Personally, the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Not only because I’m a sucker for Christmas cookies and Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, but because I have quite a few excuses to get together with my favorite people in this world. Some of my favorite childhood memories surround the traditions that you don’t realize have become traditions. This got me thinking about the traditions that come up during wedding planning. Weddings are all about two families becoming one, so how do you honor the traditions of both?
A Priest and a Rabbi Walk into a Wedding Venue…
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of several weddings wherein my couples come from two different cultures and/or religions (including my own). One of the most stressful and emotional parts of the planning was deciding who would preside over our wedding. I don’t know what it is about weddings, but they sure do brew up very strong opinions from family members. It became apparent that even though parents and grandparents weren’t actively practicing, religious tradition became a huge sore spot that everyone felt strongly about. This was a learning experience for me and I always channel it when giving advice to my couples about this. I’m a firm believer that the ceremony is for you as a couple, and the reception is a thank you to your guests for celebrating your union with you. That being said, do what feels right to you as a couple. If both of you are religious, have religious leaders from both of your respective religions preside over your vows. Not religious, but want to honor family traditions? Have a non-denominational officiant preside over the ceremony, but incorporate religious aspects from both.
Cultural Mash Up
I use the same mantra for blending your cultures. This is a great opportunity for both sides of your new family to learn more about the other. There are so many creative ways that you can incorporate your cultures into every part of your wedding. From the design of your wedding invitations to the type of food that you serve, the best weddings are those that tell stories about what makes each of you the people that you are. Take it from a girl who stomped the glass and jumped the broom at the end of her wedding ceremony! Why choose traditions when you celebrate everything about yourselves and your new family unit?
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
My favorite part about traditions is that they have a story (usually a funny one in my family) and you can make them up whenever you want. What better excuse to make up your own family traditions than a wedding? Create a love letter time capsule that you open every 5 years… make your guests suggest their favorite date night ideas and pick one each month to live out over the next 50 years. Whatever you choose, make it something that you can cherish for years to come until it becomes a habit that you anticipate with a smile on your face. Maybe you’ll forget where it started one day, but it will create a lifelong storybook of memories!