If you’re a big fan of sentimental ’50s romance movies, you may believe that love is a splendour feeling. And if you’re engaged to a person who grew up in a religion or culture that was different from your own, you know that the feeling of love can also be quite confusing — especially when arrangements for a wedding need to be sorted.
Planning a wedding is already hard enough without having to factor in the two (or more) different cultures and religions you and your partner come from. While it’s never easy to blend two families’ histories, you can make the process a little easier by thinking about the following:
Weddings are all about celebrating love and happiness, but it never hurts to be respectful of other people’s religions and cultures, even if you don’t share them. That means being mindful of customs that might not be a part of your own culture and asking the family members of your wedding party to do the same. It’s about making the wedding celebrations of all your nearest and dearest as special as possible.
For example, it may seem unusual to say “I do” while performing a handstand, but if it was an important cultural write of passage that was done by your future husband’s father and grandfather, and their fathers before them, you need to listen to him and find out why it’s important.
Your fiancé’s family’s traditions should be taken seriously regardless of whether you really understand them or not. That doesn’t matter. But your partner’s feelings do!
The Floodgates are Open
Yet you may despise group dancing and your partner has had issues inflicting harm upon inanimate objects ever since he saw You may be pushing towards shattering the glass with the heel of your foot since your bar mitzvah and your partner may love dancing to “The Electric Slide”. Though you may avoid group dancing situations and your partner may have had problems inflicting harm upon inanimate objects ever since they watched “Beauty and the Beast” as a kid.
Have a discussion with your partner and determine what traditions should be at the top of the priority list, which ones are bust, and if there are opposing beliefs, agree on a compromise — like one or two rounds of the Cupid Shuffle in exchange for the breaking of the bottle of wine the two of you first shared.
You’ll just need to have an open conversation with your partner and creatively mix together those traditions in your wedding ceremony. Your relatives and friends will understand the personalised wedding that they are attending, one that celebrates what is really important to the happy couple’s lives.
All About the Combo Deal
Unlike the compromising method, it is a bit more complicated to combine both of your backgrounds. Here you’re pretty much holding two weddings – you don’t get to pick and choose what traditions to follow and which to leave behind.
Some couples believe that integrating their ceremonies is key, like one in which a priest does his bit, then the rabbi does his bit, and the couple exchanges their vows followed by the breaking of the glass. On the other hand, other couples may have two different ceremonies, one after the other. Depending on whether you combine the wedding ceremonies or just have to separate ones, you may want to choose a location that you both love.
Such Gouda Times
Of course, the best part of mixing your cultural backgrounds is picking what type of food to serve or what music to jam to. Are you marrying someone from the Netherlands? It would be brilliant to serve some gouda cheese! Like kissing a Canadian? Play some Arcade Fire, or Nickelback (actually no, not a great idea). Just have fun with blending your cultures — serve calamari and meat dumplings! Tell the DJ to play both salsa and sangeet! It’s double the fun if you have two types of foods and music. You can never go wrong!