Wedding days always combine two hearts and two families, but when you’re also combining two cultures, it’s important to honor and celebrate each person’s background and heritage in their own special ways! The Houston wedding planners at Chancey Charm have extensive experience working with couples from different backgrounds, honoring culture and heritage beautifully throughout each couple’s big day. We chatted with Skylar Caitlin with Chancey Charm about some of the best examples of honoring culture within a wedding day, and we’re so excited to share their insight below. Cheers to you, brides-to-be!
Dress the Part
Reception dresses have been a go-to for brides with style for years. So when two cultures collide it seems only natural to utilize a few outfit changes to show off the best of both worlds. One of my couples had three different wedding day looks. For their Catholic ceremony, Ashley and Tim chose a black-tie dress code including a dapper tuxedo and classic sweetheart ball gown. After the ceremony, Ashley donned a “gele” (Nigerian head wrap) made of fabric selected by the groom’s family that was also used in their own wedding attire. After dinner, the couple made one last outfit change including a Nigerian-style white dress made by one of the groom’s family members.
Photos: Christa Kimble Photography
It’s All in the Details
Sometimes adding small details are the perfect way to reflect your family’s background without having it serve as the main inspiration for your wedding day. Erica and Brogan crafted favor boxes that pulled double duty as place cards. The boxes themselves drew inspiration from Chinese lanterns and were painted the celebratory wedding color of the culture – a striking red that played beautifully with brightly-colored summertime florals. Inside they were filled with candies that served as a sweet treat for guests. Outside the bride added a modern touch with circular acrylic name tags with white calligraphy to guide guests to their seat. The overall effect was a dynamic homage to Erica’s ancestry in a way the fit into her otherwise western reception decor with ease.
Photos: Rachel L’Antigua Photography
Have a Way with Words
Sometimes blending families means blending languages. Instead of seeing this as a barrier, one of my couples saw a chance to pay tribute to their diverse backgrounds. For their Brazilian-American wedding, Brittany and Rolf not only sent out both English and Portuguese versions of their invitations, the bride surprised her groom by memorizing her vows in Portuguese to honor him and his family – many of whom had traveled to Houston from Brazil for the wedding. Her open-hearted vows set the tone for the upbeat multinational party to come.
Photos: Kati Hewitt Photography
Make it Your Own
While cultural traditions have been kept for generations, that doesn’t mean they have to feel old-fashioned. Erica and Emmanuel chose to add modern twists to their Chinese tea ceremony. From a chic greenery double-happiness symbol, to the beautiful blooming tea set, to the beautiful floral arrangement that incorporated kumquats – homage to the trees grown by the bride’s family – each decor element worked together to gracefully supplement the established ceremony. Just be sure to run any ideas to modernize a tradition by the more conventional family members to ensure that you are respectfully enhancing instead of offending.
Photos: Divya Pande Photography