Integrating Your Family Culture In A Modern Way

After attending a few weddings, you start to realize the infinite possibilities that your wedding may also hold, and it becomes a lot harder to pick and choose which details you would like most for your own special day. Mix your florals, decor, and dress stresses with the culture and wedding tradition pressures from that of your grandparents, parents, hubby-to-be, hubby’s parents, and yourself?  Well, planning a wedding can be—completely overwhelming!

If you’re 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd generation American, you probably want to have a wedding that reflects your culture and family heritage, but you at the same time want some of that white dress slash American style wedding too.  In this case, you can have your wedding cake and eat it too–consider yourself a lucky bride-to-be!  Below, we’ve listed several wedding tips including 4 ways to incorporate your family culture into your modern wedding.

Wedding Tip: There are so many ways that you can incorporate your culture into a modern wedding. Think about something that is truly specific to your culture–whether it be dress, performance, food, or actions.  Your wedding is your day, so let it reflect you!

1. Traditional Ceremony + Modern Reception

(or vice versa)

If you’re struggling between having a traditional or modern wedding, why not have both? Culture-infused, traditional ceremonies are always very meaningful to the family of the bride and groom, plus they are really beautiful for guests who might not otherwise experience a wedding particular to your culture.

The bride chose to incorporate her culture through a traditional Indian wedding ceremony.

2. Specialized Wedding Caterer

Food is a great way to give your guests a little taste (pun intended) of your culture.  Find a wedding caterer who specializes in serving your culture’s cuisine…just make sure that you pick a venue that allows outside caterers!

Wedding Tip: If your venue doesn’t allow outside catering, you can also try this > We once had a groom whose mother special ordered little Lebanese desserts and had them set out during the cocktail hour in between the ceremony and reception. The family was still able to showcase some of their favorite treats, without breaking the venue’s rules.

3. Decorative Detailing

Adding decorative details that are important in your culture is another way to incorporate your cultural tradition into a modern wedding. We had a bride who used hanging crystals with evil eyes (which symbolize good luck in her culture) on her centerpieces. It was so unique, plus it added cultural significance to her wedding décor.  Color scheme is also a great way to incorporate your culture into every part of your wedding. If a color is significant to you, just throw it into the color scheme. That way you are able to include a little piece of cultural tradition with you, even in the most modern of weddings.

Wedding Tip: If you use a color that is particularly important to you, guests who are unfamiliar with your culture will appreciate you explaining this significance. Consider including an explanation somewhere in your wedding!

4. Cultural Attire

The way that you dress is another excellent way to include cultural tradition into your wedding. We once had a bride wear a red Indian sari for her traditional wedding ceremony because it was important to her culture–and it looked so absolutely gorgeous and cool. She changed into an equally beautiful white wedding dress at the reception, so she got to have the best of both wedding fashion worlds!  Dress doesn’t just apply to your clothing either. Important accessories or body paint, like henna, are also great ways to include your culture’s wedding fashion into your wedding!


Christine Ong