Australia has a rich and exciting history when it comes to wedding traditions and a host of wonderful symbols. Some of these even trace all the way back to the indigenous people, while many originated from Western parts of the world.
While some of these magical traditions have long been forgotten, others have been modernised to fit in with changing cultures and societies. Which means the original significance has become somewhat lost in translation.
Having a unique wedding ceremony and reception is certainly a trend, but it’s always nice to add a little tradition to the special day as a nod to the ancestors. So, we’ve put together a few long-forgotten traditions and meaningful symbols to help you. Don’t forget to add gorgeous Sydney wedding rings that AE Design Jewellery can craft for you to your big day!
AUSTRALIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS
1 // THE STONE CEREMONY
The stone ceremony can be traced all the way back to the earliest Australian settlers. Back then, they couldn’t afford to buy wedding rings, so they had a stone ceremony. During the ceremony, the newlywed couple would cast a stone off into the river to represent their unity as their life flowed up and down around them.
2 // THE SMOKING CEREMONY
If you’re looking for a highly significant ancient Aboriginal ceremony for your wedding day, this is it. During a smoking ceremony, plants are burned with the aim of producing a fragrant smoke to be fanned over the newlyweds. It’s believed that the smoke has healing and cleansing properties and can ward off evil spirits. Some parts of Australia continue to practice this ritual on wedding days.
3 // A NOD TO THE LAND
To honour the Aboriginal territory before a wedding is called territorial acknowledgement. The tradition is said to bring positivity and luck at the beginning of the marriage, and it dates back centuries for Australia’s indigenous people.
4 // THE WEDDING RINGS
Australian wedding traditions have certainly been influenced by borrowed practices over the years, but one thing remains the same: the exchange of the rings. A wedding ring symbolises infinity. It’s worn on the left hand’s fourth finger as it’s believed a vein from this finger runs directly to your heart.
5 // THE WHITE WEDDING DRESS
The traditional white dress is still a big part of an Australian bride’s big day. It’s said to represent the bride’s purity.
6 // THE UNITY BOWL
You’ll often spot a unity bowl in an Australian wedding ceremony. With this, each guest is given a stone to hold throughout the ceremony and at the end, you place the stone in the bowl for the couple to keep and display in their home. The stone and bowl represent the support of loved ones.
7 // THE BIBLE AS A GIFT
Gifting newlyweds with the Bible is one of the oldest Australian wedding traditions that dates all the way back to the 1870s. The Bible is treasured and treated as a new family heirloom, often passed down through the generations.
If you have your big day coming up, why not use a few of these beautiful traditions during your ceremony?
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