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Blog > May Writing Prompt: Weddings


The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This March, I had the honour of attending my childhood best friend’s wedding, which got me wondering about different wedding customs around the world. Sometimes weddings are religious, and sometimes they’re more like big parties, and they can vary a lot with local customs and traditions. So that’s the prompt for this month: tell us about weddings!

In May, write about what weddings are like in your country. How are they celebrated?
A photo of someone holding a bouquet of white and yellow daffodils, made out of paper

My own wedding was pretty non-traditional. I did wear a white dress which wasn’t a world away from being a wedding dress, but it didn’t cost thousands of pounds (which is pretty common for wedding dresses in the UK). I also didn’t have a train or a veil, though I did carry a bouquet… though my bouquet was pretty non-traditional as well, since it was made of daffodils (the national flower of Wales), and the daffodils had been made of paper for me by my partner. It meant I could keep my bouquet forever, though it’s been battered around a bit when we moved. We got married in the town hall in Leuven, and exchanged rings in front of just a few friends (and the interpreter who was there for me, since I don’t speak Flemish!)… and afterwards we went back to our flat and had a picnic, followed by going out that evening to introduce my friends to Belgian chips.

My best friend’s wedding was a bit more typical: full-length white dress, veil, etc, and with a lot of family present. It wasn’t a religious ceremony, so it wasn’t in a church, but it was in a dedicated wedding venue and there was a procession down the aisle. Afterwards there was a photography session, and then sit-down meal with speeches and toasts. It was all a lot more fuss than my wedding, with both families present along with the bride and groom’s friends.

My best friend did make all the flowers for her wedding out of paper, though, so we had that in common!

I think all the weddings I’ve attended have been a bit different, really… British weddings can be all kinds of things, depending on the bride and groom’s backgrounds. What’s it like in your country? Is there a traditional sort of wedding? Are they large or small occasions? We’d love to hear more, either in the comments to this post, or your postcards in May!

22 comments so far

Verabrady, United States of America

I’m appalled by the cost of so many weddings-destination weddings, dress, flowers, reception dinners. Many who can’t afford those things feel they need to compete and end up in debt. That’s a poor start to a shared, loving relationship.
I feel any persons wishing to enter a monogamous, lifelong relationship make a sensible commitment to each other within their means, which is validated in an official office so that these partners have the rights afforded all married couples. Too many times those over the moon weddings end in expensive divorces.

Prodromos, Cyprus

Weddings in Cyprus.... That is a real business. First is the church part (in most of the times) then the wedding dinner / banquet. Usually it takes place in big wedding pavilions, restaurants or even village squares! An "open" wedding in Cyprus might have more than 400 guests. First is the handshake with the couple and the relatives who wait impatiently near the entrance of the pavilion. The gift usually comes inside an envelope given to the "husband" in a -let's say- secret way, who then puts it inside a metal box (we call it τενέκκα, tenekka). Of course the couple after the wedding event count the money. Its an important procedure. During the event of course there is food, drinks, greek music, dances and talks between the relatives and guests. This is how the night continues and comes to an end late in the night. Everyone tired goes back to its house talking about the impressions of the wedding. Before euro coming in our lives (mid 00s) I remember in weddings the so called money dance. The bride wearing her white dress had clipped on her banknotes. The relatives and friends of the couple were giving money in this way (20 pounds, 10 pounds) It was such an extraordinary view to see a woman dancing with a line of banknotes covering actually part of her dress and sometimes being worried to not step on them. Another "crazy" custom, especially if the wedding takes place in an outdoor venue is the so called "laying children on the mattress". The children of the relatives and friends sit or even play on the mattress. In this way is believed that will give the needed positive energy to the couple to have soon a child. The ceremony of wedding starts with the preparations (the morning of wedding day). Both in the houses of the husband and wife there are separate ceremonies. There is music in their houses, food for the close relatives. Especially in the wife's house it takes place the so called zosimo or allama. The parents, the siblings and other relatives of the bride place a red cloth (like a belt) on her chest and waist giving her in this way their blessing. Similar procedure takes place in groom's house. Additionally the best man offers him the last shave before the great moment of wedding. Violin, lute and singing have a key role in every custom... Those are the basics.

HookedonPostcards, Canada

Irony. I received a card today from Ukraine title "Love Can't Be Stopped!". The newlyweds are photographed in front of destroyed Kharkiv. All round the world, people who love each other want to marry and face barriers to their union: family, culture, terror, prejudice, poverty, war, etc. May every union that celebrates love be celebrated and cherished by all.

bigskycrafter, United States of America

Our daughter just got married in Puerto Rico and they were unable to obtain a wedding license. Nobody in the demographic office there spoke english and they don't know spanish. It was a wonderful place to get married right on the beach. It was beautiful.

Flippie, Canada

I got married in 1989 in Holland. We did every thing on day, pictures, city hall, church, food and party. We didn't get engaged, save the money to buy a house and went on Honey moon 3 years later. I sold my wedding dress after and my husband used his suit for work for years.
We're still happy together and I'm glad that we tied the knot.

Dashunalv, Latvia

my wedding took place in 2022 during the peak of the pandemic. In the registry office there were my husband and I, witnesses and registry office employees. and everyone was wearing masks. I was wearing the dress and veil I had dreamed of. my husband bought the dress I wanted. We were photographed in the old town; the photographer was a witness. We also filmed the video ourselves. then our daughter was born. and since we dreamed of getting married and celebrating with family and friends. Our wedding was on 09.24.23. it was as expected. banquet, ceremony, professional photos and videos. I didn’t throw the bouquet, but passed it on.

Aguaroble, Lesotho

Interesting topic!
I wonder whether or not married people make up a majority of postcrossers... The community is so large and heterogeneous that I can't even make an estimate... and that's great I believe ^^

Moniqueandkids, Netherlands

I got married in 2004 in the Netherlands, where we live. My husband and I got married on the day we were 10 years together. Our first daughter was almost 3 years old and we had 4 bride children including our daughter.

It was one day with family and friends and it was not over the top expensive, but simple and nice. We rented our wedding clothes, but they were very nice. I had a white dress and my husband had a black suit.

We had the official part in a museum, the former cityhall of our city. We had a ceremony with friends and family. When we came outside they threw rice over us for good luck.

After the official part we went with the photographer who made a lot of nice photos on places we liked. We even got photos on the middle of the railway which was a bit scary. And in nature and very Dutch in front of a mill.

Our party in the afternoon was in an old farmhouse which we rented. Friends took care of the music and family for the food. We had a wedding cake made with little marzipan dolphins on it. And there were foods and drinks and quality time with all our family and friends.

wifetoalineman, United States of America

This month will be our 22nd wedding anniversary. We got married in a garden in a hotel with the judge and in-front of my husband's family, relatives, and my first cousin from Minnesota. It was simple but sweet.

kaila123, United States of America

My husband and i married in 1996, It was a second wedding for each of us so we just wanted to be married and didnt feel we needed any of the hoopla. We married pn Kauai in a little church that had just reopened after Hurricane Iniki. We wore shorts and sandles and told the minister to do the same. I loved it (and still do)

Asiya-, United States of America

I mostly go to arab weddings, and they are tons of fun!

pemasagirls, France

Very interesting readings and customs !

In France, weddings usually happen in a special place, away from home. Most of the time, it's on Saturday. In the morning, the bride gets ready, go to the hairdresser, maybe manucure or make-up, then comes home to get dressed. The broom is not supposed to see her before the wedding and the church. But we did not follow this custom. We saw each others at the end of the morning, then went to the park around to take pictures. Then the whole families gathered at the city hall. It is mandatory and must be done in all cases, even if you eventually go to church.
So did we. I like this part : a long rail of cars following each others from the city hall to the church (if church there is, there was for us), then same again to reach the place for the diner and the party. The bride car is usually decorated with flowers, the broom's too, but less. Sometimes there are common decoration for all the cars of the persons invited.

At the church, the broom enters first with his mum, then the maiden of honnor or kids (mainly kids in a traditional French wedding), and at last the bride with her father.
I had a long ivory dress, no vail nor hat.

The first part of the party is for many people, including working collegues, neighbourgs, some friends. There are drinks and fancy snacks. We take more pictures. If the flowers have to be throwned, it will be at this place. I kept mine !
Then some people leave and the rest stay for diner and the party which can end at 4am or later. There is usually a place with some madresses on the floor for kids. I find it cute to see them sleeping, stocked on each others, wondering how the hell they can spell with the noise and such positions :-).
The diner is spread into parts with dancing moments. A special time for the cake, with music and lights. Usually, there are also a few animations or games and a diaporama with funny pictures ot the couple when they were younger. The witnesses may prepare a speech. Ours did. It's great to keep. Then only dancing. I like to watch the olders during weedings, gathering together and chatting, looking at the new generation. All these small images are deep in my mind.

Usually, we gather the day after around noon for a light lunch. Then everybody goes home.

Concerning the presents, I don't really like the way we do it : it's too impersonal. 2 options : a wedding list where you can pick up what you like and the couple needs / wants or a box and you put money in it, usually for the honeymoon trip. But there is no speach or anything, no opening even in case of specific presents.

Buffalowinters, United States of America

As someone who enjoys using the writing prompts you suggest, I am so excited to use this suggested one this month.! My daughter is getting married next month and we are busy planning. She just got her dress today and it's the white and fluffy kind but it's held at a ski lodge we rented and I am doing all the flowers. A wonderful mix of traditional and modern.

KaitieB, United States of America

I've had this prompt in my profile for a while, I'm engaged (wedding will be summer 2025) and I've enjoyed the responses I've gotten about wedding traditions.
In Wisconsin (United States), couples will marry in the summer or fall, almost always on a Saturday. The day before, there will be a rehearsal dinner with close family, friends, bridesmaids & groomsmen and their significant others. They will rehearse the ceremony, set up the venue if needed, and have a dinner to celebrate the wedding.
The ceremony will take place often outdoors at a rented venue, like a golf course, event center, or hotel, but it can happen at a church if the couple is religious. Attire varies greatly but typically for guests the men will wear nice pants, a button up shirt, and a tie. Women typically wear a cocktail or knee length dress. Bridesmaids will wear typically matching colored dresses, often floor length. Groomsmen will wear matching suits, or just button-up shirts with or without a vest. Wisconsin has some very rural areas and I've seen grooms wear blue jeans and camouflage shirts.
Reception may be held at the same venue, with an hour or so for drinks & mingling after the ceremony before dinner. The groom is not supposed to see the bride before the ceremony, but this tradition is often replaced with a "first look" where they reveal the bride to the groom so that photos can be done together before the ceremony.
The father of the groom, and members of the bridal party may lead toasts and give speeches about the couple during dinner. During dinner guests may tap their silverware on their drinking glasses, if enough people do it then the couple will kiss. Drinks & dancing after dinner until about midnight, there is a bar in the reception venue. The couple will have a slow dance first, then there will be dances for the bride & her father. Cake cutting, a garter toss, and a bouquet toss may happen but are falling out of favor. Line dances like the Cupid Shuffle are popular as well as pop music. There may be a send off for the couple with sparklers as they leave the event.
Of course, today there is a lot of flexibility about the whole event, and people can do basically whatever they want.

Aurelijana, Lithuania

I am getting married on August on these years. We got engaged in February and we decided to have our big dream weddings. In Lithuania we always have a wedding ceremony in church or in marriage palace or any place where you want only need is a civil registry employee or the priest. We have a ceremony in marriage palace because we are not very religious. After that will be a champagne, some pictures with guests and then will a one of big wedding moments a photoshoot of bride and groom. I like those beautiful pictures so I think this is very important part of the wedding. In the evening we will have a party in a beautiful homestead in our region. We have some traditions in the most of weddings in our country: upon entering the wedding reception, the newlyweds would drink wine and eat bread and salt, each symbolizing the three life elements they would now have together: joy, tears and work. Other tradition is a couple wedding dance, which is very nice and romantic tradition. And the last two wedding evening traditions is a cutting the cake and serving the family hearth from the bride and the groom parents. So, we dont know or we will keep all these traditions in our wedding but I think those are nice and meaningful to all of us. Because in a modern weddings could be nothing of traditions and can be just a crazy time with family and friends. And the final of the wedding is the most fun are in the midnight and I very hope that it will be a champagne pyramid which is a new trend and very nice looking and all guests very like it. So, I hope everything will be awesome because the preparing always takes a lot of time.

JustRae, United States of America

I got married on a cold & snowy February day In Chicago, Illinois in 1993. We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were married with family & close friends in the temple on a Friday afternoon. We then drove to Indianapolis, Indiana & stayed the night, drove to our hometown of Richmond, Indiana for a large reception at my grandparents country club with family & friends. My great aunt made my cake (she owned a bakery). No wedding party. My dress was less than $300 & my husband rented a tuxedo for the reception. We did cut the cake together & I threw a silk flower bouquet. One of my high school friends caught it & was married the next year.
Weddings cost is outrageous. I think society puts a lot of pressure on people to have big expensive events & it's not necessary. To each their own.

MariaAlexandrovna, Germany

Today, May 5, 2024, we have a ruby ​​wedding: living together for 40 years is not a field to cross, it’s worth a lot! Therefore, the symbol of this wedding is a precious ruby, it represents health, love and wisdom...
Yes - 40 years, ONE MOMENT... But, and many happy moments: SON, DAUGHTER, FOUR GRAND DAUGHTERS,
But there are also many trials - the loss of loved ones, health problems, everyday difficulties.
But, we are together - and this is all the wisdom of the world: to find for yourself the only closest and dearest person in the whole world and walk through life together with him!
Stay together!
Be happy!

sonataca, United States of America

Never attended a wedding in my whole life. I don't plan to marry either!

PaiviM, Finland

In Finland many people still want to tie the knot in the church even if they are otherwise not religiosous. Maybe they like the atmosphere. Many brides like to wear a real white wedding dress. Often the weddings include family and friends and eating and dancing. In the weddings which I have attended I start crying - which happens very seldom - not sure why. Usually it happens during the wedding march music. I think I have the tendency to cry out of joy more than sadness. I myself am happily divorced many years ago and we that time married with civil ceremony and small group of family and friends. The most minimalistic way to marry was my niece's: she send they marriage certicifate by whatsapp to close family members!

AsterArt, Belgium

I live in Belgium and it's nice to hear you married in Leuven. I like the way you got married. Just the way you wanted it.

DownGirl, United Kingdom

My wedding was very small too. My husband and myself, my dad and my sister and my husband's cousin (they are more like brothers) and his wife. We went to the best restaurant in town (Michelin starred) and had a fab meal and spent our honeymoon in Dublin. We had just purchased an old farmhouse which we have been renovating every since! It was exactly as we wanted it and I have no regrets. Just this month we celebrated our 25th anniversary with the original wedding party - but sadly my dad is no longer with us - and our two teenage children. It was just perfect too. Fab meal out and we all swaped seats at each course so everyone could have a chat with everyone else.

SophietheValiant, Kazakhstan

Recently went to the wedding of my cousin, it was a traditional one, it was very pretty, even though obviously, hectic, because there were loads of people. I get too tired after such events though. And before them, as well, because such huge events take a lot of energy. I would say, be prepared for everything. Weddings are a spark in this world, so I thank people who invited me there.

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