Many cultural weddings take place in the Washington, DC Metro Area due to its diverse ethnic population and all are welcome at West Belmont Place. In the Washington, DC Metro Area there is a mix of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and many other combinations. We are a culturally rich area and all are welcome.
Our team of experts want to share their knowledge of a few of the cultures we’ve seen at West Belmont and how we can best serve you during this special day. West Belmont has the largest ballroom in Northern Virginia, and is quite perfect for large family weddings and cultural weddings that need space and options for ceremonies, events and parties during the wedding weekend. Here are a few trends and traditions we have seen here at West Belmont.
An Indian wedding tradition is for the bride’s family to steal the groom’s shoes, once he enters the wedding venue. The groom must bribe the sisters to return his shoes before he exits.
Indian weddings are traditionally multi-day affairs and involve many intricate ceremonies. As part of the elaborate and visually stunning Indian ceremony, the bride and her attendants dye their hands and feet with henna designs to represent the joy, hope, and love of the occasion.
Garlands are presented to guests of honor instead of corsages, and lots of rose petals are thrown for good luck.
Another fun game for the newlyweds is called Aeki Beki where a tray of water is mixed with milk and Sindoor (vermillion), and it is filled with coins and a ring. Whoever finds the ring four out of seven times will rule the household. The day is then concluded with prayers to God requesting happiness and love for the newlyweds.
Red is a powerful color in Chinese weddings, symbolizing boldness, luck, and love. According to tradition, the bride wears a red veil to hide her face, and her mother or attendant holds a red umbrella over the bride’s head to encourage fertility.
Many modern brides change into three different outfits throughout the night: a traditional white dress, a traditional Chinese bridal dress for the tea ceremony and a cocktail dress to send off the guests. The bridal headpiece is a phoenix crown made of kingfisher feathers and pearls with a red veil.
On the day of the wedding, the groom is typically placed through a series of tests or stunts by bridesmaids to prove his worth before he is allowed to pick up his future bride. At outdoor ceremonies, paper parasols or silk painted fans are common. During a traditional tea ceremony, the bride serves tea to her parents and her new in-laws as a symbol of respect. To update the tradition, the groom can serve tea with his new bride. The color red represents celebration and prosperity, and the Chinese character “xi” or double happiness bestows the wish of a happy life for the couple.
Historically, the night before a wedding, lanterns would be used to light the way from the groom’s home to the bride’s home. The groom’s family would then carry a wedding chest filled with gifts for the bride’s family.
One important part of the ceremony is the arras (gold coins). These are 13 gold coins that represent Jesus and his 12 apostles, which are blessed by the priest and are given to the bride with the groom’s promise to care for and support his wife.
Orange blossoms are the flowers of choice for Spanish brides because they symbolize happiness and fulfillment and can be seen in the bouquet, decorations, and even in the bride’s hair. In Mexico, it’s common for a bride to carry a bouquet for herself, and a second as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.
The meal of choice for Spanish ceremonies is paella or seafood and sangria; while in Mexico, it would probably include spicy rice, beans, and steak (carne asada) accompanied by a spicy tomatillo sauce. It is also common to see almond cookies in addition to the cake.
In Peru, single female guests take part in a tradition a little sweeter than a bouquet toss. Charms attached to ribbons are tucked between the layers of the wedding cake. Before the cake is cut, each woman grabs a ribbon and pulls. At the end of one ribbon is a fake wedding ring. The guest who picks that ribbon is said to be next in line for marriage
We are a beautiful area with many cultures and we hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas, trends and traditions. Please, pass and share with friends and family who want to include cultural traditions into their wedding. Call Paula Safran, CPCE, LES, CWP, CMP, Director of Catering, for more information at 703 724-6245.