Mar 11, 2008

Oceania Wedding Traditions

Oceania primarily refers to Australia and New Zealand, two of the most remote countries in the world, yet two of the most exciting and vibrant countries on earth as well. Both New Zealand and Australia are members of the British Commonwealth and so they have borrowed many of their wedding traditions from Great Britain – although they have been flavored by the traditions of the native populations of both nations.

In Australia a wedding keepsake bible is handed down from generation to generation. The white wedding dress has been traditional in Australia for many centuries and is still popular today, symbolizing hope and joy for the future. Traditionally Australian weddings include all members of the bride’s as well as the groom’s families.

Most Australian wedding traditions have been borrowed from England, but it is also common for Scottish and Irish wedding ceremonies to be performed in Australia, and many ceremonies are also flavored with Aboriginal customs. One thing that never changes, however, is the exchange of rings at the conclusion of the ceremony. The wedding ring, a perfect circle with no beginning and no ending, symbolizes never-ending love in Australia just as it does in most of the rest of the world.

An Australian wedding reception is apt to feature a wide range of music, everything from traditional English and American music to bagpipes and even the haunting melody of the Aboriginal didgeridoo.

The wedding tradition in New Zealand calls for a lavish church wedding, a white-gowned bride and all the bridesmaids. The groom wears dark pants and a white shirt and dark coat and he is flanked by his best man and his groomsmen. It is considered bad luck for the groom to see his bride on the day of the wedding before she walks down the aisle. An additional aspect of a New Zealand wedding is the incorporation of traditional Maori wedding customs.

The Maori are the native people of New Zealand and their customs and traditions are held in high esteem by many New Zealanders. Maori wedding tradition includes the ceremonial Powhiri welcome to the bride and the groom, and may include the traditional warrior challenge. Often a New Zealand wedding is conducted by a Maori tribal elder and at the conclusion of the ceremony the couple is blessed in the Maori language.

And no Maori-flavored Oceania wedding would be complete without the “infinity loops” placed around the necks of the bride and the groom, symbolizing never-ending love. It doesn’t matter if you are at the top of the world or if you are in the very heart of the land down under, weddings bring out the best in everyone and call for joyous celebration the world over. In Oceania the traditions are a beautiful mix of the new with the ancient, creating a wedding experience that is unique to this very special corner of the world down under.

Australia Wedding fashions have changed over the years, but the white wedding dress is still traditionally worn by brides in Australia, reflecting a custom which dates back many centuries. A bible is often given as a wedding gift, which is kept as a precious souvenir for future generations.

The traditions which are known and loved in the western world are all present here - the wedding cake, the exchange of rings and the reception with friends and family. Australian weddings will often bring together extended family members, and a couple's marriage will provide a wonderful opportunity for everyone to celebrate the start of their new life together.

More Wedding Traditions

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