Incorporating Cultural Diversity Through Music in a Wedding

You could hear the dhol player before you could see him. The sound of the rhythmic Indian drumbeat preceded his entrance into the reception hall. All smiles, he entered with a flourish followed by the dancing bride and groom. The bride, an American of Mexican ethnicity, wore a traditional Indian lenga – all pink silk and heavily beaded. The groom, an American with a Pakistani father and Indian mother, wore a traditional Indian sherwani, complete with red scarf and beaded shoes. They paraded across the dance floor to the clapping of their guests. As the guests were eating dinner a Mariachi band was introduced. The five band members, dressed in full regalia, serenaded the bride and groom with traditional Mexican music. After a time the dhol player joined the band, swaying left to right and matching their beat. Guests began to dance on the open dance floor.


The same bride and groom were married hours earlier in a Catholic church with a traditional ceremony. She in a white dress and flowing veil he in a tux. The bride entered to the strains of the wedding march played beautifully by a string quartet. The love in the couples eyes was palpable as they promised to care for each other in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. As the bride and groom knelt, relatives of the bride draped a large rosary called a lazo over the shoulders of the couple to symbolize their union. The ceremony ended in a brief kiss and a joyful exit through the church.


This couple managed to seamlessly weave Indian, Mexican, and American culture into their special day. Food, dress, and special ceremonies all were reflective of their heritage. One element stood out, however. Their selection of music was particularly colorful – from the classic march to the Indian drummer to the Bollywood wedding-lassodance music to I’m Falling in Love with You by Elvis for their first dance to the Mariachi band – a beautiful way of showcasing their unique melding as a couple. And it was a great way to engage their guests in the festivities.


We’ve got to shine light on the wedding photographer that catered the weddings. There was a lot going during the whole ceremony, and they were able to keep up and stay true to the bride and groom’s vision.

Weddings generally are a feast for the senses and are feel-good events that engage our kindest and deepest emotions. Musical diversity can be a great way to engage those positive emotions and tap into what is unique about the bride and groom. It certainly was effective at this wedding Not to mention a lot of fun.