If you are planning a mixed cultural wedding there are several things you need to consider. Embrace both cultures to create a beautiful and unique wedding.
Your family's opinions and vision of your wedding might create obstacles, especially if they are the ones paying for it! Creating a wedding that respects both family's religions and cultures can be done and be absolutely beautiful.
The first thing you need to do, before even thinking about the revenue, date or theme, is sit down and talk with you fiancé about which traditions are the most important to you. Being open with each other about what you want included and what can be left out will make things a lot easier.
The next step is to sit down with both of your families, preferably at separate times. Ask them for advice and let them know that you want to respect and honor the family traditions, but need to make this ceremony a fusion of both.
Although every couple is different and you want your wedding to be unique, you also want your wedding to show your personality and your heritage. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
One of the most common solutions for a mixed wedding is to have two separate ceremonies. However, when finances wont allow for two ceremonies, you need to be creative and find a way to mesh both cultures into one ceremony.
- Invitations: Send out two sets of invitations. One in each language so that no one feels left out.
- Location: If your religions clash, consider holding the ceremony in a non-religious venue. A park, a hall, a ballroom, a country or garden club are great options.
- Programs: Two sets of programs, in the same style and theme but one in each language. You can even personalize them with a small note to your family in your native language on near the bottom.
- Music: Alternate music throughout the ceremony from each culture. Sticking with instrumentals will make the transition from song to song smooth.
- Readings: Alternate the readings from one language to the next. You don't want to do every reading in both languages because it will make your ceremony too long.
- Vows: Recite vows in your native language, so that both set of parents and families understand completely.
- Reception: Take care when arranging the seating, making sure that everyone is sitting with someone they can communicate with. (You don't want your Aunt Evelyn sitting at a table of non-English speaking guests).
- Decor: Your set up should show both cultures. Including flowers, lighting and even positioning of the tables. Creating centerpieces with flowers and candles that represent both your heritages will make your families feel at home.
Give opportunity for everyone to mesh and mingle. The dance floor is the perfect opportunity for this! Again, you will want to alternate music from each culture to keep your guests happy and involved.
- Menu: Finding the perfect food for everyone is a difficult task. However, you can arrange your buffets to have two separate stations catering to both cultures. Or if you are using a menu, have options designed around both cultures. Find a caterer in your area to help you design the perfect pallet for your reception.
Remember, your wedding is about you and your spouse. It is the beginning of a new and happy adventure that will take you places you have never been. Make sure to merge your style, character and personality as well as your spouse's! With a little planning and creativity your wedding will be beautiful, unique and respectful to both of your heritages.