Sacred Affairs

Buddhist Wedding

As there are no cultural Buddhist wedding traditions, the ways a particular couple express their Buddhist values are designated by their cultural influences. Look for symbolic elements throughout the ceremony, reception, and venue.

Love, Respect & Honor – altar with meaningful symbols and photos of loved ones or ancestors, meditation, victory banners, tea ceremony.

Positive Space & Blessings – incense, prayer flags

Non-Harming of Life – vegetarian menu, though not all Buddhists are vegetarians. Buddha ate whatever was offered, demonstrating gratefulness, another key value.

Generosity — abundance of food, donations to a charity

Transformation & Wisdom – lotus flowers, candles, prayer, meditation, bells or gong.

Joy & Happiness – golden fish

Red, Crimson, & Gold – China

Connectedness – red string, endless knot, white ceremonial scarf

Protection – Buddha statue, victory banners, parasols

Purity – water, white ceremonial scarf

Saffron & Brown – Thailand, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam

Black & Gray – Japan & Korea

Red, Blue, Green, White & Yellow – Tibet

Common flowers are peonies, orchids, ikebana, roses, wisteria, and lotus.

In Buddhism, the body is respected as a holy vessel with the head, being the highest point on the body, symbolizing enlightenment. For that reason, it is disrespectful to touch another person’s head or point the soles of your feet toward someone, including Buddha.

Expect an abundance of food. It would be seen as a negative omen if provisions were to run out. Leftovers are most commonly given to family members or donated to relief agencies.

In many Buddhist cultures, public displays of affection are viewed negatively, so the newlyweds may choose to forgo a kiss at the close of the wedding ceremony.

Couples may change clothes frequently, and you may see lots of rich fabrics such as silks, brocades, and fine cotton.

The traditional wedding colors vary depending on the country or culture.