You're American, but that doesn't represent all of who you are. Maybe your parents emigrated from India, or perhaps your great-grandparents emigrated from Germany. Whatever your cultural heritage, you want to reflect that heritage on your wedding day.
Here are some ideas to celebrate your cultural heritage during your wedding.
1. Embrace a Cultural Wedding Tradition
You don't have to give up common wedding traditions like exchanging rings and cutting the cake. But you could add a unique touch to your wedding by incorporating a wedding tradition from your family's heritage. Consider some of these intriguing wedding traditions from around the world.
- Sweden: A traditional Swedish bride places a gold coin in her right shoe and a silver coin in her left shoe. The gold coin is from her father, and the silver coin is from her mother. Both coins symbolize financial stability in her future.
- Italy: Italian brides and grooms might break a vase together on the wedding day. Each broken piece represents a year of happy marriage.
- Philippines: In the Philippines, the bride and groom release two doves, which symbolize the peaceful life ahead of them.
- Japan: At a Japanese wedding, you might see the bride and groom drink three times from three sake cups. The bride's parents and groom's parents then drink as well to symbolically connect the two families.
- Mexico: A Mexican wedding usually includes a lively dance accompanied by a mariachi band. For the couple's first dance, family members form a circle around the bride and groom.
Ask your relatives about wedding traditions in your family's cultural heritage. Maybe there's one that seems perfect for your wedding.
2. Serve Cultural Food
Even simpler than practicing a new cultural tradition, choosing cultural food helps you weave your heritage into your wedding day. Check out these examples of popular foods from different cultures.
- India: curry, basmati rice, flatbread, lamb, masoor (red lentil)
- Italy: antipasti (appetizers with olives, cheese, and meat), bread and olive oil, pasta, lasagna, risotto (a rice and vegetable dish)
- China: stir-fried vegetables, shrimp, tofu, dumplings, steamed fish
- Ecuador: ceviche (a raw seafood dish), arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), cuy (guinea pig), chorizo (a pork sausage), yucca
- Switzerland: cheese fondue, rosti (a potato cake), Swiss chocolate, raclette (a melted cheese dish), capuns (rolls made of dough and lettuce)
You can also use your menu selection to celebrate the state your family comes from. If you come from Kentucky, you might go with country green beans, sorghum slaw, or bourbon barbeque. If you're from Cincinnati, Ohio, you could choose coneys and chili, Saratoga chips, and Freddie salad.
Make sure to choose a caterer who offers cultural options on their menu.
3. Dress in Cultural Clothing
You don't have to give up your wedding dress to include some kind of cultural attire. Here are some examples.
- Morocco: Brides and bridesmaids paint intricate designs on their skin with temporary tattoos called henna.
- Mexico: Brides might sew three ribbons into their undergarments. The ribbons are yellow, blue, and red and represent food, money, and passion.
- Sweden: Swedish brides wear crowns of myrtle leaves to represent virginity.
- Italy: For luck, Italian brides wear green the night before the wedding.
- Wales: Historically, Welsh brides wore their best dresses for the wedding, and these dresses weren't necessarily white. They didn't worry about getting the dress torn—a torn dress symbolized a happy future.
Incorporating some of these ideas can make your wedding clothing all the more distinctive.
Use these ideas to help your culture and heritage shine through on your wedding day. For beautiful event centers and delicious catering—including cultural foods—turn to McHale's Events and Catering.