Houston brides, your wedding day is all about you and your groom. Your personalities will be reflected in the tone of the event. Your style will be evident in the décor. Your taste buds will be catered to with food and drinks. Your favorite songs will be played. And all your friends and family will be in attendance to celebrate your special day with you. As you make decisions throughout the wedding planning process, also take a moment to consider incorporating another important element of you: your culture.
Today, we’ll take a look at several brides’ and grooms’ experiences with cultural inclusions, spiritual beliefs, and family traditions. As they share their wedding stories, take encouragement to embrace this element of you and your groom for your own love story.
Ceremony: The Aisle Walk, the Vows, and the Officiant
“Both of my brothers are very in tune with nature. One of their brides went barefoot down the aisle. The other set held their wedding outdoors with a woman shaman/spiritual leader.” ~ Kristin C.
“My fiancé and I are excited to have our Christian pastor marry us. We plan on starting our ceremony with a prayer.” ~ Jessica T.
“We did first communion as husband and wife. It was really cool. A very close moment, and kind of a sealing of the covenant between the three of us: my Lord, Jesus; my wife; and myself.” ~ James F.
Music: Solemn Ceremony, then Party on!
“I walked down the aisle to a traditional Celtic wedding march.” ~ Amanda S.
“Our DJ was awesome! He did a great job incorporating all of the music that Jonathan and I grew up on. Salsa, meringue, Motown music, and he was able to incorporate dance music (top 40′s) as well.” ~ Stephanie B.
Bridal Attire: Something Old, Something New
“My wife wore an American wedding dress for our ceremony. Then she changed into a traditional Korean dress for our reception. It was great!” ~ Richard F.
“I plan on wearing an old, borrowed, blue garter that was my grandmother’s. It’s tradition in my family to wear it!” ~ Jessica T.
“Something old: Mom’s earrings. They’re the same earrings she wore when she married my dad 39 years ago. Something new: my mantilla veil.” ~ Stephanie B.
Pre-Wedding Activities: She’s Getting Married in the Morning
“The Christmas before my wedding, my Swedish mother and grandmother put a white skinless almond in my Christmas porridge (white hot rice with cream and cinnamon). It meant that I was the next girl in the family to get married.” ~ Teresa P.
“Before the noon-ish ceremony, everyone meets at the bride’s family’s house where the groom/groom’s family/groom party bring gifts to the bride’s family. The mother of the bride also bestows jewelry to the bride. Words are exchanged on both sides of the family, blessing and wishing the couple luck. Incense is also burned to honor ancestors. … I am still undecided, and there are more issues involved than just ‘keeping’ tradition, such as location, money, time, and your partner’s wishes since he might not share the same cultural heritage as you.” ~ Vanna N.
Reception Food and Favors: Choose your Flavor
“All our food was of Latin descent. … My aunt actually sent us some candies from Ecuador that were given out at the end of our wedding, as well as some Cuban desserts that were just delicious. I was a little nervous about serving the food at first, but everyone seemed to love it. We did keep to traditional food: papusas for Salvador, meat stuffed pastries from Cuba, marinated meat and ceviche from Ecuador. These were favorites from growing up in our homes and now.” ~ Stephanie B.
Advice by Brides and Grooms, to Brides and Grooms
“My Aunt Thanh and Uncle Dale’s union was important to me ’cause now it’s ‘acceptable’ for ME to go down the same path. I’m not going to marry someone based on [his] nationality. I’m going to marry someone who loves me for me and understands the importance of a team/family/etc.” ~Vanna N.
“Talk everything out, remember to respect your future spouse and their desires, and don’t forget to compromise in areas where you don’t exactly see eye to eye.” ~ James F.
“Every decision you make in the wedding planning should have the goal of bringing everyone together – your family, your future in-laws, even the guests. Keeping this goal in mind helps you choose your battles and focus on the celebration of love and family!” ~Jessie T.
Brides, decide what you would like to acknowledge from your heritage, religious beliefs, or family traditions. Once you know what you’d like to include, make plans with your groom, your families, and the wedding venue. Whatever you choose, be happy with your plans and ensure your Houston wedding best reflects you!
* * *
Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2011
Photographer: Jamison Frady © 2010
Interviewer: Allyson Siwajian
Special thanks to each bride and groom who so generously gave their input for this article!