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Regional & Cultural Wedding Drinking Traditions That Go Beyond The Big Fat Wedding

wedding traditions

Weddings, with all their pomp, circumstance, and promise of togetherness, also serve some endearingly whacky drinking traditions. These aren't your run-of-the-mill champagne toasts. Oh no, we're talking about customs that range from burying booze to shoe chugging. So, grab your glass, and let's embark on a spirited journey through some of the most captivating wedding drinking traditions from around the globe.

Burying the Bourbon

Down in the American South, couples take the phrase 'saving for a rainy day’ to a whole new level with the tradition of burying a bottle of Kentucky bourbon exactly one month before their wedding day. Why, you ask? Well, legend has it that this act wards off any unwanted downpours on the big day. The best part? Once the vows are exchanged and they're officially hitched, the couple digs up the bottle and shares it with their guests. Talk about a buried treasure!

Sake Sharing in Japan: The San San Kudo

In Japan, the wedding ceremony often includes a ritual called San San Kudo, which translates to ‘three, three, nine times.’ It involves the bride and groom taking turns sipping sake from three different-sized cups, three times each. If you're thinking of incorporating this into your celebration, consider serving a smooth, refined sake that complements the solemnity of the occasion.

Ukraine's Shoe Shenanigans

Imagine you're at a Ukrainian wedding, vibing to the music, when suddenly you notice the bride is one shoe short. Yep, it's tradition to try and swipe the bride's shoe right off her foot. The sneaky guest who manages to nab it earns the right to dare other guests to perform playful acts. And you guessed it—most of these dares involve downing a toast from the stolen shoe. Talk about putting your foot in it!

Italy's Sweet Beginnings: The Venetian Spritz

venetian spritz

In Italy, particularly in Venice, weddings often kick off with a spritz. This bubbly, bittersweet cocktail is a celebratory staple. For a matrimonial twist, why not blend Aperol with a dash of Smirnoff vodka, topped with prosecco, and a splash of soda water? Serving this in elegant flutes at a wedding brings a touch of Italian vivacity and romance to the occasion, a toast to la dolce vita and new beginnings.

Nigeria's Quest for the Groom

Over in Nigeria, particularly among the Igbo people, weddings are a two-part affair involving the Ime Ego (the ‘bride price’ negotiation) followed by the Igba Nkwu, or ‘wine carrying’ ceremony. Here’s where it gets interesting: the bride has to find her future husband, who’s playing the ultimate game of hide and seek among a crowd. Once she spots him, she offers him a cup of wine. He drinks it, proving he's the one for her, and just like that, they're declared married.

The Lively Polish Vodka Tradition

polish vodka

No Polish wedding is complete without vodka, and it's not just about drinking but about celebration and endurance. In a nod to modern tastes, imagine serving a vodka like Smirnoff, chilled to perfection, in small, personalised bottles as a nod to the couple’s future: strong, clear, and memorable.

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