traditional portuguese dancers and musicians at a wedding reception. / Image via Color Blind Productions
I've shared with you all that Mr. Jet's family is from Portugal.  More specially, they are from an island off the coast of Portugal called São Miguel, a part of a group of islands known as the Azores.  The Azores are actually a lot closer to the United States than most people think.  The reason why our area is so heavily populated with Portuguese immigrants is because the islands are only about 4 hours away from Boston.  (They are closer to us than we are to a good portion of the United States!)  

Mr. Jet's parents moved here in their late-teens/early twenties, so they have brought with them lots of traditions and cultural traits as well as the Portuguese language.  While Mr. Jet grew up immersed into the Portuguese culture, I grew up in a very multi-cultural family.  Just for your reference, I am various parts Italian, Irish, French-Canadian, Portuguese, Scottish and English.  However, growing up in an area so heavily populated with Portuguese people, I've ALWAYS loved Portuguese food and culture.  (Please tell me you've all tried Chouriço at one point in your lives, and for proper pronunciation - we call it "sha-DEECE", not "chor-E-zo"  Our city has the world's largest Portuguese festival every year in August that sees over 100,000 visitors in a three-day period!

Needless to say, it would be nearly impossible for us not to incorporate some Portuguese cultural traditions into our wedding.

Here are some of the traditions we'll be incorporating:
The Portuguese Rooster / Image via Wikipedia
You can read the full story behind the meaning of the rooster here, but in short - it is a Portuguese symbol of honesty, trust, integrity and honor.  Mr. Jet and I have a set of these roosters in our kitchen, as they are commonly kept in Portuguese households and if you'll remember, our venue has a GIANT one hanging on the rafters.  We'll be sneaking it into our paper suite as well!
he's one proud rooster! / Image via RC Uplighting
The other traditions are far more subtle, but we've chosen to honor them to keep the family happy:
  • Wine at every table.  It's customary, no matter where you go or how old you are, to have red wine with every dinner meal.  Originally, we were going to offer one hour of open bar to our guests, however I was strongly urged to offer two bottles of wine (a white and a red) at every table instead.  In Portuguese culture, it would be considered very bad form to seat guests for dinner without offering them a glass of wine along with it.
  • A few (note: FEW) Portuguese dance songs.  Though many of Mr. Jet's family members have been living in the U.S. for years, they are still very traditional at heart.  In order to appease everyone, we'll be dropping in a few Portuguese tunes during the dinner and dancing portions of the night so that everyone feels included and comfortable.  We want to see Tia Carmen dance!!
  • A "greenback" shower.  Since Mr. Jet and I have been living together for over 5 years, we've managed to accumulate a great deal of...stuff.  We've started a very small registry for those guests who insist on purchasing a gift, but it is widely accepted in many cultures (including Portuguese) to have a greenback shower to allow for the couple to save up for a large purchase, such as a new home.

Are you or your SO incorporating any cultural traditions into your wedding?

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