsewhere in the western word, the bride’s mother plays an active part in the proceedings by accompanying her daughter up the aisle as well as her father. Again, in contrast to weddings elsewhere, the groom is delivered to the altar by both of his parents.
An Indigenous Element
The smoking ceremony is one aspect that is truly unique to Australian weddings and has its roots in the culture of the indigenous people of Australia. During this ritual the couple are fanned with the smoke of plants and herbs to ward off any evil spirits that may compromise their union, this ceremony also serves as a blessing to their marriage.
The bible is an important family heirloom for catholic Australian families and is regarded as the most important gift a couple can receive.
The famous didgeridoo is an important part of Australia’s unique heritage and as a result has become common place at weddings for both people of settler heritage and of course the indigenous people.
Although the traditional tiered cake is still a feature of many Australian weddings, many couples opt for Lamingtons. Lamingtons is a traditional cake that comprises of a simple vanilla sponge that is cut into squares, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut flakes. Different but still delicious!
So, there you have it, a quick run-down of an Australian wedding and what to expect if you get invited!