Home Random Page




Courtship and marriage customs vary considerably from culture to culture. In Canada, the customs tend to reflect the diverse ethnic backgrounds in the country; at the same time, many customs described here are characteristic of Canadian weddings in general.

Arranged marriages are rare among Canadians. Most people prefer to get to know members of the opposite sex by going out together. Some may even live together before marrying! If two people decide to get married, they be-come engaged and the bride-to-be may receive a diamond ring from her fiancée'. While the parents' permission is not required unless the bride or groom is under legal age, most couples do hope for their parents' approval of the marriage.

Once the couple has set the date, they have many decisions to make — whether they want a large or a small, traditional or non-traditional, civil or church wedding. Weddings also vary in style depending on the ethnic tradi­tions of the bride and groom. Before the wedding, the bride may be given a number of "showers" by her friends. During these small parties, the bride is "showered" with gifts for the home. Friends of the groom may throw a bache­lor party before the wedding day. The expense of the wedding itself is tradi­tionally the responsibility of the bride's parents, but today the costs are more likely to be shared by both families and by the bride and groom themselves.

On the day of the wedding, it is considered bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. The groom usually wears a tuxedo or a formal suit; the bride wears a white gown with a veil. She should have "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue."

Traditional weddings take place in a church. The groom waits at the altar with the best man. The ushers seat the wedding guests. Bridesmaids walk up the aisle in a procession followed by the bride, who is accompanied by her father. A minister or priest performs the ceremony and the maid (or matron) of honor and the best man act as official witnesses.

The reception after the ceremony is usually a dinner followed by an even­ing of dancing. The bride and groom greet their guests in a receiving line. While the guests are seated for the meal, there are speeches and toasts. When the guests clink their glasses with silverware, the bride and groom are expect-ed to stand up and kiss each other.

Before the bride and groom leave the reception, they go to all the guests, thanking them and giving them each a piece of wedding cake to take home. The bride throws her bouquet to the unmarried women; the woman who catches it is said to be the next to be married. The groom throws the bride's garter to the unmarried men. Rice (or confetti) thrown at the bride and groom is a symbol of fertility.

Marriages come under provincial jurisdiction. A couple must wait at least three days after the license is obtained to have the ceremony. Judges or mar-riage commissioners perform civil ceremonies. A civil ceremony is a legal rather than a religious rite.

Notes on the text:

-to vary –to differ partially

-Fiancé` (m), fiancée (f) – (Fr) man or woman (respectively) engaged to be


-to set the date – to fix the date of the wedding

-“a shower” – a party at which presents are given to a woman who is going to

get married or have a baby

- tuxedo (or tux)- formal suit

-usher – one who escorts guests to their seats (in theatres, churches); male

attendant of the groom

-bridesmaids – female attendants of the bride

-aisle – a long passage between rows of seats

-reception –a large formal party to celebrate an event or to welcome someone

-to clink – to make short, sharp metallic sounds

-bouquet – bunch of cut flowers

-garter – band or strap worn to hold up a stocking

-confetti – small pieces of colored paper

-fertility – the ability of a person, animal or plant to produce babies, young animals or seeds

-jurisdiction – extent or range of authority

-rite – a ceremony that is always performed in the same way usually for

religious purposes.

Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1066

<== previous page | next page ==>
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2022 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.013 sec.)