Wedding Ceremonies in Australia: Why Are They so Different?

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Australian wedding traditions are truly fascinating. The down under costumes tells us all about the importance of ancestors and relatives in rituals seeking to honor not only the couple that’s about to start a life together but the people that came before them.

But what makes an Aussie marriage ceremony so peculiar? To begin with, the origins of Australia are similar to those of the United States of America, but there is a distinct difference. The first British settlements in Australia resulted in the establishment of penitentiary colonies, very did not have much in common with the thriving Protestant colonies established in North America.

The humble origins of wedding traditions in Australia generate the possibility of getting permeated with rituals of local Aborigines, giving way to the peculiar characteristics to the special day. Here’s a list of the strangest traditions:

Stones: A Solid Element of the Wedding Ceremony

A white wedding dress or an exchange of rings are common items and procedures you hope to enjoy on your wedding day. Nonetheless, stones play an even more important role in Aussie weddings.

The unity bowl is one of the most heartwarming special day customs. The idea is, all the friends and family members place a stone in a bowl. These stones represent their support to strengthen the union and love of the new happy couple. Identifying the rocks with colors, words or wedding guests’ names is a popular trend to give an original twist to the ancient tradition.

Additionally, there’s a Stone ceremony when both newlyweds throw a stone into a lake. The stone-throwing has sealed every wedding in Australia for hundreds of years. The custom is believed to have originated as a more affordable alternative to symbolize wedding vows in a time when buying bridal rings was too expensive for colonizers.

Equality: One of the Most Interesting Customs

Australia celebrates not only equality of the marriage, but for a long time the mother’s role has reached a well-deserved place during the wedding day. As everybody knows, in Western society it is customary for the bride to be walked down the aisle in the sole company of her father.

However one of the most exciting of Australian wedding traditions and customs is that the mother also accompanies the bride. Besides, the groom does not walk alone to the altar but is also delivered by both of his parents.

A Smoking Bridal Party: An Indigenous Flair

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Settlers and aborigines lived in here hundreds of years ago, and to the present day, we can still find clues of the miscegenation in the nuptial celebrations. The research shows there is one custom that cannot be missed: the smoking ceremony.

In the ritual both the newlyweds get fanned with the smoke of burning plants and herbs to ward off evil spirits, spiritually healing their relationship and blessing their marriage.

The Bible as a Family Heirloom: Religious Custom

Since the end of the 19th century, one of the most valuable wedding gifts a Catholic couple can receive in this continent is a bible. But not just any, run-of-the-mill edition! No, we are talking about a holy book which is usually passed from father to son as a family treasure.

Didgeridoo: A Homage to the Aboriginal Roots

Although according to Australian wedding traditions, brides are expected to request patriotic and nostalgic songs for their celebration, Didgeridoo music has gradually gained popularity over time.

Traditionally built with eucalyptus tree wood, the didgeridoo has a deep sound which can be very cheerful, and it has led the musical instrument to earn a special place in traditional wedding receptions in Australia.

The Lamingtons: A Secret of Australian Weddings

Wedding ceremonies in Australia are all about spontaneity, informality and tend to be held outdoors. In addition to obviating rehearsal dinners and going for appetizers instead, Australian brides can even cast aside the traditional three-layer cakes and opt for a simpler, still delicious, alternative: Lamingtons.

This traditional cake is a simple vanilla sponge cut in squares, bathed in chocolate and covered with coconut flakes. The coconut gives it a crunchy and exotic flare matching perfectly with the chocolate bitterness and making the Lamingtons the perfect dessert to celebrate the auspicious occasion.

To wrap it up, we can conclude that when it comes to Australian wedding traditions, there is a great variety to choose from. Magical, enigmatic, familiar, and tremendously romantic elements are an essential part of the to-do list of everybody who wants a wedding with an Australian twist. Which country do you want us to visit in our next research? Please, let us know in the comments.