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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Planning a wedding and all that goes into it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. If you want a traditional wedding you can still keep it simple and less stressful. The key to planning any type of wedding is to be organized. The more people involved in the decisions the more chaotic it will be.
The wedding reception is usually one of the most memorable parts of the wedding. This is why it’s important that the location and atmosphere of your reception reflect your personality and style. In deciding on picking a reception place you need to consider how large a reception it’s going to be and your budget restrictions.
Wedding receptions can be held almost anywhere, including hotels, country clubs, and historic buildings with banquet halls. There are also the options of private gardens, restaurants or some type of outdoor space. Words of caution, if you are planning something outdoors make sure you check out the weather for that time of year. You should also have a plan in case it does rain. You can be creative with where you have your reception.
Getting the place for your wedding reception is one of the first things you should do after you have set the date. Many places are booked up to a year in advance. You should always shop around. The time of year and the place you choose could affect the price dramatically. You can look for reception halls in your phonebook or search on the Internet for wedding reception halls. This way you can find out information such as, how large a place is and how many people it will hold. You can look at menu listings and pricing information.
This way you can make a list of ones that you are considering and cross off others that are either too small are not in your budget. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you can call and set up a time to visit the different places. Make sure that you bring along a notebook to write down all the information so you can refer to your notes later.
While you are look at the reception halls you can ask about the availability of the place during your wedding date. When you think you have found the right place make sure you consider whether it is within your price range. You should be certain that the price you are quoted includes the dinner for the number people you estimate. Make sure you consider whether the wedding reception hall will adequately fit the number of guests you will be having.
Other information to find out is whether the reception hall requires you to work with their kitchen or with only certain caterers. Make sure you ask if the wedding reception hall charges for the room as well as the food. There can be many hidden costs so make sure you ask lots of questions such as is there a cake cutting charge. You also want to ask about any restrictions on how you can decorate the wedding reception hall.
When you have narrowed it down and have found the perfect one; you should book it immediately. Wedding reception halls are often booked more than a year in advance and you will want to make sure it will be available on your wedding day. You will now be able to have the wedding of your dreams plus you’ll have a wonderful reception.
Photo by klaxon
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