Wedding Reception Traditions from Different Countries

By Lori Sweeny | 13th February 2017 | Blog categories: Wedding Blog, Wedding Ideas


As we all know, Ibiza is an international party hub, but it’s also one of the most popular locations for ‘Destinations Weddings’ in Europe, with couples from all over the world choosing to tie the knot here on the romantic White Isle.

Especially popular with couples from neighbouring European countries, Ibiza is sort after because of it’s open relaxed attitude – where you can pick and choose the traditions from your own culture, that you would like to maintain in your ceremony and reception. The beautiful thing is that the majority of venues in Ibiza can accommodate whichever tradition you would like to carry out during your reception – let’s take a look at some of the most popular customs still seen in Ibiza Wedding Receptions.

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United Kingdom & Ireland – Speeches
For anyone who’s seen Four Wedding’s and a Funeral you will be familiar with the age old British tradition of making speeches during the wedding reception. Conventionally it would be the Father of the Bride, the Groom and the Best Man to make the speeches, although these days it’s much more likely to see the bride herself also speaking – if she so wishes! The reason for this tradition is mainly to make fun of the happy couple (often with special attention directed to the Groom) to provide some entertainment for the guests. For this reason, British wedding receptions are known to drag on a little bit, with dancing not starting until after the food, and speeches are over. Taking this into consideration, the majority of the Wedding Venues on our Ibiza Wedding Guide are licensed until 12am – with Casa Colonial being able to keep it’s doors open even later.

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Italy – 14 Courses of Food
It’s Italian tradition for the Groom to choose the Brides bouquet – he decides on the colours and style of the flowers and gifts it to her at the ceremony, but that’s not the most important part… In Italy the food is almost as important as the ceremony itself! Where guests can be served up to 14 courses of food and finally the cake is served with an Espresso. Ibiza Wedding Guide lists both caterers and venues who can work together with the couples to incorporate as many or as little courses as they wish, and ensure that they have rounds of Espresso on stand by – if necessary.

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Spain – Cutting the Groom’s Tie
In Ibiza’s native Spain, it’s traditional for the neck tie of the groom to be taking during the wedding reception, cut into pieces and auctioned off to the wedding guests for a souvenir. This also works as a way to gift a little bit of money to the couple to start their happy life together.

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Poland / Cypriot Greece / Ukraine / Hungary – Money Dance
There is plenty of space on the dance floor in the majority of our Ibiza Wedding Guide venues to make room for the traditional money dance, unique to a few different cultures including, Greek Cypriots, Ukrainians, Polish and Hungarians. The origin of the ‘Money Dance’ is hotly contested, but the custom is usually pretty similar, the bride spins round and dances while guests are invited to pin money to her dress.

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Germany – Games
During a German Wedding Reception it’s likely that you’ll see a lot of games being played – the reason for this is for the bride and groom has to show how well they know each other and if they can rely to each other. A typical fun (and sometime embarrassing) game – is where the couple have to cut out a big heart out from bed linen (as a symbol for a life full of harmony) then the groom has to carry the bride through this cut out heart. Another traditional game is the Bride’s shoe auction… where someone ‘steals’ one of the bride’s shoes! Then hat is then placed in the middle of the scene and a shout out auction begins, where guests pay money directly into the hat until eventually only the Groom can pay the last bit of money to get the shoe back for his bride (and keep the cash of course!).