Having an interfaith or diverse culture wedding can come with a handful of conflicts and confusions, but if it is what you wish as a couple, it is worth the struggle. A wedding planner, specifically one with a diverse and inclusive history is a great asset when joining two backgrounds into a joint and respectful event. However if you are choosing to go it alone there are a few things to remember that can help you down the aisle of nuptial unity.
Communication is important with a mixed culture and faith weddings. Connect to both sides of your soon to be family about the traditions you will be following and which you will not to create a unified wedding day. In some cases this may lead to some hard conversations, but it is vital to stand your ground when it comes to your beliefs as a couple. Because of these disagreements it’s important to have this conversation early on.
Communication with vendors is also extremely important. Vendors do their best work with ideas and an image of the final product. If a vendor is not familiar with your cultural or religious needs this needs to be discussed beforehand. This is especially important when it comes to the ceremony location. Some facilities, particularly those with a religious background such as a church may need you to abide by certain religious restrictions or may have a problem with bringing a wedding of another faith into a place of worship.
Education is also important when it comes to joining to families. Cultural appropriation is a major issue in today’s world and should be taken seriously, especially with close family ties and strong feelings. You do not want to be disrespectful to a partner’s culture or religion. The same rule applies to family and friends. Make sure all relatives and friends who will be joining this celebration will be respectful of a culture even if they don’t understand it. This respect for beliefs goes both ways. If someone does not want to attend or be a part of your wedding day do to differentiating opinions it is their choice to do so and should be respected.
Education can also be applied to those attending the wedding. While this is a day of celebration and unfortunately a lot of stress you shouldn’t feel it’s necessary to become a teacher of multicultural differences however providing a few tips along the way to create a hospitable and welcoming environment is the role of a good host. This isn’t always a hard thing to do, a simple clarification on a timeline is good enough to help guests be aware of what’s happening. As the night goes on you may have questions about the day’s events or your future marriage and you can kindly answer these so long as the individual is being respectful. You do not need to engage with disrespectful guests.
Respect is key from both partners as it is not easy uniting two days into one. If both you have a strong cultural background or faith that will just not work visually appealing together, devote the wedding service to one portion of your background and the reception to the other. This can help having a “mixed” by paying respect to both families and cultures without throwing out too much of either background. If you genuinely feel someone you may want to invite cannot be respectful of cultural differences at your wedding you do not need to feel obligated to invite them. And most importantly be respect to yourself. Stay true to who you are and who you are as a pair. Having a multicultural or multifaith background does not just stop at the wedding as you will be joining to lives. Be honest about your wants and needs for your wedding day but be ready to compromise things that are not so important.
Keep an open minded, communicate, teach and be respectful. At the end of the event your wedding needs to make you and your partner happy as a couple; not every guest.