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Planning a Multicultural, Interfaith Wedding

There are many ways that couples from different cultural backgrounds can choose to celebrate their union. I work on many multicultural weddings, and it’s always an honour to plan them in the name of love. 

For some couples, they may choose to have two separate weddings in order to do the merging of two culture’s justice. However, if the customs from the backgrounds of my couple are vastly different, some of them choose not to merge them together at all.  But these are by no means the only ways to execute a multicultural, interfaith wedding.  Here are some tips to help you plan your magical multicultural, interfaith wedding: 

1. Consider Cost. 

From my experience, blending two different cultures together is always more expensive, no matter how you plan it.  You can minimise these costs by combining the ceremonies, but it will still require a lot of planning.  So funds can be a significant factor when deciding whether to combine your ceremonies. If you get a good deal with a venue that you love, it might make financial sense to hold two ceremonies there on the same day.  If your funds are limited, and you’d rather get the best possible vendors for the money that you’re spending, it might just make more sense to concentrate finances on one ceremony.   

2. Consider Location. 

 Your deciding factor may well be the location of your ceremony and where most of your guests are located.  Would you have two separate ceremonies if for example, a lot of your guests are from Leicester, and the groom’s side from Cambridge?  Would you invite the same set of guests at both ceremonies? If the bride and groom have families in closer proximity, or if one side has a much larger guest list than the other, it might be easier to throw just one multicultural wedding. 

3. Plan ahead. 

If you’re thinking about planning two separate wedding celebrations, I’d recommend hosting them six months apart. It’s not too long that it seems strange to have your second wedding and not too short that you end up planning both simultaneously.  Even if you’re hosting just one event, still leave enough time to incorporate everything from both cultures. While this option might seem easier at first, it still requires a lot of careful planning and tricky logistics. This is something we pride ourselves on being able to do, and would be more than happy to help coordinate. 

4. Incorporate both cultures. 

There are so many creative ways to incorporate details from each side – this also helps families understand more about each other.  Here are a few ideas to consider: 

Food:  A fusion of food that incorporates specialities from both backgrounds is a great way to make guests explore different flavours, and also discuss the food items with one another.   

Rituals: Many cultural weddings, especially Indian weddings, involve a lot of rituals unfamiliar to those outside of the culture. It’s always a good idea to explain what’s happening at each stage of the ceremony (maybe in the program), so that everyone can follow what is happening.  We at Priti Raichura Events offer a whole translation of the service in English and other languages should the couple chose this as a service. 

Music: The reception is a great way to play a fusion of music but also incorporate traditional wedding dances from both cultures. 

5. Infuse your own style. 

In the midst of incorporating two cultures, it’s easy to forget that you both have your own unique style, too.  Don’t let it get lost in the mix!  Make sure you both incorporate your ideas too that also include your own personal tastes as a couple. 

6.  Don’t shy away from getting help.  

Make use of all the help friends and family offer.  Friends and family love getting involved, and you can share different tasks with them and give them something to help you with to allow them to feel involved.  Having this kind of help is key when you’re on the hook to pull off not just one, but two big events.  

7. Communicate! 

This is doubly true when it comes to multicultural weddings. There’s a lot of potential for one side or the other to feel neglected or hurt, even if it was unintentional on your part. So make sure you chat with trusted family members on both sides about every part of your event to ensure that everything is executed in a way that respects and honours both of your backgrounds. Taking the time to reach out and listen to what’s important to them prevents any misunderstandings or unfulfilled expectations later on. 

8. Keep things in perspective. 

Most couples start to stress themselves out as soon as the term ‘Wedding Planning’ is used. A lot of couples may feel like they need to have the best, most creative, unique, stunning, and perfectly-crafted wedding that will unfold flawlessly, like a movie.  This pressure can intensify when you’re planning a multicultural wedding. While there’s nothing wrong having wedding details, it’s important to remember that all of that detail “stuff” is secondary to the reason why you’re doing all of this in the first place: To celebrate spending the rest of your life with the person you love. 

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