This week on Offbeat Bride's Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, we're celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing some of our favorite offbeat Latino / Latinx / Hispanic weddings. As the posts started rolling out this week, I received this message from a follower named Aral:
I’m soooooo excited about you featuring Latino/x weddings just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be mindful, respectful, and recognize and PLEASE EMPHASIZE AND NOTATE our culture, customs, rituals, even religions are not a wedding theme.
- Taco party should not a wedding theme
- Fiesta should not be a wedding theme
- Mariachi should not a wedding theme
- Tacos and cerveza should not be a theme.
- Loteria should not be a wedding theme.
These are the REAL customs, traditions, and way of life for a lot of real people, and it’s offensive for people to use them as themes.
This is especially true when so many of people reject, demean, mistreat, and have prejudices against Latino people.
This is something my social media manager and I take very seriously when curating Offbeat Bride's social media theme weeks — especially ones that involve cultural identities.
How we pick the posts we feature during a social media wedding theme week
For instance, each post we chose to share this week features has actual Latinx folks getting married — there are no white couples cosplaying dia de los muertos, and we're not featuring weddings where white couples had a taco truck as part of our week of Latino / Latinx / Hispanic weddings. (To be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with serving tacos at your wedding. The issue is when you make a whole wedding theme out of a culture that you admire, but aren't a part of.)
Our goal is to celebrate the weddings of Latino / Latinx / Hispanic folks — not to celebrate weddings with Latino / Latinx / Hispanic themes.
That said, we are featuring many multicultural and intercultural weddings, so you may see white brides with loteria table settings, and white grooms with papel picado at their receptions. We don't consider it a “wedding theme” when one of the folks getting married is celebrating their own heritage.
This issue is bigger than just Latinx weddings though, and is something we've covered several times on Offbeat Bride
The issue of cultural appropriation at weddings is has been a hot topic in these parts for well over a decade. Here are a few of the posts we've done in the past:
Thanks again to Aral for bringing up this important issue. As a final note for those concerned about cultural appropriation, I'd like to remind everyone to be cautious about policing people's identities based on wedding pictures. That can lead to some REALLY ugly situations.
I'd love to hear from readers: where is the line for you between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation?