Here in ethnically diverse Northern Virginia, multi-cultural marriages embody the best of customs and traditions. Here are just a few:
The color red is considered a symbol of happiness and luck. It is often used on invitations.
The bride carries a lump of sugar to ensure a sweet life. Ivy in her bouquet represents endless love.
Prior to the wedding day, the bride is tattooed with henna on her hands and feet, known as Mehndi. She wears a red sari embroidered in gold to symbolize abundance and fertility.
During the ceremony, married women place a white satin cloth above the couple’s heads. Two cones of
sugar are placed in the cloth and rubbed together to represent snowflakes of sweetness and joy.
A cord called “el lazo” is placed around the couple during the ceremony, signifying they are bound for life.
On her wedding day, the bride does not wear any gold as it is thought to bring bad luck.
At the end of the wedding ceremony, the groom breaks a napkin-wrapped wine glass under his foot as remembrance of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
To pay homage to ancestors from days of slavery, couples “jump the broom” to sweep away the old and embrace the new.