What are Cajun Wedding Traditions?


Cajun wedding traditions are deeply rooted in the unique history of French settlers in the bayou regions of southern Louisiana. While Cajun weddings have modernized, Cajun traditions remain integral to many Louisiana weddings. 

History of Cajun Weddings 

Before the oil boom of the 1930s, rural Cajun communities had to travel to Lafayette, Louisiana, to obtain marriage licenses. Alternatively, they awaited the arrival of a traveling priest who would take weeks. Without immediate legal marriage, couples resorted to the tradition of “jumping the broom” amidst family and friends to celebrate their union. This tradition from African American and European customs symbolized the couple’s commitment and was a temporary legal acknowledgment until formal weddings were completed. Agreements were made regarding property, livestock, and financial matters. As Cajun communities evolved, these age-old customs served as reminders of resilience, resourcefulness, and the bonds that define Cajun culture.

Cajun Wedding Traditions

Cajun wedding traditions uniquely blend historical and contemporary celebrations. While Cajun weddings have evolved to embrace modern trends, the essence of Cajun traditions remains a cherished aspect of many present-day weddings. Incorporating these time-honored customs creates unforgettable experiences for couples and their guests.

Live Cajun Music 

Music is an integral part of Cajun culture, and weddings often feature live bands playing traditional Cajun music. Accordions and fiddles characterize Cajun music, which often blends with blues, soul, and zydeco music. The rhythms of Cajun music provide the perfect soundtrack for wedding festivities, adding an authentic touch to any celebration!

Groom’s Cake

The groom’s cake tradition originated in 19th century Victorian England and is seen in many modern southern weddings. The groom’s cake is a gift from the bride that symbolizes commitment and affection. Traditionally, the cake had a rich chocolate flavor. Today, couples often opt for a classic New Orleans Doberge cake with its delicate layers of sponge cake and pudding or a festive Mardi Gras king cake adorned with colorful icing. These cakes add a touch of local flavor and an extra layer of excitement to a wedding. 

La Bal de Noce

Before public weddings, Cajuns celebrated their wedding with La Bal de Noce, or wedding dance, in their home. Today, couples infuse their modern wedding festivities with this Cajun wedding tradition by participating in a special two-step dance as entertainment for guests. Once the dance floor is cleared, the bride and groom dance around the room before the guests join in the celebration. This tradition serves as a testament to the spirit of Cajun culture, where music, dance, and community intertwine. 

Money Dance

The money dance is a tradition shared amongst many cultures, but it holds a special place in Cajun weddings. During traditional Cajun weddings, guests pin cash on the bride’s veil or groom’s suit to share a dance with them. The money dance symbolizes financial prosperity and good luck in their new life together. 

Fais Do-Do

The term “fais do-do” refers to a Cajun dance party, which often follows the wedding reception. It’s a time for extended celebration with music and dancing.

The Ultimate Cajun Wedding Tradition: Food 

It would not be a Cajun wedding without Cajun food! The history of Cajun food is as rich as the dishes themselves. Cajun cuisine traces its origins to the Acadian people, French settlers who were expelled from Canada by the British in the 18th century. Arriving in Louisiana, they brought their culinary traditions, which melded with the region’s local ingredients and cooking techniques to create a distinct culinary identity. 

The Acadians adapted their cooking to the available ingredients, resulting in hearty, rustic dishes that used local seafood, game, and vegetables. Rice, corn, and beans became staples, along with ingredients like okra, peppers, and tomatoes, which were introduced by African and Native American influences. Over time, Cajun cuisine continued to evolve, shaped by waves of immigration and cultural exchange. 

Today, Cajun food is celebrated for its bold and satisfying flavors. From iconic dishes like jambalaya and crawfish étouffée to classic desserts like pralines and beignets, Cajun cuisine reflects the diverse heritage of Louisiana, serving as a delicious reminder of the vibrant history at Cajun weddings.

Elysian Events Catering: Experts in Cajun Cuisine  

As a catering company specializing in Cajun cuisine for weddings, our mission is to bring authentic flavors to every celebration. With our expertise and passion for Cajun food, we ensure that each dish is a delicious reflection of Cajun history. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to quality ingredients and both traditional and modern cooking techniques. We source the freshest seafood, locally sourced meats, and farm-fresh produce, ensuring every dish bursts with flavor. Try some of our favorite Cajun dishes and desserts: 

  • Cajun Charcuterie Board: assortment of smoked and cured meats and sausages, seasonal mustard, assorted pickles, artisanal bread, and crackers
  • Shrimp étouffée with grilled scallions
  • Chicken & andouille gumbo with roasted okra
  • Vegetarian roasted green beans topped with caramelized shallot vinaigrette and toasted pecans
  • Pecan praline cheesecake 
  • Spiced cafe brülot bread pudding with a coffee-brandy sauce and candied orange

We understand that every wedding is unique, which is why we offer customizable menus tailored to the couple’s preferences, budget, and dietary needs! Whether you’re looking for a traditional Cajun feast or a modern twist on classic dishes, we will work closely with you to create a menu that reflects your vision. We also provide various services to enhance the wedding experience, from interactive food stations to sit-down meal options to buffet set-ups. 

With our expertise, attention to detail, and passion for Cajun cuisine, we guarantee that every wedding catered by Elysian Events Catering is an unforgettable one! We are committed to serving the best food with top-notch service to create a memorable Cajun wedding experience.

Reach Out Today!

Cajun wedding traditions offer a unique and spirited experience for couples. From humble Acadian origins, Cajun traditions remain an essential part of southern weddings, serving as a testament to the resilience that defines Cajun culture. Of course, no Cajun wedding would be complete without the flavors of Cajun cuisine! Cajun food reflects the diversity of Louisiana’s heritage.

At Elysian Events Catering, we are honored to be a part of this tradition, bringing authentic Cajun flavors and quality service to any wedding celebration. With our customizable menus and attention to detail, we ensure that each couple is satisfied with their wedding food. If you’re looking to infuse Cajun cuisine into your celebration, contact us today! Give us a call at (504) 541-0091 or email hello@elysianeventscatering.com, and we will guide you every step of the way. We look forward to celebrating with you!

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