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Culture Club: Three Couples Personalize Their Ceremonies With Global Traditions

Elizabeth Seward

(above) When Mukilteo-based magician (and repeat winner of Seattle Bride’s Best Reception Entertainment award) Nash Fung married Alicia Stach-Ottenstror last May, the couple wanted to incorporate his Chinese family’s traditions. “It is as much a celebration for you as it is for them,” says Nash. That’s part of the reason why they wanted family traveling from Hong Kong to see familiar elements. To that end, the couple performed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony before they exchanged vows. The ceremony, which took place in the hours before the wedding, involved the couple serving tea and paying tribute to family members and receiving blessings from them in return.

Elizabeth Campos, who is Mexican-American, married Denver Niles, who is from Sri Lanka, last June at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Renton. Despite their far-flung countries of heritage, the bride and groom discovered cultural similarities. They incorporated food and music from both backgrounds, and also love that Catholicism is something they have in common. Gifts included fruit, which is considered to be a blessing in Sri Lanka. “Do not feel pressured to incorporate every single tradition on the wedding day,” says Elizabeth.

Mariam Hasnany, who is Pakistani, married Muataz Ahmed, who is Sudanese, last July in Seattle. “We knew we wanted to include parts of both our cultures and traditions to represent our families of two different heritages coming together,” she said. Together with the bride and groom’s shared Islamic faith, food and fashion were the main vehicles used by this Wallingford couple to incorporate their families’ traditions into the wedding. From henna tattoos to traditional beverages, Mariam and Muataz paid homage to their cultures throughout their wedding. To see more of this vibrant celebration, click here

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