Ethnic Wedding Traditions
Popular Cultural Wedding Customs
Ethnic wedding traditions represent the culture, values and beliefs of a particular country. Many wedding traditions are full of poignant symbolism and others, while beautiful, reveal the superstitious nature of their originating culture. Irish wedding traditions emphasize good luck. African wedding traditions incorporate the joining of two families. Greek wedding traditions feature symbols of fertility. Regardless of the country of origin, whether it's Japan, China or Scotland, each wedding tradition greatly honors the sanctity of marriage and features underlying themes of unity and new beginnings.
Many ethnic wedding traditions are hundreds, even thousands of years old. Jewish, Indian and Native American wedding traditions are especially old. Some, like Hispanic wedding traditions, are a combination of the old and new. However, some countries' traditions are dying as their youth turn to modern Western practices. The white wedding gown which has become a deep-seated tradition in North America and Western Europe has become increasingly popular among Asian brides. The adoption of a Christian wedding ceremony in non-Christian cultures is also on the rise.
Most, if not all, of the wedding traditions commonly adopted in the West did not originate in the West: a large bridal party meant to confuse and prevent evil spirits from ruining the bride's wedding day; the bride's father walking her down the aisle as a symbol of passing ownership of his daughter over to her new husband; the wedding ring as a symbol of a couples' never-ending commitment; the shower of rice for posterity; the receiving line which allows the bride and groom to bring good luck to everyone they touch; and the blue garter meant to be tossed as a good luck token. Some are French, some are British, some are Roman, some are Egyptian, and some are Jewish. The commonly viewed traditions of the West could be considered ethnic wedding traditions as well.
As the world changes, so do the wedding traditions of each culture. Some ethnic wedding traditions are rarely practiced today; they are a relic of a bygone era. However, others are experiencing a renaissance as couples acknowledge their heritage by following the traditions of their ancestors. Other couples are combining multiple ethnic wedding traditions and ethnic wedding attire, both the old and the new, to create a wedding uniquely their own. If you are looking to add a bit of romance and history to your wedding celebration, embrace your background and incorporate one of these ethnic wedding traditions into your wedding.