The institution of marriage is an important part of societal structure, which exists in most parts of the world. While customs and traditions related to marriages vary, the common thread is the union of two individuals. Celebrations and coming together of families, friends and relatives is another thing that’s common among marriages across the globe.
However, based on what part of the world you belong, marriages can have some very unique customs and traditions. Marriage laws also differ from country to country. And some of them are quite weird to say the least. To satisfy your curiosity, here’s a quick look at some of the most weird marriage laws from around the world.
Posthumous marriage – This marriage law was introduced in France in 1950s. Earlier to that, it was practiced informally since the time of World War I. The rationale was that a woman can choose to marry their partner in case they had died in the service of nation. If there was intention of marriage prior to the death of the person, the woman could choose to marry them posthumously. For such a marriage to get legal recognition, the family members of the deceased person should be there at the marriage ceremony.
Proxy marriage – In a marriage, one of the primary requirements is the presence of the bride and bridegroom. However, if you are in US, you can opt for a proxy marriage. In this arrangement, either one or both partners can assign a proxy to attend the marriage ceremony on their behalf. If both partners are absent physically, it is referred to as double proxy wedding. Proxy weddings are usually conducted in situations such as travel restrictions, imprisonment, military service, etc.
Bride kidnapping – This is illegal and a sex crime in most nations. However, there are fringe communities that still practice this form of marriage. For example, the Romani community in Europe has this type of marriage structure. Many times young girls are kidnapped to be married to teenage boys. The practice is not sanctioned by law, but is still followed as a type of social marriage law in that particular community.
Public announcement – For people in Monaco, it is necessary to announce the marriage in public. It can be done via a newspaper or simply posting a note on the door of the Town Hall. It is necessary that the marriage announcement is posted for a period of 10 days that includes two Sundays.
Kill before marriage – In Cape Cod, the bridegroom is required to kill at least six blackbirds or three crows prior to their marriage. This law was initially introduced in the late eighteenth century, when the region was facing the issue of birds eating crops.
Most customs and traditions begin with a rationale that may have been relevant at that time. However, they may lose their significance over the years. Some laws like the ones described above still continue. Harmless ones may be okay, but if a law is creating problems, it needs to be revisited and probably banned.