Sometimes the differences in couples cultures may be not be considered, particularly when caught up in the euphoria of romance. However, when planning a wedding it is worth taking the time to decide which cultural influences are important to you as a couple and will have the most meaning both at the ceremony and reception afterwards.
At first it may appear that the cultures are very diverse and although it seems simple it is far too often overlooked that just talking to each other’s families can provide an insight into the different traditions and allow you to discover the common ground. You can then take the best of both worlds and create a wedding unique to you as a couple, whilst keeping everyone happy.
As you learn more about each other’s traditions and have an understanding of their origins you can make informed decisions about what you would like to do for you wedding. There will need to be a willingness to compromise on certain aspects as you decide what is important but try to keep a fair balance so that one side of the family does not feel they have to give up more than the other which could breed resentment during the wedding preparations and potentially lead to consequences lasting beyond the wedding day.
If the two cultures are very different then it is worth considering having two ceremonies that best reflect the traditions and religious faiths of the happy couple. If you go for only one type of ceremony which is heavily influenced by one side’s faith then you should consider incorporating aspects of the other culture’s traditions in other areas of the day, such as the choice of colours, stationery, favours and evening entertainment.
It is also important to make all parties aware of the different cultural traditions you have decided to follow before the wedding. If you have decided against a particular tradition that you know an older relative feels is important talk to them about if beforehand, explain your reasons and discuss if there are suitable alternatives. If they are forewarned there are less likely to be repercussions on the day. It is also worth explaining the traditions you are planning to follow to your guests beforehand, perhaps with a note in the invitations, so they know what to expect and will not be offended by something or even laugh at an inappropriate moment.
Multi cultural relationships which embrace both cultures can offer a wealth of opportunities to create a memorable wedding; with influences drawn from different values and beliefs the wedding day experience is enhanced for all attendees giving them an insight into the life you have chosen to lead together. Drawing on different influences can also revitalise and reenergise a ceremony for a modern generation that embraces multi-cultural alliances. Your wedding day is one to be treasured for the rest of your life; with the right approach your multi cultural heritage can be an integral part of what makes the day unique to you both.
Photos courtesy of Marianne Taylor