Today’s weddings are festive and fun, held in backyards and barns, museums and mansions with limitless options for colors, dresses and hors d’oeuvres. We like them eccentric and eclectic, imaginative and out of the box, and thoroughly modern. Wedding are ALL about the couple and letting their personalities shine through.
But remember, weddings are also about blending families, combining customs, and defining an entirely new family unit. They are a great opportunity to pay homage to family and ancestry, honoring where you came from and where you are going. Here are some tips for adding a little culture and tradition to your big day.
They say food is the great mediator; add food and drink and you have a party. A buffet style meal is a perfect opportunity for sampling many different traditional or ethnic dishes. Lots to choose from, no gastronomical commitment required.
If a buffet is not your style, offer a dessert table instead, laden with delicious traditional sweets and treats – also a great opportunity to get family members involved. Does your great aunt have a cookie recipe passed down through generations from the old country? Give a small bag of them along with the recipe as a gift to your guests.
Traditional music is the heartbeat of any culture and music definitely makes the wedding, from the ceremony straight through to the last dance. Simple musical additions such as bagpipes, Taiko drummers, a Mariachi band can flavor your celebration with rich sounds and transport your guests to another place entirely.
You can pay homage to your ancestral roots relatively simply with your decor choices – incorporate your family’s tartan colors as a wedding brand for a Scottish touch, use Indian inspired lamps and yards of vibrantly colored fabric for a South Asian wedding, Spanish hand fans and mini succulents in terra cotta pots add a Latin flair, and of course, show your Irish pride with shades of green, horseshoes for luck and a little of your grandmother’s lace. Choose a single prominent piece or create an entire cultural look; either way your family will be honored.
There are so many options for incorporating culture into your wedding, from traditional dancing and ancient ceremony practices like handfasting to bi-lingual invitations and colorful parades…a little goes a long way in honoring your heritage. So get creative and enjoy the results!