Weddings in the U.S. are, by and large, pretty pleasant affairs. Even with a few outdated traditions some couples follow, it’s still all in good fun. If there’s any pain or humiliation involved, it’s usually just the bride trying to squeeze into her dress or the groom forgetting to zip his fly. So you can enjoy reading about these largely unpleasant wedding traditions around the world, free from the worry that someone is going to hit you with a fish or throw hard candy at you on your big day. Unless, that is, you ask them to for some weird reason.
Italy: Pelted with Candy
In Italy, there’s a tradition of serving candied almonds called “confetti” to the bride and groom as they leave the wedding venue. And by “serving to,” we mean, “throwing at.” These days, the guests usually just eat the confetti, but back in the day it was custom to chuck the hard candy at the wedding couple. And you thought getting pelted with rice was bad; this unpleasant wedding custom takes it up several notches!
Scotland: Blackening of the Bride
If you thought having to put up with some humiliation at your bachelorette party was bad, be thankful you aren’t a bride in 1800’s Scotland. They have a tradition called “blackening of the bride,” which was supposed to make it so the worst thing the bride would ever experience happened before the wedding, so it was all uphill from there. Brides would be covered in all manner of gross muck, including mud, fish, eggs, and syrup–every imaginable manner of grossness in this unpleasant wedding custom.
France: Drinking out of a Toilet Bowl
If you get married in France, you might have to endure the tradition of le soupe, where the wedding couple drinks out of a toilet bowl. The more modern version of le soupe is just chocolate and champagne–which is gross enough, since you’re drinking something brown and soupy out of a toilet bowl. Back in the day it was much worse, though. After the wedding reception, the wedding couple’s family would throw every bit of leftover food and drink into a chamber pot and mix it all up for the couple to drink. Think a mix of hors d’oeuvres, cake, bits of the meal, punch, beer, even napkins; and you and your partner would need to take a big gulp to complete this unpleasant wedding custom.
Indonesia: Hit with a Fish
What with standing for hours and wearing tight-fitting fancy shoes, it’s natural that the groom’s feet might be a little sore by the end of an American wedding. At the end of an Indonesian wedding, though, his feet will be sore for an entirely different reason. After the reception, the groom’s friends strip off his shoes and socks and whack him on the soles of his feet with a dead fish (or some use a regular old cane, but the fish is ever so much more interesting). The idea is that they want to make sure the couple spends most of the next day off their feet–wink-wink, nudge-nudge), so they ensure the groom isn’t up to doing any more standing.
Your wedding day may not be perfect, but at least you know you’ll escape it relatively unscathed. Compared to some of these unpleasant wedding customs around the globe, having a little cake squished in your face doesn’t seem all that bad, does it?