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Celebrating Cultures

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Every culture has its own wedding traditions, so when I’m writing a ceremony for a couple from different backgrounds, it’s always fun to include some of those extra touches.

As well as respecting their culture, it’s also a great way to get other people involved. For example, when Brad and Kols got married, we included some Cambodian traditions.

Cambodian Wedding Tradition - Stephen Lee Sydney Marriage Celebrant

There are three components. For the first, Kols’ father joined the bride and groom’s hands with a mala. This symbolise their union. The second is the tying of red string, to symbolise their parents’ consent. And the third part is the sprinkling of scented water, to symbolise the parents’ blessing.

A Greek tradition is to have a special crowning, which is what we did for Nick and Jess. Crowning is a Greek Orthodox tradition. The crowns, or stefana, have their origins in Ancient Greece.

Both crowns are worn by the groom and bride in turn, and exchanged three times. They are often made from various plants devoted to Aphrodite such as olive branches, vines leaves and lemon blossoms. Asparagus was also used as it was thought to have grown from thorns and hard dirt, so the union of the two will create beauty and fertility.

Nick and Jess - Sydney Marriage Celebrant Stephen Lee

The crowns represent the bond between Nick and Jess. They are crowned as King and Queen of their household and ordered to rule with justice and integrity.

A very common thing to do for Asian couples who are getting married is to have a Tea Ceremony. This usually happens either before or after the legal ceremony, and is to honour the parents of both bride and groom.

As with Verity and Jason, the couple will change into traditional dress and kneel before their parents who sit in a row. The couple then serve tea as a mark of respect, starting with the most senior members of the family. In some versions of the ceremony, food is also served, including dates. The stones are collected and thrown to the couple who catch them; the number they catch is the number of children they will have!

Slav and Sarra - Sydney Marriage Celebrant Stephen Lee

Slav and Sarra wrapped up their wedding with a Croatian wedding tradition. Sarra and Slav had a race down the aisle. According to the tradition, whoever wins gets to wear the pants in the marriage. Sarra won – even in heels!

By Stephen Lee

Sydney Marriage Celebrant