Planning a Wedding when You’re from Different Cultures 

Planning a wedding can be a stressful time and, adding different cultural backgrounds with varying traditions and customs into the mix, can be fairly complicated. But having a wedding day, or even a number of wedding celebrations, that equally represents the two of you is so important and is most definitely achievable!  

Below I have listed a number of points to consider when it comes to planning a multicultural wedding: 

1. Think about your options.

Do you want to blend both cultures on one day or would you rather have separate celebrations for each? There are pros and cons of both. For example, having one wedding day may be more affordable and will be a lot easier to plan if you’re focusing on just one occasion as opposed to having to organise a number of different events. However, having separate celebrations means you can really focus each one on the different customs and traditions of that culture and it means you can really do justice to each. Take the time to really think carefully about what you and your partner would prefer – try not to rush the decision as you may later regret it. 

2. Understand the cost.

Discussing your budget from the outset is so important when planning any wedding. And, planning a multicultural wedding is understandably going to be more expensive, so understanding your budget early on will help you to figure out exactly how you wish to celebrate. By this I mean, determining how much you have to spend may steer you in the direction of having just one wedding day or multiple events. Also, you may find that family would like to contribute financially towards your wedding so it is important to have the conversations about who is funding what. And don’t forget to be honest with family members who may be contributing financially…are they then permitted to plan your special day with you? This might not be what you want so be sure to have an open and honest discussion around what is expected. 

3. Decide on your location and venue.

This is when having two separate celebrations might be better if you have family in different parts of the country. Generally, your guestlist will be larger with a mixed cultured wedding so, unless you are able to choose a fairly central location for both families, you might want to consider having two so you don’t feel you are excluding one family over the other. As well as the location, the venue is equally as important. You will need to find a venue that has experience in hosting weddings that involve a variety of traditions. For example, do they have the ceremony space that is suitable for your particular culture? Do they allow external caterers on site? Choosing the right venue (or venues) to host your special day is key in bringing your vision to life. 

4. Communicate with both families.

Communication is key! Although you don’t need to take advice from your loved ones, keeping them in the loop about your plans and taking their feelings into consideration when it comes to incorporating traditions that are important to them, is really important. In order to really honour and respect both cultures, it is a good idea to discuss your plans with your closest family members. It is important to remember, however, that you and your partner have the final say on the decision making. 

5. Represent both cultures.

Whether this is through your choice of food, the type of ceremony, the style of décor or the entertainment you opt for, it is important to engage both cultures in your wedding celebrations. And, you can do this in a really fun and creative way. For example, having a fusion menu where you incorporate both types of cuisine, or hiring dancers or musicians that will get all your guests participating in is a really fun way of introducing them to a different cultural background. 

6. Keep your guests informed.

If there are certain rituals or formalities that you want to include in the ceremony, for example, it is a good idea to explain what is happening to your guests – especially those who may be unfamiliar with certain traditions. Having an order of service with everything explained really helps everyone to feel included, and guests will love learning new things about a culture they may know very little about. 

7. Stay true to yourselves.

It is easy to forget when planning a multicultural wedding that this is still yours and your partner’s big day. So, whilst you may want to incorporate a number of meaningful elements that showcase each culture and family background, remember to also include your own personal touches and style. 

8. Be organised and seek help.

Being organised is essential if you are planning more than one celebration! Organising one wedding day can have you lost in countless spreadsheets and piles of admin, so it’s no surprise that organising more than one event can have the potential to take over your life. Make sure you ask for help from family or friends who will be more than willing to get stuck into the planning with you. Or, even better, look into hiring a dedicated wedding planner who will be able to completely take the stress off your hands. 

I have first-hand experience of planning a multicultural wedding, so if you would like any assistance or guidance at all, then be sure to check out my services page or get in touch via my contact form – I have a service designed to suit everyone. 

Wishing you the best of luck with your wedding planning.

Lydia x