Wedding Dance Traditions Around the World

The wedding couples first dance and other ceremonial dances at a wedding are performed around the world, Many cultures have their own traditions that they incorporate into special wedding dances.

China - The Chinese Lion Dance is performed at wedding receptions as a form of a blessing for the newlyweds. During this dance, there are two performers each in a lion costume. This traditional ceremonial dance is performed to the music of drums, cymbals and gongs,

Nigeria - In many African cultures, a wedding has many traditions including several ceremonial dances.  One of the most common and popular in Nigeria is the Money Dance.  During this dance, the wedding couple are showered with currency notes/bills while they dance.   The family and friends of the newlyweds gently toss the bills around the couple or even dress them with leis and decorations made from money.  The Money Dance is done in many forms in various cultures around the world.

Russia - Russian weddings usually last about two days and include a lot of singing to traditional Russian songs that are played along with an accordian, bayan, or garmoshka.  During the festivities, there is a parent-in-law dance where the bride dances with her new father-in-law and the groom dances with this new mother-in-law.

Scotland – The Grand March is often the first dance at a wedding in Scotland. The dance starts with the newlyweds marching to bagpipes, then the Maid-of-Honor and Best Man join in followed by the bride and grooms parents and then by all of the wedding guests.

Finland - In Finland, dance decides which single girl will be married next and not the bouquet. The bride is blindfolded and spun around as the girls gather and dance around her. A bride in FInland wears a crown during the reception and during this dance she will place the crown on one of the girls.

Mexico - It is common to see guests at a Mexican wedding standing in the shape of a heart around the bride and groom as they dance their first dance.

There are so many cultural traditions that celebrate love and marriage through dance.  We were only able to share a few here and would love for you to share your traditions or experiences with us.


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