The beauty and emotions elicited by a wedding are similar throughout the world. Culture takes center stage in most major events in life, and the same holds for Australian weddings, which are truly amazing. Australian weddings are shrouded in symbolism due to diversity and multiculturalism in the population.
Let’s look at the rituals and traditions of an Australian wedding.
1. Smoking ceremony
Native Australians used to light ceremonial fires during wedding ceremonies. This ceremony borrows from the cultures of aborigines and settlers and is still preferred by many modern couples. Plants that have healing properties are tied together with those believed to enhance fertility and lit as smudge sticks.
The newlyweds are then gently smoked to inhale the smoke. The presiding minister ensures that the couple is completely enveloped in the smoke. This is believed to help confer upon them the blessings of children, healing, protection and long lives.
2. Stone ceremony
The stone ceremony is another age-old Australian wedding tradition. In the early days, Australians were averse to spending a lot of money on weddings including buying jewelry. The newly married couple throws a stone into a flowing river to symbolize unity and commitment amid the ups and downs in life as life flows and ebbs around them. While modern couples are endowed with resources to purchase expensive jewelry, this tradition remains alive, owing to its poignant symbolism.
3. Unity bowl ceremony
In the unity bowl ceremony, friends and family from both the bride and groom’s side place small and colorful natural stones in a bowl as a show of support to the new couple. The differences in sizes and colors of the rocks symbolize the differences in attributes and personalities among the bride and groom.
4. The Lamingtons instead of a wedding cake
Spontaneity and informality feature prominently in Australian weddings, mostly held outdoors. Lamingtons replace the conventional three-layer cake. This is a simple traditional vanilla cake that has been cut into squares, dipped in chocolate and decorated using coconut flakes.
Chocolate gives the cake a bitter twist while coconut provides a crunchy and exotic taste, making Lamingtons a dessert that is second to none during the celebrations. Guests are also served with appetizers instead of rehearsal dinners.
5. The family Bible
Passing the Bible to the next generation is a common practice among most cultures around the world. Australians also hold dear to this practice. During weddings, the groom’s family gifts the newlyweds with a union Bible that has family connections, having changed hands through generations. They are charged with the responsibility to read, care for and ultimately pass on the holy book to another set of a newly married couple in the family.
6. Walking down the aisle
While the bride’s father walks her down the aisle, in many countries, it is a bit different in Australia. Here, both father and mother walk the bride down the aisle. Both parents also walk the bridegroom down the aisle as a sign of faith.
7. Return to the Land
Australians believe that their land was the most sacred when unrest ruled the world. Many battles and wars were fought over the land, and has seen it all. Modern Australians hold a brief session during happy times, such as a wedding, to thank and acknowledge their land and ancestors.
This ceremony is usually featured when the bride’s father is making his speech. This beautiful tradition is believed to bring good luck to the couple and plenty of blessings from the past.
Live bands and DJ playlists are typical in most wedding reception parties. However, Australians prefer to play didgeridoo at their weddings. This is the perfect moment if you are looking to get the best in Wedding photography from Sydney to reminisce about the good times on the dance floor.
The didgeridoo is a musical instrument native to the country, which resembles a long thick pipe, measuring three or four feet in length. The instrument makes beautiful, smooth and low bass notes that are in harmony with Australian Aboriginal songs.
Weddings, regardless of a country’s customs and traditions, are synonymous with joy, love, and life-long friendships. Australians are charming and friendly people who delight in great food and music. Their passion for traditions and customs radiates in all that they do, as best attested during weddings.