All weddings are a special occasions, and no matter how extravagant or simple they may be they all have one thing in common- they all require some degree of planning. The amount of work and planning needed to pull off your perfect wedding depends on many factors, most of which you actually have a great deal of control over. However, one wedding that usually requires more thought and planning than any of the others is the multicultural or blended wedding. Trying to merge two cultures and two sets of wedding traditions into one ceremony can be a daunting challenge, but many couples pull it off every year. And here at Cashmere Dreams, we can help you plan the perfect wedding that features the best elements of both your cultures. A blended wedding is a perfect reflection of the blended life you are going to embark on together so we wanted to share some simple tips to help make this moment less stressful and more enjoyable!
1 Consider what will work
There are many ways the new couple-to-be can take their different cultural backgrounds and turn it into a single ceremony that can celebrate their union. Some couple want to preserve the full rich cultures of their unique wedding traditions. Many cultures have elaborate and involved ceremonies and customs attached to a wedding, traditional Indian, Jewish, and Celtic weddings are just a few examples. Others have deeply rooted aspects that many grow up expecting to see in their wedding- traditional Christian and Catholic weddings for example. The customs are so vastly different and beautiful and important that some couples cannot dream of attempting to merge them together.
For these couples, they choose to have two separate weddings- one for each of their cultures. These are often held back to back on the same day in the same venue and in front of the same family and friends. A joint reception is typically held after both ceremonies have been completed. But this is by no means the only way to do it and for many couples the final decision can come down to a matter of logistics and factors such as timing, cost, location, and guests more than anything else.
2.Plan ahead accordingly
If you’re thinking about planning two separate wedding celebrations you are going to need to be sure you are giving yourself enough time to plan all of the details of this combined wedding or double wedding ceremony. It can be stressful to plan a wedding and when you are planning two weddings or a wedding of two distinct cultures that can bring even more work and stress. So, make sure you are not pushing too fast and trying to cram too much in to your wedding planning period. It is better to take the time to plan things out, focus on the details you want to include from each culture, and go slower rather than pushing too fast. You will enjoy any wedding better if you are able to focus on it and plan things carefully.
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, and while it is the most common option for a blended wedding, it still requires a lot of careful planning and tricky logistics. You must give yourself time to plan and must count on each step taking longer than a traditional wedding. Venue, food, flowers, dresses, and décor will all take more time to get right when it is a multicultural wedding you are working on so plan accordingly.
3.Engage both cultures in the ceremony
There are so many fun and creative ways to incorporate details from each side and help the families understand more about each other. Food is needed in any wedding celebration and is a key part of the reception for your celebration. At the reception, an easy way to blend your wedding is to include food from both backgrounds. It gives everyone something they are familiar with and gives them a chance to try something new and exciting at the same time. Also consider the décor for both the wedding and the reception area and see what creative ways you can blend elements together and Cashmere Dreams can help with the planning and can make sure you are creating a memorable look for your wedding.
Many cultural weddings involve a large number of rituals unfamiliar to those outside of the culture. If you are including such elements into your wedding celebration you may want to think about explaining what’s happening during the stages of your ceremony so that none of the guests feel left out. You can do this in the program quite easily and have everyone follow along with the ceremony. You can also infuse your different cultures and traditions into your music choices for your reception for an easy blending that way too.
4.Stay true your own flare
In the midst of incorporating two cultures, it’s easy to forget that you and your groom have your own unique style, too. Be sure you are incorporating your own likes and interests and desires-it is a wedding for both of you and should reflect both of you in its specific elements. Even within the rituals and traditions of your individual cultures there are elements you likely can choose to include or not include based on what you like and want. Remember that the “theme” you choose for your wedding doesn’t necessarily have to reflect your culture — it can also include your own personal tastes and the cultural aspects that you include in the wedding that can complement that theme.
No matter what kind of wedding you are planning, a blended wedding or two separate weddings for the cultures you represent, you need to remember this is your wedding. Yes, you want to do justice to the cultural aspects you both represent, but you also want to keep it a wedding that lives up to your hopes and dreams and desires. A perfect cultural wedding, with all the cultural nods and traditional elements included, will mean little if it is not a wedding you can enjoy and be happy about!
5.Get help and stay organized.
Planning a mixed culture wedding is a big job and many brides find planning a traditional wedding to be a challenging undertaking. The stress of planning and organizing a blended wedding is too much for any one bride and one groom to take on alone. Working with professional wedding planners who have experience with blended multicultural weddings can be a huge relief. Their experience and insight and skills will be invaluable and will go a long way in taking some of the stress and worry out of the planning process. Cashmere Dreams has wedding planners who can help you organize and stay on track with your planning and help you blend the two cultures you represent!
You also should take help that is offered from family members. They can also be an invaluable source of help. Even if you do not want your Mother in Law doing the decorating for your wedding she can still help and be involved. She can help organize appointments and make phone calls or pick up things from the various vendors helping you with your wedding. Other family members can help be additional pairs of eyes and ears or feet to run errands and can help you keep track of things when your mind starts to spin out of control.
6.A little goes a long way…
Some weddings are beautiful because of what they show and others are beautiful because of what they do not put on display. For some new couples to be, subtlety and simplicity in design is a lost art when planning weddings. The biggest risk with trying to blend two cultures is that you can try to put too much in and things can quickly take a turn for the tacky. This is especially true if cultural aspects of your wedding ceremonies general involve bright colors like traditional Indian weddings do or lots of celebratory processions and events such as a traditional Jewish wedding. When blending powerhouse cultures, a delicate hand is needed in order to blend things just right.
You can create a stunning venue for your wedding and when planning décor for a fusion wedding, remember that a little goes a long way. Many small touches can give you the cultural representation you are looking for. Consider flowers from your country of origin or using traditional wedding colors in the table spreads. Or you can weave a single cultural design element into every aspect of your wedding décor and design. It is possible to integrate elements of both cultures into a traditional style wedding even without going overboard.
7.Keep lines of communication open
For most brides, a wedding is inherently an affair and there are many options, suggestions, ideas, arguments, disagreements, and discussions that are sure to occur during the course of planning the wedding. It’s important to take your loved ones’ feelings into consideration but everyone has to also remember that you are the one who has the final say in decision-making. Keeping lines of communication open with family members is important to avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Taking the time to reach out and listen to what’s important to them prevents any misunderstandings or unfulfilled expectations later on. It is also the best way to reduce the levels of stress involved with planning a blended wedding.
Open lines of communication have everything to do with planning a successful wedding when everything is ‘normal’ but it is doubly true when it comes to multicultural weddings. There’s even more potential for one side or the other to feel left out, ignored, neglected, downplayed, or overlooked in the wedding planning and the ceremony itself. So, make sure you chat openly with family members on both sides about the various aspects of your wedding ceremony to ensure that you can properly honor both of your backgrounds.
8.Keep things in perspective.
Until many couples are planning their wedding, they really do not realize how much weddings have come to be seen as something of a sport. Some brides want the biggest and fanciest wedding that they can get. They see the wedding as the opportunity to show their flare and style and abilities. It’s easy to get wrapped up a bigger is better mindset and that can lead to the situation where brides keep trying to one-up all their friends and all the other weddings they have seen or been to. They start spending all their time, and energy, and money on trying to make sure everything is perfect. This pressure can intensify when you’re planning a multicultural wedding and two cultures have to be equally represented.
While there’s nothing wrong with getting into the planning phase and there is no sin in wanting everything to be prefect with your multicultural wedding, it is not worth losing sight of the real reason for the wedding. This is a celebration that focuses on the start of your journey to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. So as hard as it is, try not to get sucked into this competitive nature of the modern multicultural wedding and remember the only thing that truly matters is your new life with your loved one.
Contact Cashmere Dreams Today
We here at Cashmere Dreams are ready to help you with every aspect of planning your multicultural wedding. We will work to help you with any and all phases of wedding planning and cultural blending. Whether you want assistance with the entire wedding-planning process or just need help with one or two aspects, we are her for you! If you are getting ready for a blended wedding you know how nerve wracking it can be so let us help you with all of the necessary details that are need to make your multicultural wedding one to remember and one that can honor both of your cultures!