10 Ways to Make Your Multicultural Wedding Memorable
These ideas highlight each partner's culture and religion.
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Blending Families Through Tradition
When cultures come together, they don’t need to clash. There are details, both large and small, that you can incorporate into your multicultural or interfaith wedding to make it one for the ages. Whether you have a 90-Day Fiancé or a longtime love, here are 10 ideas and elements that you can include to make sure your wedding is representative of both of your backgrounds.
If you can afford it, channel your inner Nick and Priyanka Jonas by having two ceremonies. This way, each person’s culture and traditions get their own spotlight. The ceremonies can be held on either the same or separate days, depending upon your budget, wedding planning and social stamina. This option requires much more planning, a larger financial investment and is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up to the challenge, your guests will be feeling double the love at your dual ceremonies!
Before you say yes to that dress, be sure to take note of cultural and religious details that can be incorporated into the bride and bridesmaids’ dresses. For example, red symbolizes luck in Chinese culture and dresses with trains are popular with brides of Scottish heritage. Pick one cultural or religious symbol to incorporate or include as many as you'd like!
Flowers are small details that can say so much! For example, to symbolize both her past and present, Meghan Markle’s coat of arms featured both golden poppies, California’s state flower, and Wintersweets, a flower that grows at Kensington Palace. Every flower has cultural and symbolic meaning, so pick the ones that best represent you and your match! The flowers can be featured in the bouquet, groomsmen lapels, or as centerpieces at the ceremony and reception.
Vows are a great place to wow your guests with personal touches. Make your parents and grandparents smile by choosing a traditional vow. Go the extra mile for your bride or groom by reciting vows in their native language or in accordance with their culture’s customs and traditions. Whatever you decide, it will be extremely memorable and may even earn you a few happy tears from your guests and partner!
Symbols both large and small can make an enormous impression on your family and friends! For example, in many cultures, coins are a prominent wedding symbol. In addition to performing a ritual or custom with the actual money, leave some chocolate coins on each table at the reception as a way of including your guests in the celebration. Little ideas like that will have your guests applauding your creativity.
Food presents numerous opportunities to bring cultures together. What better way to celebrate a blending of cultures than a blending of flavors and cuisines! If you want to play it safe, have your reception dinner buffet style with dishes from both yours and your partner’s cultures. Feeling more adventurous? Meet with your caterer or venue’s chef and come up with a delicious fusion menu. When it comes to the wedding cake, you also have tons of options. Dessert buffets and a multi-tiered, multi-flavored cake are all great routes to take to celebrate such a sweet occasion!
Make Traditions Your Own
Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines! There’s no shame in wanting to follow your culture or faith’s traditions to a T, but don’t be afraid to add or take away elements to fit your liking. Weddings are not one-size-fits-all events. Every bride, groom and couple are perfectly unique and that should shine through on your big day. You have the freedom to deviate from traditional colors, opt out of a fruitcake dessert or skip the ceremonial dance if you choose to. What’s most important is that you do you.
Music and Dancing
Song and dance has always transcended culture. In addition to crowd favorites and Top 40 pop songs, tell your DJ or band to play some music from yours and your partner’s cultures. If you want to kick it up a notch, teach members of the wedding party a traditional dance to perform for your guests. It’s sure to be a big hit and who knows? It may go viral online!
Prevent Guest Faux Pas
Education is key. Your guests may be unfamiliar with your or your partner’s customs, traditions and rituals. Don't forget to educate them both before and even during your ceremony. Include a dress code for the venue and ceremony, and a cheat sheet of history and facts surrounding rituals that will be performed.
Stay True to You!
When it comes to planning your multicultural or interfaith wedding, don’t get lost in the details. Take a step back and remember that your wedding day, first and foremost, is a celebration of love, unity and togetherness. As long as your wedding has those elements, it’s already perfect.