Marrying traditions can be both inspiring and confusing. When planning a multicultural wedding there are so many factors at play. Finding ways to blend both families' cultures plus, your own. Deciding with traditions to keep and which to omit. Not to mention, finding the right wedding vendors who understand what an undertaking planning a multicultural wedding can be.
When carefully considered and embraced, multicultural weddings often are the most spectacular affairs. Not only do you get to introduce your family and friends to new cultural traditions. By merging the two, you can choose to create your own new traditions yourselves.
But, when we said “carefully considered” we meant it. It's important to ask yourself a number of questions as you plan. This way you and your wedding vendor team (and family) are on the same page. That's why we reached out to a number of wedding pros to find out which questions you need to ask yourselves and your team. Additionally, these experienced wedding professionals share how to come to a consensus on each.
1. What do my guests need to know?
“Provide information for guests that might be new to events within your culture(s). Your wedding website is a great option! Include things like the meaning of special traditions and ceremonies, dress code dos and don’ts, and food specifics. You could even create a super simple infographic sheet (try a template on Canva!) to send along with your invitations.” – Daria, Creative Manager, Precious Pics
2. How much of your culture and heritage do you want to incorporate?
“Growing up in an Iranian household myself, keeping traditions and teaching them to my friends and children have only become more prominent as I've gotten older. Thinking back on planning a wedding, a few things come to mind: how much of your culture/heritage do you want to incorporate? What elements do you love and think you would want to include? It's your wedding and like everything else, you can do it YOUR way. Whether you infuse traditional spices into the food/drink, to entertainment and decor. Incorporating as little or as much of your culture is a personal decision. But, be sure to stay true to who you are too. There's always a way to find the happy medium.” – Katy Haley, Bridal Bliss
3. How many guests can our dream wedding venue accommodate?
“If you're planning a large-scale celebration, you'll want to be sure the venue you're considering has the capacity (both seated and standing). Check that it has the event space, amenities, and expertise you’ll need to make your multicultural wedding go off without a hitch. Ask how many guests they can accommodate. Also, ask if they've held multicultural weddings there before and if they have an experienced on-site coordinator. It's also important to inquire about rentals. Does the venue have an adequate inventory of tables and chairs or even restrooms? Or, will you have to secure additional rentals to accommodate everyone?” – Jenna Miller, Creative Director of Here Comes The Guide
4. Can we plan two ceremonies?
“You can either make it an all-day affair. Start with one ceremony in the morning and have your guest come back for the later ceremony. Then, continue on to the reception. Or, start mid-afternoon and do them one after another and continue on!” – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events
5. If you have two different ceremonies, will you have two receptions?
“Hiring a wedding planner would be highly recommended in order to keep everything organized. First, they can find the right venues for each event. Then, they will plan out the best timeline for not only the events themselves but also the getting ready time and transportation in relation to all of the people involved, events and attire. It also may be possible to utilize vendor services across several events, which a planner can help with as well. When having two different ceremonies, a big question is: Will you have two different receptions as well? Or, will there be two ceremonies with one combined cultural reception? The budget is a big influence in this decision-making process as well.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides
6. What are the must-capture moments?
“Run through your ceremony and the day as a whole. Make a list of moments that will be sacred for filming and photographing to provide to your photographer and videographer. It’ll help them to be sure to capture the moments that will mean the most to you and your families!” – Daria, Creative Manager, Precious Pics
7. How will you manage language differences?
“Embrace it! Have an officiant that speaks both languages, or even three if that's unique to you both as a couple! A nice touch is to also have your ceremony, speeches, and any other moments that would need translation, all printed in booklets and pre-translated. That way, everyone can follow and pay attention to what is being said instead of disconnecting. Make sure you get your planner or maid of honor to help with this so that you don't see the speeches.” – Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, La Fete
8. Can your vendors keep traditions but also include modern elements?
“While multicultural weddings are brimming with traditions, remember to honor what you and your fiancé envisioned for this day. Stay true to what you both want. Maybe you both are a bit more modern and only want some elements reflected in the ceremony. Make sure to work with vendors that are flexible in tradition and offer modern-day elements!” – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events
9. What are the most crucial components?
“When planning a multicultural wedding, it’s important for the couple to first determine the most crucial components. That might be language or faith-based or important traditions and customs. There are many ways to infuse cultures and approach the celebration from a hybrid perspective. One way to ease the couple’s mind is to work with a planner that has experience in multicultural planning and/or has access to a diverse team that speaks multiple languages. Working with a team that has a vast understanding of your religious or cultural traditions will simplify the process. So, then you can incorporate the most important aspects of both parties into your wedding day.” – HoneyFitz Events
10. How can we best respect different traditions?
“Blend them, pick your favorites, and embrace new ones! Your wedding is yours. Make it the bespoke melting pot of traditions that you as a couple are.” – Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, La Fete
Why not take inspiration from real couples? Browse a variety of stunning multicultural weddings on our blog.