Ahead of SBS's Marry Me, Marry My Family S2, we go in search of the delicious offerings and edible traditions that see wedding ceremonies and food mingle so beautifully - they perfect partnership.
From the savoury to the sweet and the spirits in between, here are a few of the global delights that are a hit when nuptials are on the horizon.
Denmark and Norway
Celebrate with a kransekake, a cone-shaped cake made of almonds, sugar and egg whites. The structure is actually assembled from many flat rings stacked, held together with icing and usually decorated with miniature flags.
Sweetened loaves of bread in the shape of crocodiles are usually served at Betawi wedding and pre-wedding ceremonies. The reptile is said to represent loyalty and long life, and after the wedding, the bread is unwrapped and then eaten together with the family.
Croquembouche is perhaps the most spectacular creation to have come out of the world of French sweets – a towering sculpture of profiteroles filled with crème pâtissière, carefully constructed with toffee to seal it all together. It was once believed that if the bride and groom could kiss over the tower, they would have a lifetime of prosperity.
One of the most popular Japanese wedding traditions is the sake ceremony known as san-san-kudo. The bride and groom take turns sipping sake from several cups - it's said to seal the marriage and their commitment to each other.
Hailing from the south-east region of Turkey, this pilaf is typically eaten at weddings and symbolises the building of a new home together. Like most celebration dishes shared by families and communities, this delicate parcel stuffed with spiced chicken, nuts, herbs, spices and perfumed rice takes time, care and age-old cooking techniques.
Casadinhos, meaning "married," are a Brazilian wedding treat. Rolled in sugar and individually wrapped, these cookies form a sandwich that is filled with marmalade, jam, honey or cream.
Italy and Greece
Sweet confetti in the form of brightly-coloured sugared almonds. With a crisp-sugar shell said to sweeten the newlywed's life together. In Italy, they are called Bomboniere and are used as table decorations and place settings. In Greece, they're called koufetta and are usually placed in little bags in odd numbers to symbolise how the happy couple will remain undivided. Either way, they've got a crunch and are a popular wedding confection.
Wedding stew or asado de bodas is a simple stew similar to a Mexican mole, where dark chocolate is added towards the end of the cooking process to add a rich flavour, dark colour and silky sheen to the sauce. It is popular in parts of north and central Mexico, and particularly in the city of Zacatecas, where it is seen as a symbol of celebration and achievement, and commonly served at wedding banquets, often with Mexican red rice.
Chinese traditional pastries come in all shapes, colours and sizes and are usually stuffed with red bean, lotus seed and nuts. Xi bing is a pastry often gifted by the groom's family to the bride's as a symbol of gratitude and then the bride's family then sends the cakes to wedding guests along with wedding invitations. Meaning "double happiness", this cake is a sign of good fortune. Made of flour, eggs and sugar, the fillings can be slightly unexpected with pork, mushrooms, nuts and bean pastes with a flaky imprint reading "double happiness".
Yaksik” means “medicinal food” in Korean and it’s thought the name comes from the fact that honey, an essential ingredient in this cake, was once called “yak” or “medicine.” This sweet dish is traditionally eaten at weddings and is made of sticky rice that is speckled with dates, raisins and nuts. This also coincides with a wedding tradition whereby guests throw dates and chestnuts at the bride who tries to catch them in her dress.
On a couple's wedding day, the couple will plant their cake - well, sort of. After the ceremony, a cedar-sapling is placed on top of their wedding cake and when the couple moves into their home together they plant this sapling. This is said to symbolise their union and the growth of their relationship.
This traditional Armenian pumpkin dish, ghapama, symbolises ‘a sweet life’ and is commonly cooked in a tonir (similar to tandoor) and served at weddings and New Year. It’s lowered in a wire basket to sit suspended over the coals once the vegetables and meat have cooked in the heat of the oven. The way it’s served is pure food theatre – the whole pumpkin is cut down the sides, to open up like the petals of a flower, and a waft of fragrant honeyed steam makes everyone excited.
Somewhere between a bread and a cake, Korovai is the Ukrainian alternative to a wedding centrepiece. Made of unleavened dough, marshmallow, or whipped egg whites, it is decorated with glazed dough shapes. The making of the Korovai is an important tradition in itself and usually starts the Friday or Saturday prior to the wedding.
Share with us your wedding food traditions in the comments below.
Six couples from different backgrounds share their tales of love against the odds. Season 2 of Marry Me Marry My Family premieres on Tuesday, 7 January on SBS. #MarryMeMarryMyFamily
The base of the cake is white and it’s made fluffy and crumbly through the use of whipped egg whites, while sour cream lends a bit of moist softness to the crumble.