Planning the perfect wedding is a difficult undertaking. So many decisions to make and so many people to please. When two people from totally different cultures decide to get hitched, there is the added dimension of trying to represent each culture within the day. We have a few tips on how to make this work.
- Incorporate Food
Food plays a major role in most cultures and therefore incorporating cultural food into your big day is a great way of representing your cultures. If you can find a self-catering venue or a venue that offers diverse cuisine represent your two cultures in your wedding breakfast. Alternatively serve one of your cultural foods for the wedding breakfast and the opposite for the evening buffet.
Music can be a strong representation of culture and is a great way of sharing your culture in a fun way. Hire a DJ (or a combination of DJ’s) that can accommodate both of your musical tastes as well as play some of the best of your native music. Sit down with your fiancé and create a selection of your top ten favourite tracks from both of your cultures. Get both of your families to recommend tracks to be featured if you really want to get everyone involved.
- Live Music & Performances
If you really want to make a statement, why not get a live musician or band to perform traditional music. If dance is a significant part of one of your cultures, hire professional dancers to perform. This can be a great way to really bring your cultures to life whilst also adding a bit of fun and flavour to your wedding.
- Incorporate your flags or cultural prints
From invites to favours, there are lots of opportunities to include the colours from your respective flags into your wedding. If you do not like the colours from your flags, utilise symbols or prints to represent your cultures. If you are a Bajan marrying a Ghanaian why not use an Ankara print on your wedding stationary with traditional Bajan sayings printed on your favours?
- Cultural Attire
Wearing traditional attire can be a visually stunning representation of culture. Some people opt to marry in the traditional white dress and suit, then change into traditional cultural attire in the evening. Why not request that your guests wear traditional wear?This is guaranteed to look beautiful in your pictures. A less obvious way could be to incorporate elements of traditional fabric into your outfits. This could include traditional print ties and/or handkerchiefs for the groomsmen with traditional print head wraps or scarves for the bridesmaids.
- Have a traditional ceremony
In various cultures the wedding is not just the day of exchanging vows but there are a number of additional ceremonies that precede the main event. Ranging from one day to two week long affairs, traditional ceremonies can be a great way to satisfy traditional families. If you want your day your way then why not let your fiancés family organise a traditional ceremony for you as well. That way, they get what they want and you get another day to dress up and be the centre of attention.
7. Traditional Customs
Some cultures have very specific customs that are typically included in their weddings. Why not incorporate one or two into your big day as a sign of respect to one or both of your cultures. A few examples include:
Why not serve drinks from your countries of origin? Jamaican Rum or Guinness Punch paired with copious amounts of Vodka in the Polish tradition. Japanese sake paired with Spanish Sangria.
How did you incorporate your cultures into your cross cultural wedding?