Wedding Traditions Of Various Religious Affiliations

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Wedding Traditions Of Various Religious Affiliations


Throughout history wedding traditions are based on one’s culture, ethnic background or religious beliefs. We often hear about the various types of wedding traditions of some of the more known religions such as Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and others. However, there are other religious affiliations that have their own traditions and often, to our surprise, the tradition is the same as anyone else’s. Such is the case with these religious groups:


–          Shintoism

–          Jehovah’s Witness

–          Mennonite




Shintoism is an old Japanese religion that is connected with animism, which means that they honor their ancestor’s spirits, along with all spirits that are in nature. A Shintoism wedding ceremony will take place in a shrine called a miya. As the couple enters the miya, drums and flutes will begin to play. At the ceremony the people sitting closest to the altar are the priest, the couple, and two young women dressed in white and red, as well as a person who is referred to as a nakodo. A nakodo is the person that serves as a go-between.


When the ceremony begins, the priest will bow to the altar as he waves a haraigushi. A haraigushi is a decorated tree branch with paper streamers, or white cloth strips, that is meant to purify the space that they are in. Afterwards the priest will then call upon their gods, Izanagi and Izanami, who are the gods that they believe, created the world. The main part of the wedding ceremony is known as the San-San-Kudo, which refers to a three-by-three ceremony. This part of the ceremony you will find a young woman, called the miko, pour sake in to three cups, then the couple will take three sips from the sake together.


After the couple, the miko will then serve sake to the rest of the guests attending the wedding. To conclude the ceremony, the groom will read out loud the vows of the couple that include obedience and faithfulness. Afterwards, the couple will offer their ancestors rice, fruit and salt, as they leave it at the altar.


Jehovah’s Witness


The Jehovah’s Witness does believe that a wedding is a very happy occasion, but they stress more on the seriousness of the marriage vows. They take special precautions to ensure that the couple, who wants to marry, understands how sacred a marriage is. Therefore, they make all couples who want to get married take pre-marital counseling. Part of the witness’ marriage ceremony is dedicated to outlining the bride and groom’s responsibilities to each other. Either the minister, or a male elder in the church, will perform the ceremony that usually takes place at a kingdom hall.


In their traditional wedding they encourage a modest and reasonable wedding in lieu of a large lavish one. A large wedding is looked down upon because it is felt you are trying to prove your status symbol. The rest of the wedding and reception is pretty much like any other Protestant wedding along with the exchanging of rings, brides and groomsmen and the cutting of the cake.




A Mennonite is considered a time of joy, but it is a very serious ceremony in which the community gives a lot of support to the newlyweds. Some traditions will vary from the different groups within the Mennonite faith, but for the most part they are similar. For example, the old tradition is that the bride will usually make her own white wedding dress, although a lot more are being bought rather that made today’s society. The bride will also wear a white covering known as a netting, instead of a veil.


The pastor will preside over the ceremony, which includes much of the traditions that we are all familiar with, including the father giving the bride away, etc. One of the main differences is that they do not exchange wedding rings since jewelry, of any kind, is forbidden. They will have a simple reception of either just some refreshments or they may opt for a simple dinner of ham and mashed potatoes, but nothing too extravagant. At the reception there is never any alcohol or dancing at a Mennonite wedding reception.


There are many different religions throughout the world that have their own customs and wedding traditions that have been past down from generation to generation. How they express that love for each other does not matter as the one link that unites all wedding ceremonies is that people want to express to the world that they love each other and are committed to one another.