Prior to my own wedding as a mature 30 year old, it was joked that I was becoming
a career bridesmaid. The best perk aside from the unusual assortment of gowns wasthe opportunity of seeing Canada’s cultural mosaic from a unique prospective. This countries confluence of cultures seems to shine brightest when bits of the “old country” are incorporated with our own society standards.
As is the case at many Canadian weddings, the nuptials of my sister mixed the best
of both worlds. Having a Scottish background, my sister and her groom were piped
out of the church, and the assembled children were delighted by the custom of the “scramble”, a custom of throwing money to the assembled children in the hopes that it continually will come back to the couple throughout the course of their marriage.
In her bouquet, my sister carried a sprig of heather that had been flown in the day of the wedding, and under her gown the traditional blue garter was replaced with
the tartan one that I and my other sisters would also come to wear. The Russian pastries served at the reception were as wonderful as the Ukrainian dancers that my sisters new mother-in-law had arranged. Together the shades of two cultures had seamlessly blended to create but one more “Canadian Wedding”!
I’ve found myself envious on occasion over some of the customs that I have observed at the weddings of friends. While at a traditional shower for my friend Manjinder we were all impressed by the gorgeous henna hand painting she sported, but we really liked it when her mother explained that it symbolized her new status as a bride and served as a reminder that she was free from the drudgery or manual labor for the month that it would take to fade. At another friends engagement party, myself and friends were perplexed by the clothing racks assembled at the head table. Much to our (and the bride’s) astonishment each of the guests on her Macedonian fiancee’s side deposited a new outfit for the bride, complete with shoes and accessories. Needless to say many of my girlfriends and I spent a summer trying to scare up Macedonian fella’s to date.
After the Bedeken ceremony (a Jewish custom in which the bride’s family literally
unveils and presents the bride to the groom and his family prior to the wedding it was beautiful to see both a Rabbi and a Methodist Minister share in the uniting of this couple. Equally delightful was watching the groom both traditionally break the wine glass and then jump the broom with his African American bride (a custom adopted by slaves to symbolize marriage as they were not legally permitted to do so) The richness of Canada’s cultural mosaic is truly a blessing that each of us may share and it seems to be in the blurring of cultural lines that perhaps we can really see the true “Canadian Wedding” EH?