American weddings might sometimes be over the top and insanely expensive, but our traditions tend to be fairly low key; usually the worst we can expect is the bride and groom smashing cake on each other’s faces or a bouquet toss gone awry. This video of American couples trying European wedding traditions shows that when it comes to weird — and messy — marriage customs, Europe has the U.S. beat. Depending on how you feel about manual labor and, er, treacle, this video will have you either thanking your lucky stars that you live in the U.S. or wishing you could get married across the pond.
In this video, BuzzFeed got together three couples and challenged them to two European wedding traditions. In the first, the couples have to saw a log in half. Romantic, right? It turns out that it’s traditional in some parts of Germany for newlyweds to cut a log in half as their first official act as a married couple. Once participant explains, “Sawing the log together represents the energy, cooperation, and commitment they’re putting into their marriage.” As they saw, hack, and sweat their way through slicing their logs, the couples show their team-working skills (or lack thereof). As one woman observes, “I would not want to do this in a wedding dress."
The second tradition might not be as physically challenging as the first, but it’s definitely… stickier. This tradition hails from Scotland and is known as “the blackening.” According to The Scotsman, in certain parts of Scotland, it’s customary for a bride and groom’s family and friends to kidnap the couple in the days before the wedding and cover them in treacle (a sticky syrup similar to molasses), feathers, soot, and flour, in order to "ward off evil spirits." The bride and groom are then loaded onto a cart or truck and paraded around town.
The couples in the video get to perform “the blackening” on each other, and even though getting covered in syrup and feathers looks incredibly messy, am I weird in thinking that it also looks kind of fun? If nothing else, these couples should be happy that they didn’t have to perform the whole tradition. The Scotsman says that when this custom is carried out in Scotland, “The victim is usually rendered incapable through alcohol throughout and will likely end up tied to a lamp post or thrown into the shallow sea.” YIKES.
Watch the whole video below.
Images: YouTube (4)