Many Swiss brides opt for a civil ceremony followed by a party but church weddings are still popular. A wedding Switzerland style consists of an afternoon church ceremony. The atmosphere is replete with fun and frolic with amateur performances by the guests like skits, musical plays, instrumental music, poems, songs and gifts. The maid- of- honor and the best man act as the coordinators of these performances.
Though the marriage Switzerland are traditional, the guests tease the newly weds during the Swiss marriage ceremonies. Some friends plan games like ‘kidnapping the bride’ or arrange a surprise wedding for the couple. The former game is part of the tradition because in some Swiss weddings, in the past, it was necessary to kidnap the bride to fight the hostile relatives on the bride’s side. The latter is done, when the guests decide to surprise the couple after the ceremony. These elements become an inextricable part even in an elegant and exquisite well-planned Swiss wedding, since old traditions die hard.
The Swiss bride in the traditional wedding Switzerland wears a traditional crown or wreath on her head that represents her maidenhood and youth. The wreath is removed and burned after the couple exchange vows. The bride is regarded lucky, if it burns fast. The bride’s maid leads the guests to the place, where the reception takes place and she gives the guest a colored handkerchief. The kerchief represents good luck and each guest offers a dollar or coin and puts it into a basket. This gift is given to the newly weds. In some traditions the godmother hands the kerchiefs to the guests who in turn contribute a coin. The newly married couple plants a pine tree that symbolizes fertility in their yard. It is often believed that planting the tree brings forth luck and children into the family.
The Swiss marriage traditions are similar to rich the Western European traditions. The engagement ring is a major component in the Swiss marriages like in any other tradition. The engagement ring is made of gold and it symbolizes the financial sacrifice that the groom makes for his bride-to-be. In the modern times, the gold ring is ornamented with a diamond.
Any Western European wedding will have something old, something new, something blue and something borrowed. Something old represents the continuity of tradition. This can be a scarf or a piece of jewelry passed on generations after generations. Something new stands for future and hope and can be anything from wedding band to clothing. Something borrowed indicates future happiness and is mostly contributed by a close friend of the bride, who is happily married. Blue symbolizes purity and the couple tries to incorporate the color in their wedding Switzerland outfit. All these Western European marriage traditions form an integral part of the Swiss marriage traditions.
A wedding Switzerland is a medley of customs, new and old and entertainment, music, dance and songs. These elements of fun, against the background of scintillating nature make Swiss weddings, a surreal experience.