Our progressive era, and the globalisation it has brought with it, has created a melting pot of modern weddings. Samoan couples far and wide have been breaking away from traditions to put together a celebration brimming with all the latest trends. And don’t get me wrong – incorporating different traditions and freeing yourself from your personal cultural restrictions is an important ingredient to creating a contemporary wedding that is uniquely you two. It’s your big day, after all.
However, letting timeless traditions and sacred rituals fall by the wayside feels somewhat wasteful – especially considering how breathtaking traditional Samoan wedding ceremonies are! If you’d like to incorporate some traditional Samoan wedding elements into your wedding away from home, here are four inspiring ideas.
#1 Say Yes To The Dress
In traditional Samoan weddings, the bride actually wears a wedding dress of her soon-to-be-inlaws’ choosing! This sentiment is surprisingly similar to Christianity’s ‘something borrowed,’ where the bride wears something already worn by another happy bride to ‘transfer’ her luck.
For Samoans, this tradition represents the bride’s deep respect for her fiancé’s family. It is usually borrowed from his mother or sister, but size is most definitely taken into consideration. Once the ceremony (and tears) have ceased, the bride can change into a dress of her choosing for the reception. In this case, it would be a traditional Samoan gown embellished with floral elements to honour her ancestry.
#2 Let Them Eat Cake – And Lots Of It!
Traditionally, Samoan weddings are usually an extravagant affair! Save for their usually large families, Samoans tend to openly invite all their friends, family, neighbours, and community and church members. And with so many hungry mouths come countless cakes – yes, much more than one! One large feature-cake is usually surrounded by smaller cakes that are just as stunning, all of which span the length of a table and stack vertically too.
The reason for this is that these cakes are not only meant for the reception. It’s custom to send the leftovers home with people of high social standing, such as their officiant who would enjoy the lion’s share of a whole tier!
#3 Feast Your Eyes
With so many hungry mouths come a feast fit for a King – and some more! Samoan weddings are renowned for their abundant feasts, brimming with traditional tidbits and hearty cultural meals that are cooked in an underground oven, or umu. These delectable dishes include roast chicken, pork, corned beef, taro, salads, and even chop suey!
#4 Dance Like Everyone’s Watching
Cultural dances are the sacred centre-pieces of any traditional Samoan wedding – and the bride is usually the centre of attention! After everyone has eaten their fill, the bride will adorn herself with a traditional flower crown (and heaps of coconut oil) to perform the traditional Taualuga dance for everyone to see.
As she tears up the dancefloor, it’s customary for guests to stick money to her skin as a sign of respect (sign me up!). This is also symbolic of wishing the couple a prosperous future together. Traditional Samoan dancers and even family members can perform this dance with her while she steals the show. In fact, women from both sides of the family will also perform a cultural dance for the bride, assuring her potential as a mother-to-be.
Now that you’re feeling inspired, it’s time to find culturally knowledgeable wedding professionals in Brisbane to help you bring your Samoan-inspired wedding to life. In that case, get in touch with My Bridal Centre! Contact us today to discuss how we can marry culture with contemporary concepts for your wedding away from home.