Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann
With St. Patrick’s Day earlier this month, it got me thinking about family cultures and how your wedding day is so much more than reciting vows; it’s really a blending of two cultures, perhaps, even sometimes two religions.
Looking back at our wedding, it was really a blending of Irish and Maltese cultures: My husband is Irish, and I’m Maltese. Malta is a teeny tiny island off the coast of Sicily that most people have never heard of before. So don’t worry if you’re ready this going, “Malta?”
I started to think about all the ways you can incorporate your traditions, cultures, and religions into your ceremony. If you remember, last year at this time, I wrote about how you can personalize different aspects of your wedding in somewhat more crafty ways. This time, I want to take a look deeper into the symbolic and traditional ways you can represent your culture into your wedding day.
First, if you are not sure what kinds of wedding traditions are usually had in your culture, do a quick Google or Pinterest search. You might be surprised what you will find. You might even know of these traditions and know what to incorporate into your day just by knowing what you have seen done at family weddings. Whatever the case, there are great opportunities to highlight your heritage on your special day.
Every country has a national flower. If you can find what it is, or even if you can find a flower with the name of your country, it’s a great little way to represent your background. In my husband’s boutonniere, I had Bells of Ireland and on my bouquet, I had a pin of the Maltese cross. You might recognize this cross as it’s the inspiration for the symbol most commonly represented by firemen.
This is probably the most popular way to incorporate cultural traditions into your wedding day, as there are beautiful blessings or ceremonies found in almost every culture. While there are beautiful Irish blessings that are usually read during the ceremony, we really couldn’t find many Maltese ones, and the ones we did find were not translated into English. Being that realistically only the Irish blessing could be read, both of our cultures would not be equally represented, so we opted out of doing a cultural blessing.
Since we didn’t really have any cultural representation during the ceremony, we did made up for it at the reception. We had table signs put on every cocktail table with both Maltese and Gaelic love proverbs. Some were funny, some serious, but all representing us perfectly. Our guests really enjoyed them, especially those who had never heard of Malta or seen it written.
Food + Drinks
As a trend in 2016, you will see cultures being represented more and more through the food and drinks offered at weddings. Whether it’s a signature drink, or food options based on cultural themes, it’s a great way to give a nod to your roots – and who doesn’t love good food and drinks? In fact, one of my favorite things is to try foods from different cultures. What great memories you’d be making for someone. They’ll always remember that particular food as having it for the first time at your wedding.
So, we want to know, what kind of cultural traditions did you have at your wedding?