As an Australian bride walks back down the aisle after being married, guests hang satin horseshoes on ribbons to her wrist for good luck. At the reception, the best man traditionally reads telegrams from those who could not attend, often fabricating amusing telegrams from friends and relatives for entertainment value. Toasts and speeches are abundant and continue all throughout the reception.
In the 19th century, fiddlers led wedding processions, and the bride usually received a morgen-gabe, or morning gift, from her groom; she then gave her groom a shirt she had made especially for their wedding day. During the reception, the bride dances off her crown, a ritual in which the married women dance around her until the circle is broken, at which time the groomsmen playfully rob her of her crown. A matron's cap is then placed on her head, symbolizing her married status. Before stepping over the threshold, Austrian newlyweds often tie their hands together for good luck, then partake in bread and wine, after which the groom tosses the glass over the roof for good luck.
An African Bantu wedding usually includes the traditional music of the likembe, along with a unique style of dancing accompanied by polyrhythmic music and drums.
In the past, Belgian wedding invitations were printed on two sheets of paper, one from the parents of the bride, and one from those of the groom. The bride often carries a special handkerchief embroidered with her name, which is passed down to each new bride within the family. The bride and groom are enthroned near the altar in big chairs for the wedding Mass. A collection for the poor is taken by the bridesmaids and traditionally thrown to beggars outside the church by the departing wedding party. After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrate their wedding breakfast at a hotel.
As a bride makes her way to the church for her wedding ceremony in Belize, it is considered a rite of passage, her last walk as a single woman. Along the way, friends and townspeople wish her well by throwing gifts in her path and shouting compliments as to what a beautiful bride she is.
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