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Celebrating Your Heritage at Your Wedding Reception

As one of the most anticipated events of a lifetime, a marriage ceremony can be filled with solemn moments and thought-provoking statements as two people join their hearts and lives to be as one. While the pre-wedding festivities of many cultures span over several weeks before the wedding, all of the preparation and organizing can frazzle the nerves as well as add to the fever pitch of excitement on the wedding day.

Brides and grooms alike are anxious about the moment that they will exchange vows of love and wedding rings, hoping that they will not stumble over their words or forget them completely! Ethnic weddings are becoming more common today, but after all of the stress of preparing for the big moment, the wedding reception is what both of the newlyweds are looking forward to. Is it any wonder that this event bursts with the exhilaration of finally being married?

While the ethnic wedding ceremony is a heart-felt and memorable event for all of the guests, it is at the reception where they can participate. Planning your reception for your guests requires that all of the traditons that will be honored during the festivities be clearly explained to avoid confusion. Especially if everyone attending is not familiar with your culture, a wedding program that outlines the significance of the activities will enable your guests to truly appreciate the experience.

It is important to both a timeline sequence for all of your reception activities as well as guides for the interactions. From the first dance as husband and wife to the circle dances of the men and the women, dances bring out the sheer joy for life at every wedding reception. Some of them feature professional dancers to perform in honor of the newlyweds and many times invite them to perform with them.

For example, couples who decide to perform the traditional "Money Dance" common in Spanish and Italian weddings usually appoint the best man or maid of honor to announce the dance and cue the partners for their turn dancing with the bride or groom. During this dance the guests give the newlyweds money to cushion their transition into married life.

A similar tradition of the French West Indies centers on the delicious rum-flavored fruit cake that is veiled with a fine piece of white cloth. Guests offer the bride and groom money to take a peek at the cake before it's served.

Bringing your cultural traditions to life at your wedding reception honors all of your immediate family and your ancestors as well. With so many cultural traditions associated with weddings, one way to begin your selection is to research some of the weddings that have taken place in your family and that of your partner to see which activities you want to enjoy to celebrate your marriage.