EUROPEAN WEDDING TRADITIONS

Part of our mission at Men's Vows is to help men who marry create their own wedding traditions. Implicit in the word tradition is a long passage of time, which same-sex marriage (and its respective customs) hasn't had the benefit of enjoying. But, that shouldn't stop couples from taking established traditions and making them their own, or starting new ones in hopes that these make their way into other gents' ceremonies. 

In this column, we look to the old countries for old traditions to make your own. Note, some of these are about men marrying women, but we think their time has come for a gay update! 

From France: 

The French take it easy and have the couple sit throughout most of the ceremony. Traditionally, the couple sits on two red velvet chairs under a canopy.

Leave it to the French to make their traditions all about wine. The groom and groom have a Coupe de Marriage - or wedding chalice or toasting cup - into which guests place a piece of toast in the name of prosperity. And, now you know where the term to toast comes from! You're welcome. 

From Greece: 

Three days before a wedding, Greeks host a krevati (Greek for bed) at which friends and family come to the couple's home to put children and money on their mattress for prosperity and fertility. Needless to say, a party ensues. 

From Finland: 

The couple's last dance at a Finnish wedding is the "weaning" dance in which each of the guests takes a turn dancing with the groom and the groom. This serves as a final test to make sure the couple won't be "distracted" by another person. 

From Italy: 

The color green brings the couple good luck and keeps evil spirits away. 

These are but a few European wedding customs. There are many more to come.