Planning your own wedding can be stressful, especially if you want your wedding ceremony and reception to be an experience your guests will never forget.
Because even the most unique weddings can seem redundant after awhile, one of the best ways to add a little spice to your ceremony and/or reception is to incorporate your cultural heritage into the design of the wedding.
Whether your heritage is Chinese, Indian, Greek, Irish, African-American or even American, there are numerous ways you could incorporate your own culture into the style of your wedding. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to plan a cultural wedding:
The wedding music
Finding a specific band and/or songs to play at your wedding is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your cultural heritage into your wedding. If you are of Irish descent, for instance, you could find a Celtic group to perform at your reception, or if you are African-American you could look into some R&B performers or even traditional African drummers to perform on your special day.
If you’re lucky enough to find the right performer, you could hire them o perform a song in the language of your culture, or even dress up in a traditional outfit and dance out a routine as well.
Sometimes it’s as easy as a Google search in finding the right band to perform at your wedding, but if are struggling to find the right band and/or musician online you could always do some research into the various musicians and bands that are known for performing a certain genre or style of music, and then download their music off iTunes.
Incorporating your cultural heritage into the design of your bridesmaids dresses can be a little tricky, especially if you are on a strict budget. Not only that, some cultures (like the American Indian culture for example) believe that white is a color of mourning, so be sure to do the proper research beforehand before picking the colors for your bridesmaid dresses.
Sometimes it can be as easy and choosing a specific color for your dresses that will match the flag of your country, (for instance blue and red if you are English, or red if you are Chinese). You could also try shopping around for different designs, like a plaid design if you are of Scottish descent, or even traditional Geisha dresses if you are of Japanese descent.
Food and alcohol
When it comes to incorporating your cultural heritage into the food that will be eaten at your wedding, the world is your oyster…literally.
All you have to do is do some background research into the most common and favourable dishes that are typically eaten in a specific country, and you could also look into alcohol and/or beverages as well.
If you are of Asian descent you could serve some Saki or even rice wine at your reception, or if you are of French descent you could have some classy red and white wine to leave out for your guests.
When choosing the flower arrangements for your wedding or even the bouquet for the bride, try to research the various traditional flowers and plants that are prominent in your country of heritage.
If you are planning a traditional Indian wedding, try to pick flowers like the water or gloriosa lily, orchids, and musk rose. For traditional French weddings look for lilies or yellow and purple irises.
Superstitions and customs
If you truly want to pull off a cultural wedding, it is extremely important to look into the various superstitions and customs for each heritage and culture.
For instance, if you are planning a Russian wedding it is custom for the male guests to bring flowers, but not to give yellow flowers as they are considered to be bad luck. For a traditional Swedish wedding, the bride must wear three bands on her wedding finger, and for Spanish weddings the bride must carry twelve coins given to her by the groom in a small bag as a symbol of the groom’s passion and support.
For a traditional Korean wedding, apparently it is superstition to incorporate ducks and geese into the ceremony as they represent faithfulness, and in a traditional Greek wedding the bride must carry sugar on her wedding day to “ensure she has a sweet life.” Also, in Eastern European ceremonies, it is custom for the bride and groom to circle the altar three times to represent their “first steps together as husband and wife.”
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s written on online graphic arts programs along with a piece on English degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, playing piano, and working with origami.
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How often is it that the bride’s dress sets the tone of the wedding? Is it not the one thing you’ll remember from the event more than anything else? More often than not, the rest of the wedding decorations revolve around the style and theme of the dress. In a way, the bride’s wedding dress represents her ideals. Some women have dreamed about their wedding dress since they were toddlers. Other women apparently don’t care at all, which would explain most of the atrocities you are about to witness. Just how do you choose a bridesmaid dress?
Some you most likely have seen before, but others I dug a little bit to find. It was challenging to only pick 25 dresses though because of the plethora of horrible designs out there, but I pulled through after wiping the blood from my eyes. I actually had to stop myself at some point because I realized there was a never ending supply of bad dresses. And no, I didn’t put in the pregnant African American girl because she’s wearing a prom dress. Thanks to www.uglydress.com for many of the dresses.
I’m not sure what this looks like more: a electronic device for…um…massage or… Well, it looks like that and nothing else. Sorry.
Is Napoleon in the building?
It’s worth mentioning that this one is made out of thousands of condoms stitched together. So they are ready for the wedding night and how!
In case you couldn’t tell, this one is made out of newspaper.
A slutty wedding for all! I bet the bra can be removed for the topless wedding you always dreamed of.
At least the bridal shower streamers were put to good use after the party.
I would run if I saw this coming down the isle toward me.
I would run screaming if I saw this coming down the isle toward me.
This will hopefully stay in the window…forever, as a warning to all brides-to-be. Yellow is not a good color on a wedding dress.
Let’s hope this is for an indoor wedding or else the bride will also be wearing a beard made of bees.
This “dress” is more for the stripper the night before. Good luck, buddy, she seems the stay-at-home type.
Words do not do this picture justice. Just try to look away. Now imagine if she she jumped.
Nurse, oh nurse. Can you please pull the plug on this wedding dress.
Two outfits in one: a wedding dress and a straight jacket. Lovely.
As ugly as the wedding dress is, the head ornament is a nice distraction. Don’t poke an eye out with that.
Here are some from www.uglydress.com
And now the one you’ve all been waiting for…
photo by by Corrie…
Okay, y’all. Let’s have a little talk about the first dance with your dad. Call it the Father/Daughter Dance, the Daddy/Daughter Dance, The Give The Bride Away Dance, whatever. There are songs that are just PERFECT for this particular part of the most special day of your life, and then there are songs that you should absolutely, no matter what, stay away from.
Obviously, if you have a special song that you used to dance to with your daddy – your little socked feet atop his shiny shoes – by all means pick that one. We’ll assume since it’s a song you danced to when you were a wee thing that it’s most likely family-appropriate. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with dads, daughters, or dancing, but if it’s special to you and your Pops, that’s all that matters. If you’re stumped, go with a song about a good relationship between a dad and a daughter, like “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder or “Gracie” by Ben Folds Five.
Here is a short list I’ve compiled of songs you shouldn’t under any circumstances dance with your dad to at your wedding:
Father Figure by George Michael
I Want Your Sex by George Michael
Actually, stay away from almost every song by George Michael
White Wedding by Billy Idol
Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye
Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
Come to think of it, stay away from Marvin Gaye, too. His dad did shoot him to death, after all. Bad mojo.
Squeezebox by The Who
Gold Digger by Kanye West (who would undoubtedly jump out from behind the curtains and tell you that the girl who got married there before you danced with her dad better)
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Like a Virgin by Madonna
Justify My Love by Madonna
Brickhouse by The Commodores
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
Private Dancer by Tina Turner
Thank Heaven for Little Girls by Maurice Chevalier (trust me, it’s creepy)
Papa Can You Hear Me by Babs (from Yentil – sad song, don’t do it)
Tears In Heaven (about death, dig? don’t do it)
Push It by Salt n’ Pepa
If you can think of more no-no songs, post a comment below. If you want to fight for one of these tunes, do the same!