Canadian Wedding Traditions

Canadian culture is a mosaic of several regional and migrant settlers’ culture. It has been influenced by the culture of the European settlers, especially British and French, and its indigenous people. Due to its proximity to the US, Canada also has influences of American culture.

Weddings in Canada are mostly love matches. Though the cultural background of the individuals may influence the way the proposal or engagement is conducted. Some do treat it as a private event, but for some, it is an event to celebrate the union of two families. They celebrate it in a grand way with lots of food, fun games, music, auctions etc...

Some call it as socials, stage and doe or buck and doe parties. It is conducted to raise funds for the forthcoming wedding. It is usually organised by the bride's family. The guest will have to pay ticket money to participate in the party.

There will also be a 'trousseau tea' which is the Canadian equivalent of a bridal shower. It is a gathering of the bride's female friends who couldn’t attend the wedding or couldn’t be included in the wedding guest list due to limits on the number. At this intimate party, the female friends will be shown the bride's wedding attire and accessories.  Canadian brides usually follow the European custom of wearing a white wedding dress. Some even wear a family heirloom to keep up the tradition.

Weddings are traditionally conducted in a church. Unlike in other traditions, a Canadian groom and family don’t wait for the bride at the church, instead, they go to the bride's home. From there both the families go to the church together in a procession.

The wedding ceremony will be conducted by a priest in the church in a traditional way.

As their European and American counterparts, Canadians will also have best man, bridesmaids, flower girls, exchanging vows, rings, and sealing their union with a wedding kiss. 

As the newlyweds leave the church they are showered with rice or wheat.

Next is the reception. It may be conducted in a hall or a restaurant or at the family home of the bride or the groom. There will be toasts, speeches, music, dancing, fun and a wide variety of food to celebrate the wedding.

 There is a wedding tradition in Canada where the unmarried brother or sister of the newlyweds would dance in their socks and the guests would throw money at them which could be collected by the bride and groom. Wedding wheel is also practiced in Canada, where the guests form two lines and they will have to wait for a spin around the room with the bride and the groom after paying for the dance. The money collected from the dance is generally used towards the honeymoon costs.

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