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Wedding Food Traditions From Around the World

You want your wedding to be different, to be unlike anything your guests have ever seen. You want your wedding to be unforgettable, from the moment guests walk into the venue to the moment they walk back to their cars. You want your wedding to be a blast, for guests young and old.

Thankfully, there’s one aspect of your wedding that can completely transform the entire affair. While this aspect is often taken for granted and given less attention than other details concerning decoration and entertainment, it wields the power to create the one-of-a-kind wedding you desire.

What is this magical wedding element, you ask? Food!

Yes, you could serve guests shrimp and vegetable appetizers and their choice of chicken or beef for dinner and vanilla cake for dessert. Your wedding would be fine. Guests would enjoy the food, but forget about it.

Creating a unique lineup of cuisine for your wedding is not as difficult as you think. Unlike other aspects of weddings, you do not need extreme creativity or inventiveness to produce a unforgettable menu. Work smarter, not harder! Tap into the resources at your fingertips by incorporating wedding foods from around the world into your big day!

1. England

English fruit cake

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A classic English wedding food tradition is the presentation of fruit cakes for dessert. Customarily, guests would bring small cakes to the new couple. Fruit was a symbol of fertility and prosperity in marriage. These fruit cakes are not as bland as they sound, and are usually topped with icing and nuts.

2. Ireland

irish wedding mead

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Aside from sharing the fruit cake tradition of the English, the Irish have their own customary wedding refreshments. Mead, a honey wine, is served at Irish weddings. This beverage is believed to encourage fertility and virility. Oh, and their fruit cake contains lots of whiskey, unlike the English version.

3. France

French wedding croquembroche

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The home of one of the most famous towers in the world, The Eiffel Tower, it just makes sense for the traditional French wedding dessert to be a tower… of cream puffs! “Croquembroche” involves the arrangement of cream puffs covered in powdered sugar and sometimes dipped in chocolate. Almonds, flowers, and ribbon are sometimes used for added decoration. If the bride and groom could kiss over this tower without making it fall over, it was believed they would enjoy a prosperous life.

4. Mexico

Mexican wedding cookies

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In Mexico, there are certain cookies of a short bread texture that are used to celebrate many special occasions, one of which is weddings. The rich buttery and sugary qualities of these cookies represent love and togetherness. They are often rolled in powdered sugar, which represents purity.

5. Italy

Italian wedding almonds

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After the wedding festivities are over in Italy, guests receive a box of five candied almonds. The almonds represent the sweet and bitter aspects of married life and how the bride and groom vow to stick together, for better or worse. Each almond symbolizes either happiness, wealth, longevity, health, or fertility. A similar tradition is practiced in Greek weddings.

6. Ukraine

Ukrainian wedding bread

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Korovai, a sweet bread, is a staple at Ukrainian weddings. The bread is traditionally prepared by the family members of the bride and groom. The act represents the new bond of these two families and their union.

7. India

Indian wedding food

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Traditional wedding foods in India are not all that unlike their traditional everyday cuisine. Indian weddings involve naan, curries, and roasted potatoes. One out-of-the-ordinary food custom is to serve honey and yogurt instead of cake for dessert. The honey represents a sweet start to marriage while the yogurt represents eternal health.

8. Morocco

moroccan wedding food

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For Moroccan weddings, dinner consists of “tagine”, a type of stew that is served family style. Large baskets of fruit are passed around for dessert in lieu of a cake. And guests typically get a box full of pastries to take home from the wedding festivities.

9. Bermuda

bermuda wedding cake cedar sapling

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While less of an edible tradition, Bermudian weddings have a unique custom that deserves mention. A cedar sapling is placed on the top of the wedding cake. When the couple returns home as a married couple, they plant the sapling and watch it grow, a symbol of their union and strengthening relationship.

10. Brazil

brazil wedding bem casado

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“Bem casados”, meaning “happily married” in Portuguese, are little sandwiches traditionally gifted to guests at weddings in Brazil. These sandwiches are comprised of sponge cake-like cookies held together by dulche de leche (caramel sauce), egg curd, marmalade, honey, jam, or cream. Rolled in sugar and wrapped individually, these sandwiches symbolize the sweet union between the bride and groom and are given to guests as they leave.

11. Korea

korean yak shik

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Korean weddings often involve “kuk soo” at some point in the festivities. These long noodles symbolize long life for the couple. “Yak shik”, sticky rice balls made with brown sugar, raisins, and nuts, are served for dessert. They represent the couple’s future offspring.

12. Germany

“Hochzeitssuppe” is a German wedding soup. Made with normal ingredients, this brothy soup of vegetables and meatballs actually takes hours to create.

13. China

peking duck china weddings

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Chinese couples often serve duck at their weddings as this species mates for life, representing bliss and fidelity. Peking duck is red, representing happiness. The whole bird is served to reflect the completeness of the newly married couple

At first glance, incorporating traditional wedding foods from around the world into your wedding menu does not sound very unconventional. But as wedding foods typically stay within the boundaries of the ordinary, presenting your guests with culinary options that they do not experience on a regular basis is an act of breaking from tradition.

Don’t wrestle with creating a wedding menu like none of your guests have ever seen! Tap into the genius of wedding foods from around the world. These foods are not only unique, but will spark conversation about their origins and meanings, and are sure to make your wedding an unforgettable affair!

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