In most societies, a number of wedding traditions or customs have emerged around the wedding ceremony, many of which have lost their original symbolic meaning in the modern world; for example, the Western custom of the bride wearing a white dress once symbolised virginity and would not have been allowed in the second or third wedding of a widow. Some elements of the Western wedding ceremony symbolize the bride's departure from her father's control and entry into a new family with her husband. In modern Western weddings, this symbolism is largely vestigial, since husband and wife are of equal power and status.
Weddings in modern China combine both traditional elements and elements influenced by the West. The actual civil ceremony consists of registering the marriage with the local registrar and is brief and done without much ceremony. The wedding reception, however, is elaborate and complex, and the one prominent element of modern Chinese weddings is the Chinese wedding album.
A wedding is often followed or accompanied by a wedding reception, at which an elaborate wedding cake is served. Western traditions include toasting the bride and groom, the newlyweds having the first dance, and cutting the cake. The bride throws her bouquet to the assembled group of all unmarried women in attendance, and the woman who catches it is supposedly going to be the next to wed. A fairly recent egalitarian equivalent has the groom throwing the bride's garter to the assembled unmarried men; the man who catches it is supposedly the next to wed.
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Music often played at western weddings includes:
Wedding is also a former borough of Berlin that merged in 2001 with the boroughs of Tiergarten and Mitte; see Wedding (Berlin).
See Weddings for the variant of Solitaire.