No two weddings are alike + we all have our own visions as to what we want our wedding to be. Every little detail in our wedding like the food + decor is a reflection of who we are. One important factor of our identity is our culture, which is why many couples choose to incorporate it into their wedding. Here at Leilani Weddings we’ve planned Hispanic, Persian, Asian, Nigerian, + Indian celebrations, so if you or your significant other fall into one of these categories, we are here to help! Please be aware that with each culture there is a long list of traditions, so we won’t be able to cover all of them; feel free to add your creative touch to pay homage to your unique culture!
Hispanic culture is rich with many beautiful traditions, so there are many different ways in which you can honor your Hispanic heritage through the food, music + decor. One tradition that dates back to the Roman Empire is known as “las arras” which translates to the thirteen gold coins. These coins are purchased by the godparents + are given to the couple as they symbolize trust. Another tradition we see at Hispanic weddings is called “el lazo”, which is a significant part of the ceremony, especially in a Catholic household. El lazo is a gorgeous beaded rope or a double rosary that forms the shape of a figure eight. The rosary is constructed like this so that it can be placed onto the bride + groom by the godparents, which represents the everlasting unity between the couple. Moving on to the reception, we have the funniest tradition in the Hispanic culture: the money dance. I know what you’re thinking - you get paid to dance?! Yes! This amazing custom is said to have originated from Spain + the name says it all! In exchange for money, the bride + groom each dance with their guests. To clarify, each guest takes turns pinning bills to their hip, then proceeding to have a dance with them for about a minute or two + this symbolizes good luck in their marriage. Nothing sounds better than ending your wedding with lots of money!
Marriage is an important milestone in every couple's life + in Persian culture, most of the traditions carried out at the wedding have been going on for many years prior to the ceremony! First, we have the Ketubah signing, which is a Jewish marriage contract that highlights the duties, responsibilities, + rights of the couple. This contract signing is celebrated with close friends + family members as it is considered a special honor to witness the couple signing their Ketubah. Another important wedding tradition is the “sofreh aghd”, which is a lavish table filled with various items that are symbolic to Persian weddings. This isn’t your normal wedding table, as it contains a beautiful assortment of coins, nuts, eggs, candles, etc. Along with the sofreh aghd, there is the “esfand” (incense), which is another important element in a Persian ceremony. This combination of herbs + spices is meant to ward off the ‘evil eye’ from causing harm + is burned as the bride is walking down the aisle!
Like the prior cultures, there are many ancient traditions that have been taking place for so many years at Asian weddings. One thing that is very noticeable about Asian culture is the use of the color red. This is a prominent color in the culture as it holds a special meaning because it represents luck, which is why it is heavily incorporated in weddings. Whether it is through the decor, floral, or attire, this tradition is very sacred + we absolutely love the beautiful meaning of this color! Now let’s talk about tea! No, not like drama tea, but the actual beverage itself. The tea ceremony is performed at traditional Chinese weddings where the bride + groom pay their respects for their parents' love + support. The final wedding custom that we’ll touch on is exclusively for the bride, and this is the hair combing ceremony. This tradition honors the bride's transition into a new stage of adulthood with the recital of a prayer as the bride’s hair is getting combed. This ceremony would typically occur the night before the wedding, but many modern brides prefer to do it the morning of!
In Nigeria’s majestic culture, a wedding symbolizes more than just the union between two people, but also the union of two families becoming one. These magical ceremonies are absolutely incredible with many vivid colors and detailed prints that are inspired by the Nigerian culture. One thing you may not know about Nigerian weddings is that it is custom for the bride + groom to decide what they would like their guests to wear! Cool huh? This is called “Aso-Ebi”, which translates to “family clothes” + from there, the couple can choose their specific requirements they would like for their respective families, which may include deciding on a color + type of fabric. Next, let's talk about money...again! In Nigerian culture, they like to make it rain money, literally! Unlike Hispanic tradition where they pin the money onto the couple’s outfit, Nigerian weddings feature the friends and family throwing cash at the couple while they are dancing + it is the bridesmaid's job to pick up the money! One last thing to note about a Nigerian wedding is that there isn’t a guest limit. Their weddings are basically an open invitation for family + friends, which usually range anywhere from 200 to 500 guests. This may be a problem if you’re hosting your wedding at a venue because you will need an exact head count, but if you are celebrating at a home, then you can invite as many friends as you like! The more the merrier!
If we can use one word to describe Indian weddings it’s EXTRAVAGANT! Unlike traditional western weddings that last one day, these celebrations last for several days! You thought planning one day was hard? Try coordinating a three day celebration, which is the average time span of an Indian wedding. Luckily, here at Leilani Weddings we are experts when it comes to planning multi-day weddings. Another aspect that stands out at an Indian wedding is the vibrant decoration + luxurious attire. As you’ve noticed, bridal wear is completely different from western standards. White dresses are unusual for this type of culture as brides tend to go for more colorful sari (a lengthy Indian garment) + it is usually in the color red. The third day of the celebration features the formal wedding ceremony, which is decorated with a luxurious canopy called the mandap that is draped over four pillars. During this time, the bride + groom join in on another ritual known as “mangal phera”, where the couple join hands around an enclosed fire. Out of every culture we discussed, Indian weddings take the cake when it comes to unique + extraordinary customs.