Your Heritage on Your Wedding Day
Here's a little background on this super cute couple. Laura is from Costa Rica, and born in Columbia. Her new husband Chris is Chilean Canadian. As with pretty much all 2020 weddings, this was a small wedding, and was held in a backyard in Kelowna, BC. They were engaged at Disneyland! While you can't deny the obvious Canadian setting of the wedding, Chris and Laura were a beautiful example of incorporating their heritage on their special day. With their closest friends and family in attendance, they all had a blast while embracing and acknowledging their unique heritages. I certainly had fun capturing it all.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate your roots on your wedding day, I am already eager to see what you come up with! On such a special day, you want all aspects of your life to collide perfectly - friends and family, in-laws and relatives, where you came from and your future - and embracing your culture is such a cool way to let that happen. I've compiled some ways to do just that! If you need inspiration or new ideas to add to your already flushed out plan, please read on! I'm here to help.
Make it the Star of the Show
One thing you want to decide is how you want your culture to shine! Whether you are looking to have your heritage be the star of the show, (with as many elements as possible infused with culture) or have it be a dutiful supporting actor, (adding just the right amount of character and fun) there is a million ways to shake it! Think theme vs. detail. If you plan to incorporate many cultural details and huge beautiful displays of your heritage, go for it! But if you would like to keep your wedding more traditional to the area or neutral to blend with your spouse's cultural traditions as well - that is absolutely possible too. Any way you choose to honor and remember your culture will be beautiful. And believe me, everyone in attendance will love the diversity. After all, what's life without a little spice?
Dance and Music
Chris is a Latin dance teacher, which was obvious when they brought out the dance floor and did the Bachata. In a world where many people resort to The Sprinkler and The Worm, (great dance moves in their own rite and place!) it was so exciting to see Chris and Laura dance! While their wedding was subtly decorated with cultural mementos, their dance and music complimented their Latin roots and it was such a nice way to personalize their wedding and stay true to who they are. Other dances that are often incorporated according to the couple's culture would be the Hula, or even lively Bollywood dances.
Another way this couple honored their culture was using Spanish for some of their signs and cards. All of the guests could speak English, but the Spanish touch was special and unique. This is a great way to embellish your wedding with culture, maybe even if you don't regularly speak that language. And if your family and friends do speak that language, what a great way to make them feel included.
Think Colours and Decor
The mood of your wedding is influenced greatly by the colours you choose. Incorporating your country's colours is one way to contribute to the flavor of your wedding and set the mood. Even in smaller details throughout the day - such as the wedding invitation, the kind of flowers you choose, the textures and fabrics that are used in your seating and decorations - you can add a ton of personality. If in your culture a specific wedding alter is used, that would be an awesome way to visually remember your culture as you say "I do", and later, in your wedding photos. When choosing your flowers, colours, ornaments, or venue - keep in mind there is probably a way you can incorporate something to nod to your heritage.
Another exciting way to incorporate your background is your party favors. Some couples may not initially plan to have wedding favors, but infusing culture into them makes them special rather than a possible throw away. While many couples are shying away from these sort of western traditions, some are worth keeping - especially when you can make them your own and add that special touch. One idea that involves no DIY at all is finding a small item that originates from your country or city, something local like a honey or jam to give to your guests. Perhaps it is even something that you personally love from your hometown or country that your guests would love to experience as well. The more personal you can be, the more special it will feel for your guests to receive it as a gift.
What better way to honor and celebrate your culture than using the location of your wedding to display where you come from? I love destination weddings - and honestly who doesn't?? Use the natural beauty and ambience of your unique destination to show off your heritage, and maybe get a tan while you're at it! If you can't swing a destination wedding, maybe you can simulate it in your venue by using your country's flowers and choosing a similar backdrop that you would traditionally have in your country. If you can dream it I know you can do it.
Your engagement photos are another way you can show off family traditions. What you choose to wear, or the location for the photos can make your photos beautiful and fun! Engagement photos can be stressful especially for people who are camera shy, but making them unique and fun is a surefire way to relax and enjoy yourselves! Those are my favorite moments to capture - two people in love having a ton of fun. Think: on top of a mountain, in your hometown, by the water, or even inside a building in a more traditional setting. Whether you want more formal photos or something lighthearted and easy, you can find a cultural tradition to make your pictures just that much more special.
Dress and Food
Do you dream of the traditional princess dress? A long train and a big skirt and all the glam that goes with it? Go for it! But if you shy away from these more conventional options, check out the options your culture offers. You may be surprised what you find. Often brides in other cultures will have non-white dresses, multiple outfit changes throughout the day, or intricate jewelry or accessories. You may even encourage your guests to dress to compliment the customs, such as bright and fun traditional clothing!
Of course, a huge part of your wedding planning is directed towards your food and drinks. Fun and modern trends include creating a signature drink for the day and naming it after the couple - why not take it a step further and incorporate a classic drink from your country? If there is something you loved or had regularly growing up, it would make a great non-alcoholic drink option as well.
And boy do wedding guests love to eat. Dedicate a portion of the night to traditional food, or one special dish for everyone to try! You could take it even further and have a full menu of traditional food if you like as well. Guests will likely love being served something other than an expected wedding dinner, and more importantly you can enjoy your favorite foods and make your family comfortable as well.
Decisions, decisions, and more decisions!
Anything to make your wedding day perfect and special is worth it. Do your research and find something that speaks to you and go for it! I'd love to think I helped you make your day amazing. Reach out to me to discuss your wedding plans and let's discuss ways we can make your day a dream. I would love to help you remember your wedding day forever!