Wedding traditions in Austria are quite unique. This region has several customs and unique wedding superstitions! Some have changed or become less popular over time, but many are still present in modern Austrian weddings.
When you have guests from abroad, a personalized wedding in the true Austrian style can be a wonderful sight for them to learn more about Austrian culture.
Generally, wedding traditions in Austria are very regional and vary greatly depending on the area of the country. Therefore, they are often only known in a specific place, although some are present throughout the country. We’ll tell you about them all today!
Tell us at the end which one is your favorite!
1. The day begins with the sound of gunfire
In the mountainous regions of Salzkammergut, Tyrol, and Styria, wedding tradition dictates that brides should be awakened by the sound of gunfire or fireworks on their wedding day. This is how neighbors and friends create a mini-chaos outside their house in order to drive away evil spirits.
2. The bride is kidnapped
In the style of ancient times, one of the wedding traditions in Austria is to “kidnap” the bride. This is done by the groom’s friends and she must be dressed in white. Then, the groom must negotiate her release, either with alcohol or some confession. After this, the wedding is carried out in a normal manner.
3. One of the bride’s shoes is auctioned off
This is done to help fill the newlyweds’ purse. As in a real auction, wedding guests bid on the shoe. The custom requires that the final offer be made by the father, groom, or bride’s godfather.
4. The wedding is held on a Wednesday
In most European countries, weddings are held on Saturdays. However, Austrian weddings are usually held on Wednesdays. This is due to an old Austrian legend that says Wednesday is the luckiest day of the week.
5. The wedding dress is not finished until the same day
Wedding traditions in Austria dictate that it is considered bad luck for an Austrian bride to make her own wedding dress. Therefore, a friend or relative is responsible for making the dress, and it should not be finished until the wedding day itself. Brides also wear a veil, which is believed to act as protection against evil spirits.
6. Wine glasses against the roof of the house
After the wedding celebration is over, the bride and groom in Austria always eat bread and drink wine before entering their house. The curious thing is that, after drinking, the groom throws his glass against the roof to bring good luck to the home.
7. The passage of the newlyweds is blocked
Friends and neighbors wait along the route to block the passage of the newlyweds. The couple has to stop, get out and complete a specific task. This includes, for example, sawing a log together. Only after the newlyweds have successfully completed this operation can the journey continue.
8. A different path down the aisle
In some areas of Austria, everyone walks directly from the registry office to the church together with all the guests, this is called Ehrenzug in German. But in other areas, guests enter the church first, followed by the newlyweds, who enter together as a married couple.
9. A guard of honor at the church exit
Making a guard of honor for the newlyweds as they leave the church symbolizes the first common path with an obstacle. On the other hand, it also shows that friends and family are there for the newlyweds.
10. If the weather is bad, put on a good face
In Austrian wedding traditions, the weather on the wedding day is very important, and that’s because, according to Austrians, bad weather supposedly leads to a bad marriage in the future. That’s why many couples study the weather that will happen on the big day.
11. The waltz cannot be missed
The wedding waltz is a fixed element of Austrian weddings for centuries. The waltz is the most popular dance in Austrian ballrooms. The etiquette is that the groom should ask his bride’s mother for the next dance, and only after that, the dance floor is opened to all the guests.
12. The Agape: Bread, Salt, and Wine
The so-called Agape is made up of bread, salt, and wine and takes place after the official ceremony. The Agape gives the couple time to relax and have the opportunity to talk with wedding guests who are not invited to the reception. Guests at that time congratulate the couple and give them their gifts. Especially in Carinthia and Upper Austria, this tradition is still highly valued.
13. Bread and Salt to Welcome Guests
In many regions of Austria, it is common for the host of the place to wait for their arrival with bread and salt in hand. On the one hand, this is a gesture of respect, on the other, it is a symbol for the future life of the newlyweds, who should never lack food and spices.
14. No Lamb or Shrimp in the Banquet
That’s right, there is no lamb or shrimp at Austrian weddings, but there is Schweinsbraten, which is roasted pork. This is one of the wedding traditions in Austria that still exists today.
15. The Bride Sweeps Money
As you read it, the bride must dance with all the male guests invited to the wedding and money is thrown, which she must then sweep. We could use that tradition too!
16. A Quieter Wedding
Yes, Austrian weddings tend to be quite quiet. There are usually no shouts of “long live the newlyweds” or many chants, nor are the godparents usually asked to kiss or make a toast. The bride’s garter is not cut, nor is the groom’s tie given away in pieces.
17. The Option of Large Halls Does Not Exist
In Austria, unlike in Spain, the concept of a wedding hall does not exist, and most people celebrate the happy occasion of getting married in normal restaurants. So the couple, if they do not want to invite a large number of people, choose only the main ones to attend the reception after the wedding.
18. No Swords to Cut the Cake
In Austrian weddings, there is no sword to cut the cake, which is typical in many countries, but rather a normal knife is used, which is much more practical and somewhat less dangerous.
19. Only the Bride Adds Salt to the Soup
In Carinthia, the bride’s visit to the kitchen is essential. And only the bride can add salt to the soup for the guests. This is an old tradition that is still upheld today.
20. A Gift at Dawn
It is common in some areas of Austria for the groom to give a small gift to the bride the morning after the wedding night, now his wife. This marks the beginning of their new life as husband and wife.
If you liked these wedding traditions in Austria, don’t miss the wedding traditions in Italy.
Although if you’re more into Latin countries, you should know the popular wedding traditions in Latin countries, specifically, the wedding traditions in Mexico.
And don’t worry about the preparations! Because we can help you with everything at Perfect Venue. Contact us now, and we’ll get to work!