Photo: Laura Ivanova Photography
From North Dakota down to Kansas and as far east as western Pennsylvania, brides and grooms take pride in their Midwestern heritage. These simple traditions give the big day a truly Midwestern feel.
New Orleans has jazz, Nashville has country, and the Midwest has polka. When Central European immigrants came to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries, they brought a strong tradition of polka music that persists today. In many Midwestern communities polka is practically required at wedding receptions. Polka bands are popular additions to the musical lineup in states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan, among others, and you don't have to tell the DJ to play "Beer Barrel Polka" — he just knows.
Wisconsin Bar Crawl
When you attend a wedding in Wisconsin, expect a fairly big gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. The bride and groom use that time to go bar hopping with their wedding party.
Because it's in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is technically part of the Northeast region of the U.S. But as its residents will tell you, in many ways the blue-collar city has a truly Midwestern feel. One tradition we're sure the true Midwest region would be happy to borrow from Pittsburgh: the cookie table. At Pittsburgh wedding receptions, you will find the traditional wedding cake, but the biggest sweet spotlight shines on a table covered in hundreds (sometimes thousands) of homemade cookies. For weeks — or even months — before the big day, the bride's family bakes a varied spread of cookies to display on the big day. Takeout containers are a must, and each guest goes home with a plentiful stash.