How to Seamlessly Blend Traditions for Your Multicultural Wedding

If you’re preparing to say “I do,” but you and your S.O. come from different backgrounds — whether geographically, culturally, or otherwise — there’s no reason the wedding has to be entirely dedicated to a singular religion or particular set of cultural traditions. After all, the whole point of a union is to unite. Pay homage to both you and your partner’s customs by heeding the advice of these talented wedding vendors.

Catering

Food is important to so many of us, and working together with your catering company to intertwine your cultures through your menu is key. Having a progressive style meal is a concept to blend a multicultural wedding. We like to customize food stations, so guests can visit and partake in different dishes. Theming each area of the venue with the planner is a way to tie this altogether.

SEE MORE: 10 of the Best Wedding Photographers in Florida

Also, as a caterer, we would suggest having all the hors d’oeuvres be specific to one culture, i.e. if the bride is of Mexican heritage, tray pass ceviche, mini tostadas, or have a chef present guacamole made to order for cocktail hour. Then, for dinner, it’s the groom’s turn. So, let’s say, the groom is of Japanese heritage, you could have the reception be a family style dinner with sushi, yakitori, wagyu beef, etc. Lastly, bring it all together for dessert. Perhaps the couple’s favorite dessert they eat together or an assorted petite dessert station with desserts for across the globe: mini cheesecakes, petite flan, berry pavlovas, assorted mochi, etc. Specialty cocktails (Her’s, His & Our’s) would be a great way to tie in with food pairings. It’s all about taking special traditions from both the bride and groom’s cultures so the guests have a truly unique experience!

— Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director of Colette’s Catering

Florals

Choose florals that are significant in your respective cultures but use them in your color palette so that the florals are meaningful and that the look is still cohesive.

— Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous

Stationery & Décor

A great way to incorporate your (blended) culture into your wedding is through your stationery. As the first impression of the event, your stationery is a visual opportunity to relay more than just the details and logistics of the big day. Bringing together your cultures through the design, color, wording or symbols and motifs can really communicate a more about you as a couple to your guests and allows you to honor and celebrate your backgrounds.

— Andaleeb Firdosy, Founder and Creative Director of Azure Invitations

Include and educate your guests on the traditions that are important to you – try designing cards that describe the meaning, act, rituals/ideas. You can place these on the reception tables and guests will be able to understand and participate.

— Euri Wong

SEE MORE: 8 Fun Ways to Replace the Most Common Wedding Traditions

Ceremony & Reception

You know the saying, “two is better than one” so why not include two ceremonies for your wedding day?! For example, Anabel and Lennart, made two ceremonies on their wedding day: a civil ceremony in the afternoon and on the evening, after dinner, a Jewish ceremony for their guests to see that the different beliefs do not subtract, but add to their history.

We also had the pleasure of shooting a wedding in Brazil where 80% of the wedding guests were from Spain. The ceremony was beautifully done on the beach followed by a cocktail hour that had perfect odes to Spain, from the Galician beer, Estrella Galicia to Spanish music that played intertwined with Brazilian-styled dancing!

— Jimena San Miguel, co-founder of Volvoreta Bodas

Day-of Traditions

Did you know that the breaking of a wine glass after the “I dos” is not only a Jewish custom, but an Italian one as well? And the canopy covering an Indian ceremony, called a mandap, looks just like a souped-up Jewish chuppah! Take advantage of ethnic traditions that do double-duty.

— Jenna Miller, Creative Director of Here Comes the Guide

Guests

If you’re including unusual elements in your wedding, provide brief explanations of their significance in your wedding program so that your guests can appreciate their symbolism. Alternatively, your officiant can clue everyone in.

— Jenna Miller

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