Whether the catering showcases international cuisine or all the men in the wedding party must wear a kilt, a cultural wedding style is one mostly embraced by couples that wish to share the characteristics of their ancestry. However, just because you choose a cultural wedding, doesn’t mean that it must be your own culture being celebrated. Perhaps your groom is of another ethnicity or you simply admire the flair of another way of life. From Chinese lanterns to jumping the broom, learn what goes into planning a cultural wedding.
The cultural wedding bride is one who takes great pride in the traditions associated with her family and that of her groom. Sometimes, she beams with the thought of walking down the aisle in the same manner as her great-grandparents or infusing family quirks that have been passed down throughout the generations. Speaking with relatives, researching her culture, and taking classes are just some of the lengths that a bride will go to bring her very own cultural wedding to life.
The Dress and Accessories
When choosing a cultural wedding dress, will you follow traditional attire or find a way to incorporate features of your culture into your gown and accessories? For a Japanese cultural wedding, a Shito-style ceremony often sees the bride in a traditional wedding kimono.
Are there any traditional colors associated with your culture? For example, red is commonplace for Chinese wedding dresses. A strapless silk selection will surely heighten an Asian cultural wedding theme. If this seems drastic, consider inserting red ribbon as an accessory. Additional accessories include head wraps, Celtic beaded knot neckline, and rosary necklaces.
When sending out invitations for a cultural wedding, use visual indicators to set the tone for family and friends, such as plum blossoms and graceful bamboo (Asian), tartan print and Celtic knots (Scottish), Claddagh (Irish), Kente print and Serengeti scenes (African), and Hindi symbols and elephants (Indian).
A cultural wedding style means that couples must find a happy medium between incorporating elements of their traditions and personal preferences. The wedding cake is a good place to start when you wish to add cultural details to your reception. Traditionally, Italian wedding catering is accompanied by an entire course devoted to cakes, pastries, fruits, and lots of coffee. Round bread decorated with flowers, coins, berries, and ribbons is served at a Ukrainian wedding, while chocolate-filled almond pastry cakes decorate an Icelandic affair.
Photos by Karen Wise