Exploring Some Fun Cultural Wedding Traditions

Written By Murphy Park

Here at Sound In Motion we are so lucky to be a part of so many different types of wedding celebrations and traditions. Ethnic weddings are always fun, and also usually enlightening and spiritual. Love truly is a universal language, but to see how different cultures celebrate love is fascinating. Incorporating cultural wedding traditions and customs to a wedding is not only a fantastic way to share something personal with the guests but a nice tribute to the families. Many brides and grooms would love to marry in the tradition of their ancestors or at least introduce elements of a traditional wedding ceremony or reception from their cultural backgrounds. Here are some of the more interesting traditions from around the globe:

Dutch: A wonderful Dutch custom that can be substituted for the guest book is to create a wedding "wish tree." At the reception, a beautiful tree branch is placed next to the bride and groom's table and paper leaves attached to pieces of colorful ribbon are placed at each guest's place setting. Guests write their special wish for the happy couple on their leaves, which the bride and groom can then read and hang on the tree.

Vietnamese: It is customary for the mother-in-law to bestow upon the bride pink chalk, which symbolizes a rosy future for the couple. The date and time of the ceremony is usually determined by a Buddhist monk or fortune teller.

Irish: The night before the wedding, the groom would be invited to the bride’s house, where a cooked goose would be served in his honor. A sunny wedding day meant good luck, and one way to insure it would be a fine day was to place a statue of the Infant of Prague outside the church before the ceremony. The traditional wedding ring is called a “Claddagh”, and depicts two hands holding a heart bearing a crown. The hands represent faith, the heart love, and the crown honor.

German: Breaking dishes, pots, or anything that will break into pieces and then be cleaning it up together is said to bring good luck to the bride and groom just before the wedding. The idea is to prepare the bride and groom for facing life's trials together.

There are tons of ways to incorporate your ethnicities into your celebration, if you don't feel like adopting some of these traditions then serving a meal from your country is a great way to incorporate some flavor. Needless to say, the stars of the wedding are the bride and groom. The most memorable weddings will touch the hearts of those in attendance and make even the most distant relative and that friend of a friend of a friend feel as if they've known you all their lives. Whether you choose to incorporate some of these cultural traditions or not, remember that the language of love is universal, and the important thing is to share it with the people closest to you.

Adrian Cavlan