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Cultural Traditions: Bermuda


In Bermuda, it is said that if a bride and groom walk through a moon gate while holding hands on their wedding day, it will bring them luck. Other traditions include a romantic horse-drawn carriage for the newlyweds, and the practice of the bride and groom planting a tree together to memorialize their special day. Some islanders even top their wedding cakes with a tiny sapling before planting it. It is also common to have two wedding cakes -- a bride's cake and a groom's cake -- one of which might be the traditional fruit and rum cake of the island. The cakes are surrounded by a single ivy wreath to symbolize the couple's love for each other.


The Bohemian bride-to-be sends her future husband a special shirt of colored silk and gold thread for their wedding day. In turn, he gives her a rosary, prayer book and sometimes a girdle with three keys to guard her virtue. Traditionally, a wedding breakfast takes place in the bride's house, and guests receive gifts of handkerchiefs before going to the wedding. During the ceremony, the bride wears a crown of silver wire, along with a velvet ribbon adorned with tiny bells around her head; the groom wears a tinsel crown. After the wedding, the bride drinks wine before tossing the glass over her shoulder; if the glass stays intact, good fortune is said to follow.


In Bulgaria, the bridal trousseau is traditionally on view at the bride's parents' home a day or so before the wedding. The bride's parents might also send little cakes to guests as invitations to the wedding feast. The ceremony usually takes place in a church or in the groom's home. Other traditions include exchanging rings, the groom presenting gifts to his bride at the reception, and spirited dancing and singing, often outdoors. Corn is sprinkled over the newlyweds and young girls as they dance, and the veiled bride kisses all of the hands of the married women, each of whom hand her a fig for luck.


In Cambodian weddings, an achar is usually consulted for a wedding date, and brides now wear the traditional white wedding gown of the western world. The Cambodian Buddhist bride might wear a sampot and beautiful wrist and ankle bracelets, as well as elegant necklaces. Cambodian Buddhist traditions might include any of the following: a ptem, or "knot ceremony," in which knots are tied on a string bracelet to represent the elders' good wishes for the couple; music played on ancient instruments; gifts of money sealed in envelopes; the passing of a candle by married guests to bless the newlyweds, a reception feast, including a wedding cake. In some cases, the bride and groom's wrists are tied together with red thread dipped in holy water.

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