Till death do us part
"Out with the old, in with the new", is probably what the Thai ritual of couples lying in coffins before their wedding day is all about. Prior to their marriage, the couple will have monks bless them while they lie in their coffins, as a symbol of removing bad luck, to have the couple enjoy true love, good fortune and prosperity.
Black and blue
On the happiest day of her life, a Scottish bride will be smeared with all sorts of nasty things - curdled milk, spoiled food, tar, and so on, then tied to a tree, and brought for a drink by her loved ones after it's all over. Why? It's to prepare her for any problems she may come across after her wedding.
You shall not pass
The Chinese gatecrashing ceremony may be the norm to us in Singapore, but it's actually perceived as strange in the Western parts of the world. After all, it's supposed to be the happiest day of your lives, and not cause for your groom to break out in cold sweat the night before at the thought of having to face the obstacles your bridesmaids have in store for them. (See why we think you should have a civilised gatecrashing ceremony instead of one that simply humiliates your groom)
In India, women born as Mangliks (as astrological combination when Mars and Saturn are both under the seventh house, are thought to be cursed (which includes jinxing their husband to an early death). By marrying them to a tree first, the curse is lifted after the tree is destroyed, and the curse broken.
Keep it in!
Couples with small bladders won't want to be a part of the Tidong community in Indonesia. Newly-marrieds are required to stay home without emptying their bowels and bladders for three days and nights. Scary.
William Tell would be proud. In China's Yugur tribe, grooms shoot their future brides with a bow and arrow (without the arrowheads) three times. The arrows are then broken to ensure everlasting love.
Instead of going on a wedding diet, young girls in Mauritania are sent to "fat farms" to put on weight, instead! This is for her to show that her husband is wealthy enough to keep her stomach filled.
Drinking from the toilet
Apparently newlyweds in France are forced to drink leftovers from their wedding out of a toilet bowl. The idea: to give the couple strength before their wedding night. Gross.
According to Hindu tradition, the bridesmaids will hide the groom's shoes once he steps into the wedding venue, to prevent him from running off. We're not sure if it's actually worked though...
Showers of blessings
It is customary for the father of the bride to spit on her head and chest once the couple leaves the wedding venue in Kenya for good luck.