What are the must-try local customs and traditions for overseas weddings in Guam, Japan, France, and Bali?

What are the must-try local customs and traditions for overseas weddings in Guam, Japan, France, and Bali?

You may find yourself planning an overseas wedding in Guam, Japan, France, or Bali, and wondering how to incorporate local customs and traditions into your special day. Embracing local customs can add meaning and significance to your wedding ceremony, as well as provide a unique and memorable experience for you and your guests. In this blog post, we will explore the must-try local customs and traditions for weddings in these four diverse and culturally rich locations. From exchanging leis in Guam to taking part in a traditional Japanese sake ceremony, we will guide you through the most important and beautiful customs to consider incorporating into your overseas wedding.

Guam Wedding Traditions

The beautiful island of Guam is a popular destination for both local and overseas weddings. The traditional Chamorro customs and modern influences make Guam a unique and fascinating place to tie the knot. Here are some must-try local customs and traditions for your overseas wedding in Guam.

Chamorro Customs

The Chamorro people of Guam have a rich cultural heritage that is evident in their wedding traditions. One of the most important customs is the blessing of the bride and groom by an elder, which symbolizes the wisdom and guidance that they will receive throughout their marriage. Another fascinating tradition is the exchange of seashells, which represents the couple’s commitment to each other and their connection to the sea, a vital part of Chamorro life. You may also witness the ritual of the money dance, where guests pin money to the bride’s and groom’s attire as a way to support them financially in their new life together. Participating in these customs will add a meaningful and memorable touch to your Guam wedding.

The Fiesta Table

At a Guam wedding, the fiesta table is a lavish display of local culinary delights. You will find a mouthwatering array of traditional Chamorro dishes, such as red rice, kelaguen, and kadon pika, alongside fresh seafood and tropical fruits. The fiesta table represents the abundance and generosity of Chamorro hospitality, and experiencing this culinary feast will provide you and your guests with a true taste of Guam’s culture and traditions.

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Japanese Wedding Traditions

Clearly, Japan is known for its rich cultural traditions, and weddings are no exception. If you are planning to have your overseas wedding in Japan, there are a few key customs and traditions you should be aware of to make the most of your experience.

Shinto Ceremony Elements

The Shinto ceremony is a central element of traditional Japanese weddings. It typically takes place at a Shinto shrine, where the couple performs rituals to honor the kami (gods) and seek their blessings for a harmonious and prosperous marriage. During the ceremony, the couple makes offerings of sake, rice, and other symbolic items, and is often dressed in traditional Shinto garb. The ceremony is deeply spiritual and emphasizes the importance of harmony and balance in the union, reflecting the values of Japanese culture.

Kimono and San-San-Kudo

One of the most striking elements of a Japanese wedding is the bride’s attire. Instead of a Western-style wedding gown, the bride typically wears a traditional kimono, which can be elaborately adorned and come in various colors and styles. The groom also wears traditional Japanese attire, reflecting the cultural significance of the occasion. Another unique element of Japanese weddings is the san-san-kudo, a traditional sake-sharing ritual in which the couple and their parents each take three sips from three stacked cups. This ceremony symbolizes the union of the couple and their families, and the sharing of joy and future prosperity.

By incorporating these traditional customs and rituals into your overseas wedding in Japan, you can create a truly memorable and culturally rich experience that will be cherished for years to come. Embracing the beauty and depth of Japanese wedding traditions will not only add a unique flair to your special day, but also deepen your understanding of and appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

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French Wedding Traditions

Unlike other overseas wedding customs, French wedding traditions are filled with unique rituals and celebrations that date back centuries. From the romantic Le Cortège to the delicious Vin d’Honneur, French weddings are a feast for the senses and a truly unforgettable experience.

Le Cortège and La Mairie

One of the most iconic French wedding traditions is Le Cortège – the wedding procession. This is where the groom, accompanied by his friends and family, goes to the bride’s house to escort her to the wedding venue. Once at the venue, the ceremony takes place at La Mairie, the town hall, where the legal marriage is conducted. After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests proceed to the church for a religious ceremony, if they choose to have one.

Vin d’Honneur and Le Repas de Noces

One of the highlights of a French wedding is the Vin d’Honneur, a cocktail hour held after the ceremony. This is the perfect time for guests to mingle and enjoy an array of appetizers and drinks. Following the Vin d’Honneur, is the Le Repas de Noces, the wedding feast. This is an elaborate multi-course meal that can last for hours and often features traditional dishes such as foie gras, duck, and a delectable cheese course. The meal is accompanied by copious amounts of wine, champagne, and other spirits, making it a truly indulgent and joyful affair.

Balinese Wedding Traditions

To experience a traditional Balinese wedding is to immerse yourself in a unique and rich cultural celebration. From the colorful rituals to the vibrant ceremonies, a Balinese wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.

The Three-Day Celebration

When attending a Balinese wedding, you will experience a three-day celebration filled with various rituals and ceremonies. The first day is the ‘Mepamit’ ceremony, where the bride’s family presents offerings of food and gifts to the groom’s family as a gesture of goodwill and gratitude. The second day is the ‘Mappasah’ ceremony, where the couple gets blessed by a priest, followed by a joyful ‘Mekala-Kalaan’ ceremony, where a ceremonial washing of the bride and groom’s feet takes place. The third day is the ‘Ngerorasin’ ceremony, which is the formal wedding ceremony where the couple is officially married amidst a beautiful Balinese setting.

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Peningetan Rituals

One of the most important traditions in a Balinese wedding is the ‘Peningetan’ rituals, where the ancestors are honored and asked for their blessings. During this ritual, the couple and their families make offerings and prayers at the family temple, seeking the ancestors’ guidance and protection. This is a deeply spiritual and significant part of the wedding, as the Balinese believe that the blessings and protection of their ancestors are crucial for a successful and harmonious marriage.

By experiencing these colorful and vibrant ceremonies, you will gain a deep appreciation for the Balinese culture and customs. It is important to respect and honor these traditions, as they hold profound significance for the Balinese people. The Peningetan rituals, in particular, demonstrate the deep spiritual connection that the Balinese have with their ancestors and their belief in seeking their blessings for important life events.


From above, you have discovered the must-try local customs and traditions for overseas weddings in Guam, Japan, France, and Bali. Incorporating the Chamorro traditions of Guam, the ancient rituals of Japan, the romantic customs of France, and the rich cultural practices of Bali into your wedding ceremony can add a meaningful and authentic touch to your special day. Whether it’s the breaking of the sake barrel in Japan, the exchange of vows in the Eiffel Tower in France, or the Balinese blessing ceremony, each destination offers a unique and unforgettable experience for you and your partner. By embracing these local customs and traditions, you can create a truly memorable and culturally rich wedding celebration that reflects the beauty and diversity of your chosen destination.

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