Every year we look to the zeitgeist to survey the nuances of how couples are choosing to tie the knot. With each new season, we see trends that coincide with the ever-evolving concept of what a wedding means for the couple, their family, and their guests. This year as we dive into the underlying currents. One thing truly stands out as a big influencer: family heritage and cultural influences.
Weddings aren’t just a celebration of love, they are a celebration of personal history and family heritage. Couples are choosing to celebrate their heritage in the best kind of way, and we love how personalized these cultural wedding ceremonies are becoming. By injecting elements of heritage, couples can show guests more about their cultural backgrounds. The celebrations are becoming experiences for the couple and their families because of it.
We see this in many forms including adapting traditional heritage elements like adding a Chinese tea ceremony before the cocktail hour. Another example is incorporating the Nigerian Yoruba tradition of tasting four flavors (sour, bitter, hot and sweet) which symbolizes how the couple can get through hard times together before stepping down the aisle.
One of our favorite wedding trends is a return to tradition. Couples are embracing time-honored customs, often choosing to don the ceremonial attire of their ancestors, like this traditional ghoonghat placed on the bride as a veil to cover her face for a Hindu, Jain, and Sikh wedding ceremony.
Some couples are taking it even a step further. One of the top initiators of destination weddings today is what is known as heritage return. Couples are looking to celebrate their heritage with a wedding that will include a return to the land of origin or the land of ancestry of one of the partners. This is why we’ve seen Ireland, Scandinavia, and Italy become increasingly popular for destination weddings.
Couples are also hiring entertainers to keep guests engaged. From belly-dancers to celebrate Egyptian, Lebanese or Turkish ancestry to henna parties celebrating Middle Eastern and North African cultures. The Dhol drum is a traditional double-headed drum that originated in South Asia, has now been adapted in various forms for celebrations in many cultures.
SELECTING A CULTURE TO ADOPT WILL CREATE A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR GUESTS
We are seeing the trend for couples choosing to ‘adopt’ other cultures as our world becomes more culturally aware. One popular adaptation is Mehndim, otherwise known as henna–paste associated with positive spirits and good luck. Indian cultural wedding tradition calls for a Mehndi ceremony to be held the night before the wedding. This is a way of wishing the bride good health and prosperity as she makes her journey on to marriage. The Mehndi Ceremony is organized by the Bride’s family bringing together the female components of each side. While Mehndi is mainly for females, male relatives are invited to join in on the party that comes after the Bride has completed her henna.
THOUGHTFUL CULTURAL CONNECTIONS CAN PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
Creating new traditions can also honor tradition. The dream catchers sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops,” make a beautiful altar while paying homage to the Ojibwe and Sioux cultures. They traditionally used dream catchers as a talisman to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares.
Honoring our cities, regions, or family heritage also blends into the menu creation. Whether you are celebrating Chinese traditions or southern customs, it’s easy to marry cultures on your menu. Cultural fusion has been popular in restaurants for decades. Now, we see this blending in weddings, as well, as couples consider merging their heritages through food. With unlimited options, you can craft your heritage into a meaningful celebration of your marriage.