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Integrating Cultures With Wedding Invitations And Themes

By: Amy Carter

Your wedding should be a celebration of you and your fiancé’s love and the seamless union of your cultures.  Often, this can be a difficult task as the religious aspect of your traditions and cultures don’t always mesh together.  To best combine cultures pick those elements that you love and integrate those details into your wedding invitations, reception décor, even your wedding dress and bridal party attire.

A delicate mix

Combining cultures as you plan your wedding isn’t always easy.  It is important that you, your fiancé and your families are comfortable with the things you are including and those elements you are leaving behind.  There is no automatic ‘right’ answer, just knowing that you are going to have a wedding experience that is uniquely your own.  From your wedding invitations to the reception, you should think about intertwining your personal cultural customs and traditions that will suit you.

Picking the right elements

While it is important to include elements from both of your cultures, you should also be aware of the impact of these elements.  Including too many elements, customs and traditions can often be just too much to handle.  Not only will you have your hands full with planning and organizing, but too many things can decrease the significance of any one thing.  You don’t want to have a confusing ceremony or a reception that feels like a multicultural circus.  Choose just a few things to pepper into your ceremony and reception and you’ll have a tasteful and interesting ceremony.

Start with a well-composed wedding invitation

Your wedding invitation is a great place to start your cultural combining.  Since it is a small in size you’ll be forced to choose some essential pieces from both cultures to showcase.  Your wedding invitation is also a great place to include a note about the cultures you are highlighting and the significance of those cultures to you and your fiancé.

Including elements not necessarily from your culture

There are thousands of wedding traditions and customs that you may choose to use in your ceremony and reception.  These elements can have significance in other cultures; they can just be interesting and stylish touches for you. Pick a Celtic knot or a lucky Chinese red for your wedding invitations.  Dress your bridesmaids in traditional Lehnga Choli for your bridesmaids for an unexpected and fashionable touch.  Your imagination and vision is your only limitation.  A classic Jewish tradition, the yicud, when the bride and groom spend a few moments together privately before the reception, is a great idea in any culture.

What is right for your wedding?

There is no black and white answer to what is the absolute right fit for you and your wedding.  Make sure you have an idea in your head about what you must include and what you can live without.  Discuss this with your fiancé and make sure you’re on the same page with regard to the important details – wedding invitation, ceremony, reception accents, etc.  Also keep an eye out for trends.  You just might be able to have a wedding that is culturally significant to you and stylish beyond your dreams.

For information on wedding invitations, reception cites, ceremony sites & so much more, visit our website TodaysBride.com.

About the Author
Amy Carter is a former wedding and event planner with lots of great tips, tricks and advice to make your wedding spectacular. Check out MyExpression.com for great wedding invitations. You’ll also find a great selection of stylish theme wedding invitations, wedding announcements and wedding stationery.

(ArticlesBase SC #789843)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Integrating Cultures With Wedding Invitations And Themes

Something Borrowed Something Blue

Ever wonder where all those wedding traditions come from? Depending on where you live, weddings you attend will all have different types of things going on. Some will be in churches, some at the beach; some will even play The Chicken Dance at the reception.

Typical weddings in the United States are loosely based on the Italian’s structure. If the couple and couple’s families are religious, they start out their ceremony in a church or somewhere where a priest or pastor can unite them and a usual mass is performed. If it is the bride’s first marriage, she must wear white. This is usually called a white wedding, and originated from Victorian England, and symbolized purity. In Italy, wedding invitations are to this day still engraved and addressed by hand to show the importance of the occasion.

One interesting tradition that many brides must wear is “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in her shoe” symbolizing the unity of both families, fidelity, virginity, and financial security. This is also a Victorian-era tradition, but is now a part of many weddings celebrated in many countries.

Christians believe that marriage is one of the Seven Sacraments and it is encouraged for couples to get married, that is why is it sometimes referred to as “Holy Matrimony”. And as far as Christian weddings go, Catholics believe it is morally wrong to divorce and if done, neither of the couple may remarry in the church.

The term “cocktail hour” comes from Italian tradition. At the start of a reception, the bridal party and all the guests are separated for an hour and served cocktails. Nowadays, this hour is typically used for taking pictures and getting things ready. As soon as the hour is over, the bride and groom and rest of the bridal party enter and perform their first dance. At one point, no gifts were given. Instead, everyone brought the newlyweds an envelope of money and received a wedding favor in return.

In ancient Celtic times, the bride and groom to be married would tie their hands together (called “Handfasting“). This is where the phrase “typing the knot” came from. It’s rarely still used today, mainly in families that celebrate a pagan lifestyle.

And then there are the popular traditions such as rice. Rice is thrown to wish the newlyweds prosperity in their pantry.   This tradition has opened the door for many “green” alternatives such as, bird seed, bubbles,  & flower petals.  Then there’s the cake cutting ceremony where the bride and groom often smear cake on each other’s faces. And then there’s the part where the bride tosses her bouquet and the groom tosses his bride’s garter. Whoever catches the bouquet and garter is said to be the next in line to be married.

Source: Free Articles

Irish Wedding Traditions

By: Rafi Michael

There is one wedding Irish tradition that states: ‘Marry in May and Rue the Day’ while another states: ‘Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man’.

When I told my daughter about this Irish superstition, she changed her wedding date so that she’d be married in April!

What began as a search for Irish traditions and customs that she could incorporate into her celebration ended up as an incredible pile of notes that eventually took on a life of its own. Long after her wedding, I was still obsessed with delving into history and folklore, looking for everything I could find on how weddings were celebrated in Ireland long ago.

I am convinced that if couples make the effort, they can have a totally Irish celebration from beginning to end – even to the pre-wedding parties. There’s one quaint custom where the groom was invited to the bride’s house right before the wedding and they cooked a goose in his honor.

It was called Aitin’ the gander – it has to be where we get the expression ‘his goose is cooked!’ We threw one of these dinner parties for my daughter and everyone had a great time. (The apple-potato stuffing has become a family favorite!).

There are so many other traditions, customs and just an incredible amount of folklore to draw upon, that it would be remiss to be of Irish descent and not take advantage of all the possibilities.

Here are just a few ideas culled from what eventually has become a 200-plus page book called ‘The Traditional Irish Wedding’ and it is now available in the United States and will be released in Ireland this spring. As complete as I could make it, the book covers attire, decor, menus, recipes, music, toasts, vows, and perhaps of most value, a resource listing that will help you find everything from Irish wedding gowns and tiaras to sheet music for a Celtic Mass.

Here are some more:

* Bunratty Meade is a honey wine that’s served at the Bunratty Castle medieval banquet. It’s from a recipe based on the oldest drink in Ireland and if you’ve never tasted it, it’s well worth trying. In the old days, it was consumed at weddings because it was thought that it promoted virility. (If a baby was born nine months after the wedding, it was attributed to the mead!) Couples also drank it from special goblets for a full month following the wedding, which is supposedly where we get the word honeymoon. This was to protect the couple from the fairies coming to spirit the bride away.

* Lucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won’t run out). You can get porcelain horseshoes which most Irish brides carry these days, or one made of fabric which is worn on the wrist.

* Magic Hanky. This charming custom involves having the bride carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. With a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your child can carry on his/her wedding day.

* Make-up bells. The chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony if a couple is fighting, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows. Giving a bell as a gift has become an Irish tradition. You could also have your greeters hand out tiny bells to your guests to ring as you process. (You might want to let them know when they’re supposed to be rung – perhaps mention it in your program along with an explanation of the custom). Guests could also ring their little bells at the reception in lieu of clinking glasses.

* Irish Dancers. Consider hiring a group of Irish dancers to hand out your programs before the ceremony. Dressed in their full regalia, it would add a wonderful touch of pageantry and color. They could also dance at the reception later. We did this at my daughter’s reception and it was a major hit.

* Music. There’s so much wonderful Irish music available, you’ll have no problems in finding appropriate selections for both the ceremony and the reception. The difficulty will be in deciding which pieces to play!

* Readings: My daughter had the following Irish wedding vow on the front of her program:

By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me. As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me. As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart, may thy presence be with me, oh one that I love, ’til death comes to part us asunder.

On the back of the program, she had this old Irish proverb: Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and just be my friend.

* The Irish Wedding Song. Very popular at contemporary Irish weddings. We had two friends sing this at my daughter’s reception while the newlyweds cut the cake. (Afterwards I thought we should have had the lyrics typed up and placed on the tables so that everyone could join in).

* Flowers. In the old days, many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair; they also carried them in bouquets. For my daughter’s wedding, our florist designed gorgeous bouquets that included a flower called Bells of Ireland. In Wales, brides carried live myrtle and gave a sprig to each bridesmaid which they planted. If it grew, the bridesmaid would marry within the year. If you’re planning a more general Celtic celebration, this might be worth considering.

* Ancient custom: In the old days, couples ate salt and oatmeal at the beginning of their reception: Each of them took three mouthfuls as a protection against the power of the evil eye. Also, when a couple is dancing, the bride can’t take both feet off the floor because the fairies will get the upper hand. Fairies love beautiful things and one of their favorites is a bride. There’s many an Irish legend about brides being spirited away by the little people! For the same reason, it’s bad luck for a bride to wear green. I’ve also heard that it’s bad luck for anyone to wear green at an Irish wedding – but I think it really only applies to the bride. It’s also bad luck for a bride or the groom to sing at their own wedding.

Portents and omens:

* A fine day meant good luck, especially if the sun shone on the bride. If you’re a Roman Catholic, one way to make certain that it won’t rain is to put a statue of the Infant of Prague outside the church before your ceremony.

* It was unlucky to marry on a Saturday.

* Those who married in harvest would spend all their lives gathering

* A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride, never a woman

*It was lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning, or to see three magpies

* To meet a funeral on the road meant bad luck and if there was a funeral procession planned for that day, the wedding party always took a different road

* The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church

* It was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day

*A bride and groom should never wash their hands in the same sink at the same time-it’s courting disaster if they do

* It was said to be lucky if you married during a ‘growing moon and a flowing tide’

* When leaving the church, someone must throw an old shoe over the bride’s head so she will have good luck

* If the bride’s mother-in-law breaks a piece of wedding cake on the bride’s head as she enters the house after the ceremony, they will be friends for life.

Many other customs are interspersed throughout the book, e.g. (from the reception section) the top tier of your wedding cake should be an Irish whiskey cake which is saved for the christening of your first baby. I’ve also heard of another custom which just came to my attention and will be included in the next edition: a bottle of champagne is saved from the reception so that it can be used to ‘wet the baby’s head’ at the christening.

In finally making this book a reality, my hope is that when he says to you ‘would you like to be buried with my people’, or you say to him ‘would you like to hang your washing next to mine’, you’ll say yes, and then use the suggestions to help you plan an Irish celebration reflective of your roots and as romantic as your heritage.

And for all engaged couples and their families in the midst of pre-wedding chaos, I raise a parting glass: May all your joys be pure joy and all your pain champagne.

More information on Traditional Irish Weddings can be found here

About the Author

Toronto Weddings Photographers Wedding Photography & Video Productions Toronto we specialize in individually tailored Wedding Photography, Videos and DVD’s, offering an experienced, highly professional and affordable service.

(ArticlesBase SC #189454)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Irish Wedding Traditions