Planning a Unique Multi-Cultural Marriage Ceremony
More and more today, couples are finding it necessary to forego the traditional white wedding steeped in western ideals. With over 1.6 million multi-cultural marriage in the United States, the day of “cookie-cutter” ceremonies is a thing of the past. Creating that “unique style” however, is a challenge.
While some couples may prefer to keep their wedding culturally neutral, most will opt for a mix of religious, traditional and ethnic flavors. Be creative! Nothing is taboo as long as you remember to be respectful of the religious aspect of the ceremony and the traditions each side of the family brings to the table.
Tip #1 — In choosing the location for your wedding, you have two basic choices. Hold two separate ceremonies that highlight each culture or have one ceremony in one location.
Tip #2 — Starting with the invitations, the couple can be sure that each family’s traditions are represented. For instance, the front of the invitation can highlight one culture and the inside can showcase the traditional wording belonging to the other culture.
Tip#3 — In choosing the flowers for the wedding, creativity is the key. Mix it up by selecting arrangements native to each culture. The choices are numerous due to the fact that there will be flowers for the bride, surrounding the ceremony, in the bridal party, along the aisle, for the flower girl to sprinkle and at the reception!
Tip #4 — The wedding ceremony can be as unique as the two of you! Combine religion with ethnic traditions. Express to the officiating minister your desire to mix it up.
Tip #5 — The bride and groom’s wedding attire is where you can really shine! One fine way to emphasize the couple’s acceptance of a multi-cultural marriage is for each to wear the traditional attire of their spouse’s heritage. The families will especially appreciate the gesture.
Tip #6 — Selecting the music for the wedding and for the reception is a delightful way to blend multiple cultures. In particular, choosing music that evokes a religious blessing will bring unity amongst the families.
Tip #7 — Along with multi-cultural music at the reception, you will want to include both cultures on the dance floor as well. It can be both a learning experience and a fun expression of one’s heritage for both families as they witness (and hopefully TRY) each other’s dance.
Tip #8 — Perhaps the easiest way for mixing up the cultures is the reception menu. Whether you choose to have it catered or not, having two stations for the food dishes makes everything flow smoothly. Set up two stations to feature ethnic foods from each culture.
Tip #9 — Try to personalize food dishes by doing a little research within the families. What is your new father-in-law’s favorite dish? Does anyone have food allergies? Is it Aunt Millie who eats only vegan? Kosher?
Tip #10 — Finally, show off your multi-cultural marriage by having cultural wedding favors for your guests.