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In England, brides believe that finding a spider in their wedding dress is a sign of good luck. In Morocco, fiancées enjoy a purifying milk bath before the ceremony. And in the United States, brides wear borrowed and blue items. Why do wacky marriage traditions, like attaching cans to wedding cars, exist? Here’s what we know.

Unusual wedding traditions around the world

Stealing shoes

In India, kidnapping the groom’s shoes and holding them for ransom is a thing. The tradition, called joota chupai, involves unmarried female relatives of the bride snatching the groom’s shoes as soon as he removes them to enter the sacred wedding space. Forbidden to exit barefoot, the groom typically pays a modest ransom to the amused women to retrieve his footwear. This playful custom signals the happy union of two families, The Big Fat Indian Wedding explains.

Keeping one foot on the ground

When newly married couples enjoy a post-ceremony dance in Ireland, the bride keeps one foot firmly on the dance floor at all times, lest evil fairies steal her away from her new husband, Brides magazine reports.

Sawing a log

Newlywed German couples grab a two-handled saw and slice a log in half to show their willingness and ability to work together, Heart of NC Weddings says.

Hiding a fake ring in the cake

When bakers create wedding cakes in Peru, they place ribbons between the layers. One of the ribbons holds an inexpensive ring. At the reception, all single women may pull a ribbon from the cake. Tradition has it that the one who gets the ribbon with the ring will be the next to wed, Brides magazine explains.

Why do people attach cans to wedding cars?

Magnolia Event Design owner Lindsey Hartsough told Brides that the tradition of cans on wedding cars is meant to keep the festivities going as the couple drives between the marriage venue and the reception or from the reception to the honeymoon.

Hartsough further explained that the concept of cans on wedding cars stems from the old French tradition of charivari, wherein friends of newlyweds treated them to a raucous serenade using pots, pans, and other noisemakers.

When a ‘Just Married’ sign on the wedding car isn’t enough

Clanking cans are typically attached to wedding cars at the bride and groom’s request. If your soon-to-be-married friends ask for your help, here’s how to do it:

  1. Gather and wash six to eight empty metal cans. If you want the cans to match the couple’s wedding colors, paint them in advance. Add ribbons and other adornments with hot glue, and don’t forget to put the wedding date on at least one can.
  2. Attach the cans to varying lengths of strong twine. Punch holes in the closed ends of the cans and tie through them, or wrap the twine around the middle of cans and lock in place with a few dabs of hot glue.
  3. Sneak out of the reception and tightly tie the cans to the wedding getaway car’s trailer hitch or rear bumper. If the vehicle is a rental, be sure to get permission from the car company first.

Elopements are for discreet people who wish to be married in private. This is not the case for those who invite tons of friends to their nuptials. A wedding car festooned with clattering cans practically screams, “Look at us!” to everyone who sees and hears it.

Weddings confirm a couple’s love and partnership while bringing together friends and family in a joyous celebration. Long-standing traditions such as stealing shoes, sawing logs, and tying cans to the wedding getaway cars make any ceremony more fun for everyone involved.


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