Incorporating Culture: Austrian Style

You probably know by now that my fiancé is Austrian but I bet you didn't know that I am actually half Austrian! Because of this, it's very important to me to make references to our heritage and incorporate a bit of the culture in to our wedding...without conjuring up too many images of this infamous movie:


In one of my early discussions with our wedding coordinator, she excitedly suggested that our favors could be displayed on a table with a sign saying "These are a few of our favorite things" and that the packaging could be brown paper and strings. Get it? Well, I as the American did but the Austrian did not. In fact, he has never seen The Sound of Music and neither have any of his family or friends. We clearly had to scratch that idea but this is what I imagine our packaging could have looked like:

(credit: 1, 2, 3)

With that idea shelved, I thought about using Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts) as escort cards.  They're usually displayed in the below fashion and if we personalized them with guests' names and their assigned table numbers for a seating chart, it could create some very interesting visual impact.

They could also be used as place settings and/or double as favors for the guests to take home:


The problem with the hearts is that they are usually rock hard and don't taste that great so they could really only be used for the looks. Christian isn't a huge fan of the idea of using them because he said it reminds him too much of the countryside (he's from the city), so I've also put this idea aside.

Another idea we tossed around was asking all of our Austrian guests to wear their Dirndl and Lederhosen to the wedding. Don't know what drindl or lederhosen are? Check out this picture of Christian's family and me from a summer party last year. Cute, right?  The hills are alive....

(personal photo)

However, we once again decided not to execute this idea because a) we don't want the Austrian guests to feel like we're asking them to wear the clothes just to amuse the other guests (this was Christian's main concern as they would normally never wear dirndl and lederhosen to a wedding in Vienna) and b) dirndl and lederhosen can be very heavy and I didn't want to "force" anyone in to packing them with the risk of having to leave other things behind (or not be able to shop as much).

You might be asking yourself what we actually have decided on doing.  I will leave those details as a surprise but I can assure you that we have some very fun things planned.  I can't wait to share them with you in less than 3 months! :)  Are there any multi-culti brides out there?  How did you incorporate different cultures in to your celebration?