Running head: wedding rituals around the world

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Wedding Rituals Around The World

Olivia M. Jones

Central Washington University

Olivia Jones

October 23rd, 2012

Com 345 .02

Speech to Inform

Speech to Inform: “Different Wedding Traditions Around The World”

General purpose: To inform.

Specific purpose: To inform my audience about the many different types of wedding rituals different cultures perform around the world.
Central idea: The central idea of this speech is to inform my audience that not every culture is the same as American culture and within many other cultures values, beliefs, and customs, lie very unique traditions such as the sacred ritual of marriage.
Visual Aids: Power Point

I: Attention Getter

  1. How many of you in the audience have been to a wedding, have been married, or plan to get married in the future?

  2. Okay so most everyone should enjoy this topic!

II: Background

  1. According to the surveys last week, most people didn’t know too much about wedding traditions in different parts of the world because they just hadn’t gotten the chance too.

  2. Well today, for those who just haven’t had the chance to learn about other wedding traditions besides our own here in the U.S. Here is your chance!

Preview & Credibility:

  1. Today I would like to talk to you all on different wedding traditions around the world. The three specific cultures I will be speaking about today will be the Chinese, Some African Cultures, and the Norwegian culture because I myself am half Norwegian.

  2. I feel credible speaking on this topic because of my love and interests in weddings.

Transition: On that note, first I would like to begin with some Chinese Wedding traditions.

Body 1: Chinese Weddings

a) For hundreds of years, Chinese weddings have been a great excuse for those in this culture to “Flaunt their money”. And the best way to flaunt their money is through the food. At most Elite Chinese weddings they will serve a 10-course dinner, with about each course costing 100 dollars. So if there are 50 guests, each of them getting a 10 course dinner, that is around 1,000 $ per each guest on only the food! All together 50,000 $ on food all together.

b) After the guests are all full of food from their 10 course dinners, the tradition for the guests is to accompany to bride and the groom and the performers on the dance floor for the lion dance. This dance has a very powerful meaning. It is meant to be somewhat dark and scary as everyone warns of the evil spirits as the bride and groom enter their first chapter in life.

c) Lastly within Chinese wedding tradition, there is a very odd thing that the guests do towards the end of the night. When things start to wind down, family and friends follow the bride and groom to their honeymoon suite taunting them for as long as they can before the bride and groom beg for their own privacy.

Transition: Next, we can travel to the continent of Africa, where we can find very unique wedding traditions that we are probably unfamiliar with.

Body II: Many African Weddings

a) Starting of with a non human-to-human wedding practice, some African and even Indian cultures force some women to marry animals. Women who have been born with clef palettes or who are deemed ugly by the village, are forced to marry goats or dogs first, so that the second time around when they can marry a man, the evil spirit will then be attached the dog or goat from the first marriage.

b) In the African country Kenya, when a woman is engaged to a man, she is then sent off to a so called “Fat Camp” where she is forced to gain 30-50 lbs, so she will be suitable for marriage. They believe that the larger the woman that a man marries, the mort children she will be able to carry throughout her life because of the amount of room in her belly.

c) In many Cameroon villages, there is no such thing as courtship, engagements, or even wedding rings. A man she will know in her village captures most women and then by whom ever she is captured she is forced to marry. The capturing can take place in her home, on a walk, or even during a funeral.

Transitions: Last on the list is Norway, a country with very old world Scandinavian traditions.

Body III: Norwegian Weddings

a) For the most part when talking about Norwegian weddings, they are very picky and meticulous when it comes to decoration. Norwegians believe that at their weddings real flowers symbolize dirt and nature, so no real flowers are not allowed besides at the alter. They use tissue paper or cloth flowers to symbolize wealth and that they didn’t need to pick flowers from their gardens, that they could afford to buy fake ones.

b) In smaller Norwegian communities, weddings will last for 3 days. The first day will consists of the ceremony and reception, and the 2nd and third day will be the after party of eating and drinking for 2 days straight. This is thought to be a good time for friends and family to spend time with the bride and groom before they start their own lives.

c) Last, but not least is the kissing tradition of the Norwegians. Once the bride and groom of completed the ceremony if her groom is ever out of sight, and not with the bride, other men/women at the wedding are allowed to kiss her on the lips once, and same goes for if the bride leaves the grooms sight as a symbol that even with the groom is gone.


a) So today I have spoken to you guys on wedding traditions around the world. Specifically, from the Chinese culture, African cultures, and the Norwegian culture.


  1. To end, I hope some day all of you in the audience will have a chance to find true love and marry that special someone, no matter what traditions the wedding will fall under. I would like to leave you with some marital advice, don’t sweat the small stuff, save your energy for the big fights in the future.

  2. Thanks everyone! Questions?

Tying The Knott. (2010). Wedding customs: Traditions from around the globe. Retrieved


Enviromental, G. (2012). 6 bizarre wedding traditions around the world. Retrieved from

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