Marriage isn’t just about you and your partner coming together. It’s also about blending two families and, oftentimes, each family brings a different set of traditions. This is a beautiful thing and, with a little creativity, you can weave these cultural expressions into your special day. By honoring both of your pasts, you and your fiance will set a great foundation for your future together!

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Fashion. You may not want to wear a full cultural outfit for the ceremony (though you can always change into one for the reception or even for your exit) but you can still carry your family’s history with you down the aisle in subtle ways. You can style your bouquet with flowers that are significant to your culture or even slip some into your hair. You can don a gown that is modern interpretation of a traditional silhouette or heels by a designer that represents your heritage. You’ll feel extra beautiful with these symbolic touches!

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Ceremony. Consider walking down the aisle to music that represents you or your fiance’s family! Mariachi bands, polka quartets, or even a country singer will give your day a unique twist. You can have the bands stay and play during cocktail hour or reception. During the ceremony, you can also have cultural readings or include historical rites–for example, if you’re Irish, you might want to incorporate hand-binding. And, so everyone can follow along, include an explanation in your program. Your guests will love seeing your traditions honored and learning something new!

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Cocktail Hour. Drinks are universal–everyone loves them–so they’re a great way to include your culture! Talk to your caterer about doing a fun, modern twist on a traditional drink. You can name it after the places that inspired it and include decorative signs detailing the drink’s origins. Appetizers are also a great way to give guests bite sized experiences of your heritage.

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Reception. There are so many opportunities to include cultural touches at your reception, especially with the decor. Consider topping your cake with figurines in traditional garb or having favors that represent your background. Want to go beyond decor? Think about performing a dance or even having an instructor to teach your guests a cultural dance. If the spotlight makes you nervous, you can hire a professional troupe to get the party started. Anything from hula to a Polish folk dance will fill your night with fun and celebration–not just of your nuptials but of your background as well.

And, if you are mixing two different cultures, don’t worry! Do things that represent both. You’ll be moved to see how love unifies all! 

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Photographer:  Courtney Bowlden Photography//Cake Designer: barb’s pies and pastries//Specialty Foods: Cadee Distillery//Event Venue: Crockett Barn//Fashion Designer: Foxglove //Dress Store: French Knot Couture//Floral Designer: From The Ground Up Floral//Veils and headpieces:Melinda Rose Design//Invitation Designer: Noteworthy Ink//Equipment Rentals: Rustic Events Rentals//Hair Stylist:Salon Bella//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights