9 Surprising Marriage Proposal Traditions Followed by People Around the World

Engagement, asking for your beloved’s hand, and marriage are conducted in different ways according to a country and its culture. Thus, even though there are some similarities between some customs or traditions, each place — and even each region — can have its own peculiarities and singularities.

Love is present all around the world, and sometimes the way it’s shown or formalized may be quite original. That’s why we at Bright Side have brought you a sample of some distinctive traditions from different countries.

1. France

It’s customary for the ring used in the marriage proposal to be a family heirloom inherited or offered by the parents of the groom. Once the proposal has been accepted, the bride and groom can decide whether they wish to make some alterations to the ring (in which case they must ask for the family’s authorization). If only the stone was given, they can choose the ring setting of their preference.

2. Scotland

In this country, men need to prove their worth by going through a series of trials during a ceremony known as The Speerin. The obstacles and tasks are decided by the bride’s father. If the prospective groom is able to successfully complete them, then the couple can get married.

3. United Arab Emirates

The tradition in this country is rather strict, and a series of protocols and rules have to be followed. The groom has to express his feelings and intentions to his own mother so that she will then approach the bride’s mother and ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage.

4. Japan

The ceremony where the couple gets formally engaged is called yuino and consists of a meeting between both families. During this gathering, they exchange 9 gifts wrapped in rice paper. These symbolize their feelings and good intentions for the prospective marriage.

5. Ireland

The Irish tradition revolves around a ring called Claddagh, which has a heart with a crown motif held by 2 clasped hands. This is a piece of jewelry that is full of symbolism, with the heart pointing away from the heart of the recipient before the wedding, which is later switched to point inward to the heart after the marriage.

6. Mexico

Wedding proposals in Mexico are centered around seeking acceptance from the bride’s father and family. Moreover, it’s quite common for the suitor to deliver a short speech about the couple’s love story and his wishes for their future marriage, as well as something regarding his in-laws.

7. Thailand

In the Thai culture, it’s customary for the bride-to-be to get a special gift known as thong mun or “gold engagement.” This refers to jewelry that a groom must give to the intended bride, which is made of 24-carat gold.

8. India

Indian customs dictate that the family of the bride is in charge of accepting the proposal. An event known as mangni or nischitartham takes place, which is attended by family members from both families. Several rituals are performed and there’s an exchange of vows for the couple to become formally engaged. It’s also quite common, as part of the engagement, for the bride to get a series of mehndi or henna tattoos 2 or 3 days before the wedding.

9. Fiji

In Fiji, there is a special tradition that most of us might gasp at. The groom and his family bring a special gift to the bride’s family — a sperm whale’s tooth — in order to ask for permission for the marriage. This custom is really common in the rural areas of Fiji, but it’s also done by families living in urban areas.

What kind of marriage proposals are there in your country? How was your proposal?

Please note: This article was updated at June 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit depositphotos.com, depositphotos.com
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