Making sure that your wedding speaks to your style while also incorporating some cultural wedding traditions can be a tricky, but you just have to find the right balance. For Jeff and I, we decided to split it up into two separate events. We had our American wedding in San Diego, and then we also flew to Taiwan to celebrate at a wedding banquet with our grandparents and extended family.
At the Taiwan wedding banquet, I wore a formal traditional dress called a qípáo (旗袍). Red and gold are lucky colors that signifies love, prosperity, and happiness. The lucky red can be found everywhere - on the dress, invitations, favors, tablescapes, decorations, and signage. Guests also bring red envelopes (紅包 - Hóngbāo) with money as gifts for the new married couple. In this photo, we are standing with a Chinese character (囍 - Xǐ) that means double happiness.
One tradition that I didn't incorporate into my own wedding was the tea ceremony. The Chinese tea ceremony uses lotus seeds and dates, which symbolizes good fortune and future children. The Japanese tea ceremony uses strong green tea and the ritual binds the couple together for life. Another similar tradition is the sake-sharing, called ( 三々九度 - san san kudo) where the couple take three sips from three flat sake cups, then the parents take a sip, which forms a bond and unites the couple. I am looking forward to witnessing this ceremony at my good friend's upcoming October wedding!
My friend Angie, a bride-to-be, recently shared with me about the Korean tradition of gifting wooden ducks (원앙세트). Mandarin ducks are the perfect model for a successful marriage because they mate for life. The ducks symbolize peace and fidelity. One creative way that Angie is planning on incorporating this tradition is to have the ducks as cake toppers, how cute! If you're looking for these cute cake toppers, visit Kikuike's Etsy shop!
What are some cultural traditions that you want to incorporate into your wedding? How can you acknowledge your cultural roots while being true to your individual style? I think it's fun to learn about different cultural wedding traditions. My tip is to pick something that you and your fiancé are comfortable with and enjoy it!