BUDDHIST Wedding ceremonial and traditions...

...A Religious Buddhist Wedding Ceremony Includes Offerings

If the couple chooses to have a religious ceremony, they may get married in front of a shrine of Buddha. To show respect, they will light candles, burn incense, and leave flowers and other offerings.

The Buddhist view of marriage considers marriage a secular affair and as such, it is not considered a sacrament. Buddhists are expected to follow the civil laws regarding marriage laid out by their respective governments.

Buddhist Values & ways to represent them in a wedding

As there are no pan-cultural Buddhist wedding traditions, the ways a particular couple express their Buddhist values are designated by their cultural influences. Look for symbolic elements throughout the ceremony, reception, and venue.

  • Love, Respect & Honor – altar with meaningful symbols and photos of loved ones or ancestors, meditation, victory banners, tea ceremony
  • Positive Space & Blessings – incense, prayer flags
  • Non-Harming of Life – vegetarian menu, though not all Buddhists are vegetarians. Buddha ate whatever was offered, demonstrating gratefulness, another key value.
  • Generosity — abundance of food, donations to a charity
  • Transformation & Wisdom – lotus flowers, candles, prayer, meditation, bells or gong
  • Joy & Happiness – golden fish
  • Connectedness – red string, endless knot, white ceremonial scarf
  • Protection – Buddha statue, victory banners, parasols
  • Purity – water, white ceremonial scarf

More juicy Tid-Bits

  • Some Buddhist monks do not officiate weddings.
  • In Buddhism, the body is respected as a holy vessel with the head, being the highest point on the body, symbolizing enlightenment. For that reason, it is disrespectful to touch another person’s head or point the soles of your feet toward someone, including Buddha.
  • Expect an abundance of food. It would be seen as a negative omen if provisions were to run out. Leftovers are most commonly given to family members or donated to relief agencies.
  • In many Buddhist cultures, public displays of affection are viewed negatively, so the newlyweds may choose to forgo a kiss at the close of the wedding ceremony.
  • Couples may change clothes frequently, and you may see lots of rich fabrics such as silks, brocades, and fine cotton.
  • The traditional wedding colors vary depending on the country or culture.
    • Red, Crimson, & Gold – China
    • Saffron & Brown – Thailand, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam
    • Black & Gray – Japan & Korea
    • Red, Blue, Green, White & Yellow – Tibet
  • Common flowers are peonies, orchids, ikebana, roses, wisteria, and lotus

Share your Buddhist Wedding Experiences

Have you ever attended a Buddhist wedding? Did you include Buddhist elements at your own nuptials? Please share your experiences with future brides who may be looking for ideas in the comments below!

Traditional Buddhist Wedding Ceremony...

...Did you know that Buddhism is nearly 3,000 years old and has over 400 million followers?

Although there are many interesting facts about this religion, the wedding ceremonies are perhaps the most beautiful in the world. Whether you want to have your own Buddhist marriage or learn more about another culture, there is a lot to admire about their beliefs.

Keep reading to learn about 5 unique features of a traditional Buddhist wedding ceremony.

Buddhist Wedding Attire Is Stunning

In the Western world, most brides wear a white gown while the grooms wear a tuxedo. Buddhist weddings are a lot more open to different colors and styles of wedding attire.

Most Buddhist brides are dressed conservatively with lots of elegant brocade fabrics. Instead of a dress, many brides choose to wear a full-length skirt, long-sleeved blouse, a scarf, and a jacket. On top of this, the bride will also accessorize with lots of stunning jewelry.

Brides are colorful, glowing, and regal. The only color that is avoided is black because it is somber.

Grooms also dress conservatively with brocade fabrics. Most grooms wear full-length pants or a skirt, a waistcoat, hat, and sash. One similarity Buddhist weddings have with other types of wedding ceremonies is that the brides are dressed as the star of the ceremony.

Buddhist Wedding Traditions Are Relaxed

Although there are some notable features of a traditional Buddhist wedding, each ceremony you attend can be different. The reason why Buddhist wedding traditions are so relaxed is because the wedding is about celebrating lovethe best way the couples can.

Every Buddhist wedding ceremony is deeply spiritual and emotional. Every guest will be able to feel the love in the air when the couple pronounces their commitment to each other.

There Are Buddhist Wedding Blessings, Hymns, and Vows

Since these wedding ceremonies are focused on celebrating love, it is common to hear lots of blessings, hymns, vows, and other declarations of love. One popular wedding activity is to recite quotes from respected figures, such as Buddha or the Dalai Lama.

Not only do these blessings, hymns, and vows set the tone of the ceremony, but they remind everyone about the importance of love and how we should give and receive it.

A Religious Buddhist Wedding Ceremony Includes Offerings

If the couple chooses to have a religious ceremony, they may get married in front of a shrine of Buddha. To show respect, they will light candles, burn incense, and leave flowers and other offerings.

After the couple exchanges their vows, the parents will also give offerings and blessings to the newlyweds.

Buddhist Weddings Are Theatrical

With so many emotions, songs, readings, and expressions of gratitude, everyone present will feel overwhelmed with joy and love. As soon as the ceremony starts, there will be a building energy that leads up to the couple’s first married kiss.

Not only is the ceremony intense, but the afterparty is just as energetic. To celebrate the happy couple, Buddhist weddings are filled with lots of dancing to traditional folk music and feasting on a rich oriental cuisine.