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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