The world becomes more of a cultural melting pot every day. As the distances between us seem to lessen, more and more couples have roots in different and distinct cultures. The bride and groom may want to create a ceremony that blends their heritages together, allowing each to pay respect to where they came from while starting their new life as one.
But it can be tricky to find suitable ways to pay reverence to their unique backgrounds and throw the multicultural wedding of your dreams. With that in mind, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Identify Aspects of Importance
Weddings are composed of a range of smaller traditions, and the bride and groom may feel strongly about including specific parts while others may not feel as critical. Before you begin planning the wedding, couples should sit down and discuss any aspects that they feel must be included in the ceremony. This allows each person to focus on the traditions that matter most and can help provide a framework upon which you can plan the rest of the ceremony.
Some traditions are easy to integrate into any ceremony regardless of the other elements in place. For example, the jumping the broom ceremony can be added to almost any wedding or reception with ease. Even if family members or friends in attendance aren’t familiar with the tradition, it is also easy to explain its symbolic meaning to help each side of the family understand one another’s culture more fully. The same can be said for breaking the glass in the Jewish faith, or the unity candle tradition in Catholic ceremonies.
2. Say it with Colour and Pattern
Another way to bring your heritages together is through the use of colour. Asian wedding planners know the significance of a variety of colours in traditional Asian ceremonies. For example, the colour red is considered good luck in Chinese and Korean culture, so a Chinese or Korean bride or groom may want red to be featured prominently in the ceremony. Indian weddings are also traditionally bright and vibrant which can make a wide broad of colours highly appropriate. Various embroidered designs on fabric can also pay homage to traditional offerings from a person’s home country.
Similarly to understanding a person’s need for a particular colour or pattern, respect each other’s need to avoid certain colours in the ceremony. For example, yellow roses were thought to represent jealousy in the Victorian era, and some prefer to avoid them today.
3. Fusion Cuisine
The reception is also an excellent place to blend cultures together. Consider offering an array of foods that acknowledge the varied history of the bridal party. This can be a fun addition, and can also make family members who are more traditional find something familiar amongst the offerings. Granted, this may be more challenging if a full lunch or dinner will be served, but can work very well for buffets or receptions that only feature light hors d’oeuvres. Desserts can also reflect a person’s cultural heritage if you want to have more than a wedding cake, or prefer to replace the wedding cake tradition with another option.
Granted, this may be more challenging if a full lunch or dinner will be served, but can work very well for buffets or receptions that only feature light hors d’oeuvres. Desserts can also reflect a person’s cultural heritage if you want to have more than a wedding cake, or prefer to replace the wedding cake tradition with another option.
4. Consider Two Officiants
Some officiants are open to performing a wedding ceremony jointly with an officiant of a different faith or culture. In this way, both cultures can be recognised fully, and properly, by someone who is intimately familiar with the traditions, and the bride and groom can each have their unique perspectives included.
This may also be a favourable option for situations where family traditions are held strongly by certain family members. While a wedding should not be all about appeasing the guests, sometimes it is easier to find an option upon which everyone can agree.