Advertising
Advertising

4 Ways To Blend Traditions To A Multicultural Wedding Ceremony

4 Ways To Blend Traditions To A Multicultural Wedding Ceremony

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

record player and mac Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data? person on laptop Not Using a Digital Marketing Strategy? Here’s Why You’re Missing Out 2 men grappling Interested in Martial Arts? You’ll Need Gear Want to Improve Your Fitness? Consider Martial Arts wrapped present How to Select a Great Gift for Anyone and for Any Occasion

Trending in 20-Something

1 One Solid Practice for Tackling Low Self-Esteem 2 If You Want To Get Help From Others Easily, Remember To Avoid This Mistake 3 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience 4 What GoT Would Be Like if the Characters Used Social Media 5 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next