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Embracing tradition

Culture can be easy to miss when you are surrounded by people living the same way as you, but I was reminded of how unique a Canadian wedding may seem by wedding guests arriving from abroad... I say embrace the traditional, put your own spin on it, and remember culture is how we do things around here too.
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Culture and tradition can be described as many things. In the simplest terms it is the way we ‘do’ things. 

When we take part in our own traditions and cultural customs, often we don’t think about it. It comes naturally and is more subconscious than conscious.  

Traditions are the things we inherit from our parents and grandparents, from our society, community and country. Each of us is shaped by the influences of customs and cultures we are born into.  

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think it can actually be quite beautiful. 

I got married at the end of July and when thinking about how it unfolded, I realized I was mostly just following a template created hundreds of years ago by Anglo-Saxon cultures with a few twists and a handful of modern additions. 

Unlike most of my peers, I was married in a church, the same one my parents were married in. While most people I know now get married by a civil officiant, I wanted to be connected to my parents' story... the story that led to my own existence.  

On my wedding day I wore something old – a secondhand wedding dress, something new – bright yellow shoes, something borrowed - my mother’s wedding veil, and something blue - a pair of blue beaded earrings made by my maid of honour.  

And while I couldn’t find a silver sixpence coin to place in my shoe, it felt important to focus on small customs. 

Culture can be easy to miss when you are surrounded by people living the same way as you, but I was reminded of how unique a Canadian wedding may seem by wedding guests arriving from abroad. 

In Spain, there are no bridesmaids or groomsmen. In Indonesia, it is uncommon to see family and friends help with wedding preparations. All help is generally hired and carried out by professionals.  

At my wedding, we relied heavily on family and those we knew. In fact, nearly every part of the wedding, from the bartenders to the DJ, the photographer and the florist, were people my husband and I knew or worked with over the years. Even the cake, which was fantastic, was made by my sister-in-law. 

It was as though a small community came together to help us host a giant party, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And while that seemed completely normal for us, it is perhaps uniquely Canadian. 

Our wedding wasn’t like the ones depicted in the movies My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Crazy Rich Asians, but it was what we inherited from our parents. 

I say embrace the traditional, put your own spin on it, and remember culture is how we do things around here too.  



Jazmin Tremblay

About the Author: Jazmin Tremblay

Jazmin completed a minor in journalism at Hanze University in the Netherlands and completed her Communication Studies degree from MacEwan University with a major in journalism.
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