Using ethnic wedding traditions to celebrate your special day is a wonderful way to incorporate your heritage and personalize your wedding. Your wedding guests will also appreciate experiencing some of your wonderful cultural traditions that they may not otherwise get to experience. It will be a memorable day for all.
Just as in any traditional wedding theme planning, you need to look at each aspect of your bridal plans and decide how and what cultural traditions could be included. From colors to bridal attire to accent decorations, there's much to decide.
The following suggestions should help you with how you can go about adding ethnic wedding items and traditions to highlight your theme.
In most cases, you can interject certain colors into your color scheme.
For example, those with a Scottish background could use the colors of their tartans in their table decorations, wedding flowers and bridal attire. Couples who are planning an Asian wedding would most likely include reds and yellows.
However, don't go overboard with adding tones of color or your decorations could become garish and tacky. Using accents of color works the best.
The bride, groom, parents, bridemaids and groomsmen should all wear bridal attire that is customary for the culture. The guests will certainly love this, especially those who don't know much about your heritage.
Look about your home for ideas and inspiration on what you could give your guests as ethnic wedding favors. Items such as artwork could lead to handing out low-cost small framed posters or art work featuring your native country.
Bookmarks or music CD's from your homeland would also make great bridal favors. Practically every country sells tourist souvenirs... these items would also make interesting thank-you gifts for your guests.
Choose wedding flowers and arrangements that would be popular for your culture. For example, orchids are widely used in Hawaiian cultures, while lotus blossoms are popular for Chinese weddings. Daisies and zinnias are suitable for a Mexican wedding.
Use decorating accents and props strategically placed through out the reception area that are appropriate to your heritage to help bring the "feel" of the theme to your guests.
Fringed table runners in deep colors would enhance an Arab or East-Indian theme, while colorful small-beaded coasters would look lovely on tables for an Native American Indian wedding (these could also double as favors). Small African masks could be used as decorating accents in a variety of areas for an African-American wedding.
It goes without saying that music from your native country is a must. Hire a musician for the ceremony to play a traditional musical instrument. Play some of this type of music during key parts of your reception (however, don't play it throughout the whole night... a small sampling is best in this case).
If there are dances that are special to your culture, hire some dancers to entertain guests during dinner or to start off the reception.
Plan to have a small part of the ceremony recited in your native tongue (preferably with a translator for those that don't speak the language, so that they don't miss anything).
The above should help you with generating some of your own ideas on what you can use for your ethnic wedding theme. Search the Internet for websites that are focused on selling products specific to your culture and you're sure to find even more ideas on what you can do to highlight your ethnic background at your wedding.