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How to incorporate cultural traditions & themes into your wedding, party or event

Updated: Feb 5

colourful party decorations on a table

Part of the fun of having a party is celebrating your individuality and those traditions and cultures that are important to you. The best way to do this is by incorporating some type of cultural activity into your party.

Here are some ideas that will help you to successfully incorporate cultures into your wedding, party or event:

#1 - DJ - DJ - DJ - It's all about the DJ!

It perhaps doesn't surprise anyone, but we would say the DJ is the most important tool you have for including cultures & themes into your wedding, party or event!

Any DJ worth you hiring will always offer a consultation before the event to get the music and the vibe right. If you're DJ is not offering this, or is reluctant to talk prior to the event, we would suggest reconsidering your choice. The DJs are singularly the most important part of your party when it comes to the overall vibe, theme and music.

Make sure you:

  • Let the DJ know about your special event. You want to make sure that they're aware of any cultural traditions you have or are planning on incorporating into your party. It's also important to give them as much information as possible so they can help with things like announcing when it's time to change outfits or whatnot.

  • Let the DJ know about your musical preferences and any songs that should not be played during certain parts of the party (ie: no country music during dinner).

#2 - Use cultural music during the party

When you're planning your party, think about the music. Music is an important part of any culture and can be used to evoke a sense of belonging or connection with others. You may want to play music from your culture or popular with the people who are attending the party. If so, consider what types of songs might appeal to them and their background--maybe it's something they grew up listening to in school or at home; maybe it's something else entirely!

If possible, try playing some music from both cultures during your event so that everyone feels welcome and included in this celebration of diversity!

When it comes to very specific cultural music your DJ will need your suggestions, but don't tie their hands with a fixed playlist - allow them to work your requests into their music.

Help your DJ with cultural music but don't tie their hands

#3 - Have a cultural item or activity on the menu or bar

Food and drink are great ways to incorporate culture into your party. You can have food from your country or region, or you can have drinks that are culturally specific. If you're having a Mexican theme, for example, why not serve tacos? Or if you're having an Italian-themed party (you know I'm going there), try making some fresh pasta in advance and serving it with tomato sauce on the side.

If food isn't really your thing but alcohol is--and let's face it: most people like both these things--you could also consider setting up a bar area with unique drinks from around the world. For example, if we were going with our Mexican theme again: tequila shots! Or how about some sangria? Or what about Japanese sake cocktails? Japanese people love them! And if none of those ideas work for you either...well then maybe just stick with beer because everyone likes beer anyway!

#4 - Have a special photo booth for guests to take pictures with things that are associated with your culture.

  • Have a special photo booth for guests to take pictures with things that are associated with your culture.

  • You can have props, like a sombrero and maracas.

  • You can have a backdrop of your culture, like a mural or poster board with pictures from your family country's history.

  • You can play cultural music in the background as people wait in line for their turn in the photo booth.

  • Also consider serving drinks and food that are commonly eaten in your home/family country during this time of year (if it's summertime, maybe serve ice cold lemonade).

Colourful party decorations

#5 - Decoration

Using decorations is an easy way to make your wedding, party or event individual to you and your culture or theme. You don't have to fill the room with props, it can be as simple as having a cultural theme on the napkins or place settings.

If you're having your party outside, you can also use a backdrop of your culture. For example, if you are having the party at a park and want to incorporate the outdoors into your theme, then bring some pine cones or acorns from nature and use them as props in photos with guests.

There are many ways in which a host can stamp their individuality onto a wedding, party or event and bring their culture or theme into play. The DJ, the music and the decorations are just some of the things you can do. The important part is not to overdo it and make sure everything is personal to you. These are the events that are unique and these are the events that create unforgettable memories for all the participants.

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