Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ethnic and Cultural Wedding Traditions, Part I

One of my favorite things about America is the multiple cultures, customs and traditions we share with our ancestors across the globe and there is no better time to honor your heritage than during your wedding. In part I of a two-part series on incorporating ethnic and cultural traditions into your wedding, I present you with ...

My Big, Fat Greek, Italian, Irish, Chinese Wedding: Traditions and Customs from Around the World.

Greek Wedding Customs

- For luck, abundance and a sweet marriage, a Greek bride carries a lump of sugar in her glove during the ceremony.

- To represent the Holy Trinity, the best man exchanges the rings between the bride and the groom three times.

- Two crowns made of either gold or twigs and orange blossoms are exchanged three times between the bride’s and groom’s heads.

- The crowned couple circles the church alter three times, representing their first steps together as a married couple.

For more Greek wedding customs, visit BrideHeaven.

Italian Wedding Customs

- It is customary for couples in northern Italy to walk to the wedding chapel together.

- To ward off evil spirits, an Italian groom carries a small piece of iron in his pocket.

- White candied-covered almonds called confetti symbolize good luck and fertility and are often tossed at the couple as they exit the church. Confetti are also wrapped in mesh bags and distributed to guests during the reception.

- To “raise funds” during the wedding reception, the groom’s friends cut his wedding tie into small pieces and sell them to guests as mementos of the day.

For more Italian wedding customs, visit WeddingItaly.

Irish Wedding Customs

- Irish brides consider it bad luck to put on their own veil. Instead, they ask a happily-married woman to put it on for her.

- English lavender, a symbol of love, loyalty and devotion is often mixed into the bride’s wedding flowers.

- An Irish bride usually braids her hair for her wedding day to symbolize feminine power and luck.

- A wedding on Saint Patrick’s Day is considered to be the luckiest anniversary in Ireland.

- The bride usually wears a ring called a Claddagh, which is a crowned heart held by two hands, representing faith, honor and love. The ring’s motto is “Let love and friendship reign.”

For more Irish wedding customs visit IrelandInformation.

Chinese Wedding Customs

- Red signifies love, joy and prosperity and is central to a Chinese wedding.

- The bride’s gown is often red, as are the invitations, favor boxes and envelopes. The couple’s homes are decorated in red on the day of the wedding.

- A Chinese groom is symbolically dressed by his parents on the morning of his wedding.

- The groom visits the bride’s home on his way to the ceremony and presents her friends with a cash gift wrapped in red tissue in exchange for letting her go.

- The bride and groom travel to the ceremony together.

For more Chinese wedding customs visit ChineseWeddings.

Be sure to come back next week for fresh ideas on incorporating these traditions into your wedding.

Photos courtesy of clea teclea, pigliapost, xyldes and CeeKay

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Different wedding traditions are such a great theme to personalize your wedding. Just remember to keep your overall theme in mind when choosing wedding favors, photographer, decorations, etc. You want the end wedding result to be something you envisioned and is marked personally to you and your new spouse.