Planning a wedding is fun. But it’s never easy. Everything can get a little complicated once you start tackling the nitty-gritty details of the event.
Now add culture, religion, customs, and familial formalities to the picture. Could it be any harder than that?
For couples with different religions or cultural backgrounds, planning a wedding can be tricky. But it’s doable.
The key is to plan it carefully and ensure that both parties’ most essential wedding ceremony traditions are beautifully combined into a meaningful, extraordinary occasion.
Remember, couples have the freedom to create a wedding as unique as they are. At the same time, you want to be respectful of your guests’ experiences, beliefs, or traditions.
We’ve pulled together five important tips to help you plan a beautiful and unforgettable multicultural wedding!
How to Plan a Multicultural Wedding?
Try dance and music fusion to set the tone
Music is one of the most essential elements of a wedding.
Music sets the event’s tone, stirs emotions, changes people’s moods, and generates experience. It’s so powerful that sometimes, people remember the music played more than the activities that happened.
Music is so powerful it can transcend cultures and languages. Just as people from the west enjoy Asian music, even if they don’t understand the lyrics, your guests will find it interesting hearing a different symphony.
A great way to highlight two different traditions or cultures in a wedding is through music. Create a playlist that combines both cultures for your guests to enjoy.
It’s fine if some of your guests cannot understand the language. The genre, tone, and vibe of the music are enough to appreciate each other’s culture.
Another brilliant way to merge two cultures in a wedding is through the wedding dance. Both of you may need to take lessons to perfect each other’s traditional wedding dance. But it’s going to be fun and memorable! Even your guests will absolutely enjoy the show.
Blend two or more cultures through “fusion cuisine”
Like music, food is meant to generate experiences.
It doesn’t matter how strikingly different the food is in your country and your fiance’s country. Fusion cuisine is so popular these days, and many restaurants and catering companies are offering them. Therefore, merging cultures through food is incredibly easy… and yummy too!
In addition to fusion meals, consider adding authentic, traditional options from each culture to your menu. For example, a Japanese wedding would most likely have a fish dish, plenty of red rice, and seaweed. Meanwhile, fruitcake is a staple in British weddings.
You can set up two food stations – one featuring traditional food from your culture and another one from your fiance. This way, you can have peace of mind that both your families and guests will enjoy their meals and, at the same time, get to try different cuisine.
Blend the ring exchange ceremony
Wedding ceremonies largely differ across cultures. However, a common practice in most countries and religions is the exchange of rings.
Wedding rings symbolize the union of two people. In Christian weddings, rings are exchanged after the vows have taken place. In traditional Jewish weddings, only the groom offers the ring.
In an Indian Sagai ceremony, where the bride and groom have several engagement and wedding festivities that can last up to a year, couples exchange gold rings in the presence of their family.
In Muslim weddings, grooms are not allowed to wear gold rings, while brides can choose any rings they want.
When planning a multicultural wedding, it’s important to have a basic education in gems and jewelry so you can pick the right bands.
It’s definitely okay if you don’t have matching wedding bands. What’s important is that you’re able to blend important traditions into a meaningful ceremony.
Be daring with your fashion
If you’ve seen or attended a Hindu wedding before, you know how elaborate, colorful and festive this kind of wedding is. This makes a multicultural wedding with a Christian or Western partner challenging.
Well, it’s possible to merge two contrasting wedding setups. You just have to be bold with your fashion choices.
For example, you can combine Hindu traditions in decor, attire, and ceremony with western style receptions. The bride can wear a Hindu wedding dress in white!
When in doubt, decide based on what feels comfortable for both of you. If you’re marrying someone from Mexico and don’t see yourself wearing a colorful floral gown, wear the dress style you want and consider incorporating details from the other tradition. For example, a beautiful white dress with white floral laces or embellishments. On a different note, if you’re marrying someone from India, you can try traditional sarees for the engagement ceremony.
Choose the venue and vendors who will accommodate you
To successfully pull off a multicultural wedding, make sure you work with vendors who understand your needs.
Luckily, many event planning companies today offer services for multicultural weddings. Instead of doing it all by yourself, seeking help from professional planners can make the whole process easier.
It’s important that you communicate properly with your vendors. It’s quite impossible to merge all the traditions from both backgrounds. Before working with a vendor, talk to each other about how you want your multicultural wedding to be.
Determine your cultural “must-haves” and those that you can do without. Always strive for a balance.
When it comes to the venue, pick a site that will accommodate both your traditions. If you’re looking to get married in a religious center like a church or a synagogue, educate yourself about the dos and don’ts.
More Tips to Plan a Multicultural Wedding
Communicate with your guests
Let your guests know you’re having a multicultural wedding. Set expectations. If they’re not supposed to wear certain types of dress, let them know about it. Educate each of your families about inappropriate behavior in the other’s social world.
Personalize your ceremony
Who says you can’t have two different ceremonies at the same time? The ceremony is the most essential part of a wedding. You can’t always combine the ceremonies, especially if it involves contrasting religious rituals and traditions.
But you can have two wedding officiants on your wedding who will conduct the ceremonies for your multicultural wedding.
Combining traditions and cultures (no matter how strikingly different they are) into a single, meaningful wedding ceremony is possible.
Make sure to apply these tips to make the process easier! It’s going to be challenging, for sure. But it’s all worth it.
Lastly, don’t be limited to what society has dictated a wedding to be. Be as unique and bold as both of you are. After all, it’s your occasion.