How To Bring An International Flavor
To your Southern Wedding.
Are you pulling out your hair over your upcoming multicultural wedding? Feeling overwhelmed? It’s no wonder. Trying to mash two different cultures together is an art in itself. Which customs stay and which ones you cut keep the calmest brides up tossing in bed– especially when you don’t want to upset your new in-laws.
There is a way to get your beauty rest back. You can have your red-velvet cake and eat it too, but you need to blend cultural traditions right. That’s why an experienced wedding planner who knows your culture and heritage can help you mix different customs with ease.
At 99 Gatherings, we’ve planned and coordinated tons of multicultural weddings. Our team of wedding experts from around the world have done it all! We have extensive experience in Persian, Korean, Chinese, South African, and Hispanic weddings. We’ve gathered this team together to reveal some of their secrets so you can plan without stress. Here’s 4 tips to help you throw your unique multicultural wedding that wows everyone–even the toughest future mother in-law.
Tip No 1.
Plan two separate events for the biggest cultural impact
Sometimes it just makes sense to throw two weddings.
When traditional elements from both cultures are too important to toss, having two distinct events is double the fun. This works especially well when the families live far apart from each other and asking them to travel isn’t in the cards.
Sit down with your fiance and decide which culture will be honored first. If your family is local, plan the first wedding with your cultural dress, food, music and traditions. Then, plan the second wedding 6 months later, and travel to your fiance’s hometown. This way, no one gets left out. 6 months gives you enough time to breathe and sort out the details without crumbling under the stress. Plus, it’s close enough to the first wedding that it still makes sense. You’re barely newlyweds!
We understand local customs and rituals
Find a wedding planner who understands the local customs and rituals of each family. You’ll also need an expert who can take care of all the travel and wedding destination details.
99 Gatherings has specialists who speak multiple languages, including fluent Farsi, Turkish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, and can navigate the logistics of both events. As experts, we know how to plan from a distance. We’ll book travel for you and your guests, and even arrange the transport of your personal items– you can rest easy knowing it’s all under control.
Tip No 2.
Blending a Custom Ceremony With Style And Taste
We’ll find beautiful ways to honor each side
If you want to incorporate each culture into one wedding event, there are beautiful ways to honor each side. During the ceremony you can add tasteful elements from both cultures into one gorgeous setting. For Persian weddings, the traditional, “sofreh aghd”, a spread of symbolic food and floral arrangements, can be added to the altar area. A fabulous antique mirror, the Persian Mirror of Fates, can be chosen by the southern family’s side. You can also add in the Sugar Cone ceremony, as well as the ever popular “Knife Dance”(so much fun!)
Try adding textures, colors, patterns or designs that are meaningful to both cultures together. Native flowers from each location can also create fabulous and unique floral arrangements. Favorite heirlooms unique to each culture add a touch that reflects both your personalities.
Lets create a special fusion flavor of your own.
Tying traditional rituals you both feel attached to creates a special fusion flavor all your own. For a touch of traditional Hindu culture, add the garland exchange to the ceremony. Family members hold up a bright shawl between the couple before they exchange garlands, symbolizing the new family connection. During this time, an officiant can read Western vows. Speak with the officiant about melding the two cultures into a unique ceremony all of your own.
By choosing the most important ceremonies of each culture you can find ways to create new rituals that are meaningful to you and your families, and can be passed down generation to generation.
Show your excitement at merging two worlds into one.
Some blended heritage couples wear the traditional clothing of their homeland to a rehearsal dinner or other pre-and post-celebrations. For example, we have seen some of our Chinese-heritage brides wear the traditional embroidered red wedding dress (called a Qipao) to a rehearsal dinner, which the families absolutely adored. Other couples switch and wear the dress of their new spouse’s culture during the reception. It’s a beautiful way to show your excitement at merging two worlds into one.
To smoothly blend different rituals and cultural traditions, sit down with your fiance and write down which ones hold the most meaning for each of you. Look at your favorite customs and figure out how both families can be honored. Can religious officials share duties? Can certain colors be swapped to fuse both backgrounds? A skilled wedding planner with experience creating bespoke international weddings can help you decide what works best.
Tip No 3.
Plan A Reception That Mingles Both Worlds
Multicultural fusion with elegance and class.
The reception is a perfect place to showcase the best of your cultures. Ask your floral designer to create arrangements that mix your country’s colors and flowers. Take traditional items and deconstruct them to become something else. For example, a traditional Spanish bouquet of orange blossoms can be made into centerpieces
Add favors that symbolize your new love. Puerto Rican Capias (elaborate ribbon favors) can be tied with colors from both sides. Combine a tartan pattern for Irish or Scottish backgrounds, or creamy lace for some southern flair. By customizing small details with cultural touches, choose dinnerware and place settings in neutral colors. This achieves a multicultural fusion with elegance and class.
Another way to blend both backgrounds is with music and entertainment. Quickly becoming more popular at weddings, hiring heritage-specific entertainers is an exciting treat. Belly-dancers, a Chinese lion dance, Scottish pipers and Highland dancers, a Mariachi band–whatever your culture, celebrate the beauty it holds.
Tip No 4.
All You Need Is Love…and Some Delicious Food.
On to one of the best parts of celebrating culture–the food! Easily the most fun (and sometimes the most difficult) decision is choosing your menu. This is your chance to really show off.
Finger foods highlighting the best flavors of your country is a great way to start. Mix an Italian antipasto with Spanish olive and cheese canapes. Or choose a spicy Indian Dahl with southern biscuits on the side. Stations of food and drink from both cultures sets up a delicious feast for your guests– they’ll delight in the best of your country’s cuisine. Finish the meal with a lavish table of traditional desserts to compliment a classic tiered wedding cake or add a Persian tea station or our favorite-Asian Bobo Tea!
Tip No 5.
Planning A Multicultural Wedding You’ll Love
Create unique rituals for life
Mixing two completely different cultures can be a challenge, but also an opportunity to create unique rituals for life and memories that your families will hold dear. Paying attention to traditions while bringing in your own personalities is a modern way to nod to the past.
If you want your international wedding to be what you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll need to hire a skilled wedding planner who has experience with both cultures and styles. Without expert help, the pressure to not ruffle feathers can become overwhelming.
For many brides who do it alone, wedding planning ruins the joys of engagement. Planning a wedding of one tradition is difficult enough–add two or more and things quickly get complicated.
Pick a planner with experience
At 99 Gatherings, we’re experienced in blending the customs of many cultures because we’re as diverse as you. We have talented multilingual staff who understand where you’re coming from. We know how to tastefully handle ceremonial rituals with tact and ease. No matter how picky your in-laws might be.
Our experts blend multicultural elements to reflect your heritage for a unique wedding that’ll thrill you. We love creating bespoke gatherings that tell your personal story. It’s our passion to blend the beauty of different cultures to create a unique event to symbolize your love.
Amber was amazing in every way!
Without her expertise and coordination
the day of, my wedding would not be the memorable and
magical day that it was. Thank you Amber!
Talk to us
With years of experience crafting bespoke weddings, every single gathering is unique.
And we cannot wait to hear your story and design a wedding that is perfectly unique to you.
Let’s talk and create your ideal wedding together.
For more information about Amber Cook please contact us using any of the methods listed here. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook as well. Happy planning!