Planning a Multicultural Wedding?

Submitted by Heidi on Friday - February 20, 2009

Are you planning a multicultural wedding?  If you are, I'd venture to say that your event has the potential to be spectacular... extraordinary... fun and unique!  Is it possible to successfully blend two very different cultures while at the same time~ honoring your family and guests and helping them to feel comfortable and cared for.  The optimist in me says YES, I think you can!

The realist in me; however, sees the unique challenges you face with planning a multicultural wedding. It's quite possible that not all of your guests will be on board with the compromising of deeply held, traditional customs. What to do?

Talk about it! And, keep talking about it! By talking with your soon-to-be new family and taking a genuine interest in their culture, you'll gain a greater understanding and appreciation of what is important and appropriate to include in your wedding.  Sure, it's your wedding but your genuine interest in their customs and willingness to incorporate one, two, many... of them will earn their respect and gratitude both on your wedding day and beyond!

South Asian Spirit, Save the Date Card

Tips for Successfully Blending Two Cultures

As with all weddings, the goal should be a joyous and celebratory occasion.  But, you can really make your multicultural event truly memorable by promoting understanding and appreciation of another culture.  And, if you're excited but feeling overwhelmed, hiring a specialized wedding planner could be a tremendous help to you.  On with the tips...

  • Programs/Order of Service: a perfect opportunity to explain the meanings behind the customs being upheld.  When your guests understand a certain custom, they are more apt to participate and gain appreciation.
  • Special Music~ Share and explain significant musical pieces with your guests. They will enjoy the music and feel included.
  • Special Dancing~ Tell a story with a special dance, but remember to explain it in your programs.
  • Food~ YES!  Food... a great mediator... plenty of food and drink! An awesome buffet will not force but allow your guests to sample food and drink from a different culture. Seek referrals for caterers who specialize in the cuisine so the food is complementary.
  • Attire~ By changing into traditional dress, you'll promote excitement and interest and start conversations.
  • Use Decorations and Flowers to accent your multicultural event. Create new traditions~ after all, this is your wedding!

Mehndi bridal hands. Painting with henna is an art and a rite of passage, saved for times of celebration like weddings~ believed to bring love and good fortune.

Are you planning a multicultural wedding?  Have you attended a multicultural wedding?  How did it go?  Any suggestions for what works and what doesn't?

Mendhi hands photo: Chrissy Long

Sources: South Asian wedding planning site