6 Ways To Pull Off The Perfect Multi-Cultural Wedding

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Incorporating two different cultures into one wedding can be tricky at best. Combing the two cultures, while respectfully honouring the traditions and customs of both, will take careful planning, a lot of respect and a bit of extra effort. But getting it right will result in a fabulous, not to mention truly memorable, day.

Whether you go for subtle touches throughout or outright splendour from the start, our 6 Top Tips will help you pull off a balance that’s both beautiful and harmonious:

1. It Doesn’t Have To Be White, Ivory Or Cream
Every bride wants to wow in her choice of gown, and brides all over the world do just that while staying true to their own style and the expectations of their culture. From gorgeously vibrant saris to sumptuous silk kimonos, adjust your bridal vision a little, and you can look equally amazing on your big day. A dress or three? Yes, you read that correctly! Chinese brides often have a dress for the ceremony, one for the celebrations and a cocktail dress to finish the evening. Putting cost aside we can’t imagine any bride complaining about that!

2. Mix Up The Service
Marrying into a different culture often means embracing another religion. If religion is a predominant element of either culture it will be an important feature of the wedding. You could opt for a prayer from one faith and a blessing from the other, for example, or take your vows in the native language of your groom and vice versa. You could even have an officiant from both cultures conducting the ceremony.

3. Venue And Décor
Choosing a neutral venue and styling it according to the tradition of either culture can be an option – you can go subtle, dramatic, or something in between. Or you might want to have the ceremony in a building symbolic to one particular culture, such as a temple or a mosque. Incorporate your favourite customs and traditions into the details. Choice of colour and flowers alone can say a lot. Red, for example, symbolises love, happiness and good fortune at a Chinese wedding, while marigold orange, bright yellow and red symbolise the vibrancy of life in India.

4. Evening Entertainment
Dancing and singing is a feature of most cultures around the world. Whether it’s a Brazilian Samba, an African drum band or otherwise, something different will really bring a cultural vibe to the celebrations. Or, how about a fun custom? In Germany, the bride and groom saw a log in half as a sign they can work to overcome hardships together, while Swedish tradition permits female guests to steal a cheeky kiss from the groom whenever the bride leaves the room!

5. Food’s The Limit
When it comes to food you want to keep guests from both cultures happy. Keep it simple with a starter and dessert from one culture and main from the other, or perhaps a clever fusion of both. For something more casual consider a buffet style meal with tasting stations containing dishes and delicacies from both cultures.

multi-cultural wedding

6. Don’t Forget The Cake
As if you would! You might consider having two cakes, one from each culture, or compromise with one from your groom’s cultural background – not all wedding “cakes” are sponge, buttercream and icing. In Sweden, for example, they have a Prinsesstårta, or “princess cake”, consisting of a marzipan-covered dome cake topped by a small fondant rose, while the French make a croquembouche – a tower of cream-filled choux buns, coated in caramel and decorated with spun sugar.

However you mix it up, embracing and honouring one another’s heritages on your special day is a great start for any multi-cultural union.

By Linda Browne, Excalibur Press