Marriage is an institution steeped in tradition the world over. Whilst here in the UK you may be tearing your hair out about booking the right church, finding the perfect dress and choosing between a veil or a tiara, you should thank your lucky stars that that's all you have to worry about. Check out these weird wedding rituals from around the world.

Blackened Bride

In some parts of Scotland, the weirdness starts at the hen night. “Blackening the bride” is a tradition where the hen will be doused in disgusting gunk by her fellow ladies, before going off on her night out. Items poured over her can include rotten food, eggs and mud. The reasoning behind it? Apparently it's to prepare the bride for any humiliations she may face in married life.

Toilet Ban

In the Tidong Tribe of Northern Borneo, the honeymoon is a somewhat uncomfortable affair. For the first three days and nights after the wedding the bride and groom are not allowed to go to the toilet. Their family will make sure this strict ban is followed by guarding the poor newly-weds' bathroom around the clock. They believe if this peculiar ban is followed it means that the couple will live a happy life with lots of children. We can't see it ourselves.

Weeping Women

We've heard of crying at weddings but this tradition takes it to the extreme. In an area of China, the bride is expected to voluntarily cry for one hour a day for a full month before the wedding. As the big day draws nearer, her mother and grandmother join in with the water works too, leading up to the day itself when the bride is expected to sing a crying wedding song as part of the ceremony.

Serious Business

If you want to ruin a wedding in Congo, just make the wedding party laugh. Traditionally, the bride and groom, and their wedding party, are not allowed to smile throughout the ceremony, to mark the serious nature of the commitment.

Cross Dressing

You've heard of walking a mile in someone else's shoes – well what about all their clothes? In Kenya, for a month after the wedding the groom is expected to dress in women's clothing, to fully appreciate the trials of being a woman.

All cultures enjoy celebrating marriage in their own unique ways, but in the UK most of us like to keep things a little more traditional. And you can't go wrong with some tasty chocolate wedding favours from Forever Wedding Favours; a classic gift all your wedding guests are bound to love. For more information about our products, call 01527 853397 or contact us online.