Intercultural unions are pretty familiar nowadays. While it is getting common, it does not get any easier. We all know how planning a wedding can be very overwhelming and complicated. So just imagine planning a wedding with people having different traditions, customs, beliefs, and backgrounds.
Where do you start?
Let us share with you some considerations in planning a cross-cultural wedding:
1. Ceremony or ceremonies?
For many engaged couples belonging to different cultures, it might be more practical for them to host two wedding ceremonies. It would probably be much easier than trying to merge multicultural wedding traditions and trying to bring together both circle of family and friends in one celebration. You can hold the ceremonies six months apart so that they are not so far apart and at the same time you do not need to plan for both events simultaneously.
On the other hand, if both your families and friends are in the same area or at least not so far apart, you can just pull of a single ceremony. In this case, you need to carefully decide on the traditions that matter to both cultures or religions the most.
2. Religious institution
Having different religions is another important consideration. If neither of you is converting to an agreed religion, you need to make sure interfaith marriage is allowed in your religious doctrine. Will officiants from your religion perform your wedding altogether or do you need to have two separate ceremonies?
Even though this is going to be your wedding, this special event needs to be discussed with your family and future family. Communicating with them can help you understand the importance of certain traditions. Getting together and planning with them can also help you decide which traditions to incorporate in what part of the wedding ceremony. It is also a great time to discuss other concerns like travel issues or health concerns that need to considered.
4. Cultural intelligence crash course
Preparing for an intercultural wedding also means giving both your families and circle of friends a cultural intelligence crash course. Some of the guests might need to be informed of your cultural backgrounds. Teach them important gestures and basic greetings if there is any language difference.
You also need to inform your families and friends about certain social etiquette that may need to be observed in order to show respect to the other culture. Finally, tell them about certain traditions that they are going to be witnessing during the ceremony. This way, the guests can better understand and appreciate the elements of your intercultural wedding.
5. Venue, food, and other suppliers
Find a venue that can accommodate your needs according to the traditions you will be incorporating in your wedding ceremony. Consider a more culturally-diverse spread of food that both cultures can appreciate and feast on. Find musicians who can play songs that both groups can relate to and enjoy. The same also goes for the rest of the vendors and suppliers. Find those that can understand and provide your unique needs.
Be sure to ask help from close family members or friends to help oversee the preparations. This is not just an ordinary wedding and help from both your family and friends can be very much of great help.
Hiring a wedding planner can also be another option to make it easier for you to pull off a successful intercultural wedding. Just find a reputable planner with experience in such weddings. Don’t leave it all up to the planner, though. Be sure to be clear with your expectations, especially since different cultures are concerned.
Planning for a cross-cultural wedding may not be as easy as you think it is, but by looking into the considerations mentioned above, you can successfully plan for a unique intercultural wedding. You can begin a marriage that oversees differences and chooses to hold on to the beauty of unlikeness.