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Top 9 Tips for Planning a Multicultural Wedding

Informational

September 15, 2022

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Bride and groom holding hands during their wedding ceremony in traditional attire; image overlaid with text that reads Top 9 Tips For Planning a Multicultural Wedding

We already know that wedding planning is a complicated process. Now imagine that complicated process being turned up to a hundred. Well, that’s what a multicultural wedding is: a massive undertaking that seeks to blend two cultures together. 

There’s so much to consider when planning a multicultural wedding. So, I thought I’d make it easy and discuss ten tips for planning a multicultural wedding that will guide you through the process. 

Let’s get started!

What Is a Multicultural Wedding?

In essence, a multicultural wedding is when each partner has their own culture and heritage, and you’re finding a way to represent both in the ceremony and festivities. Planning a multicultural wedding can be a significant undertaking, and wedding planning is a substantial undertaking when it’s just another wedding, so be prepared!

9 Tips for Planning A Multicultural Wedding

Here are ten tips that will help guide you through the process of planning a multicultural wedding:

#1 – Research About Your Multicultural Wedding

The most obvious and important first step is to do your research. How you go about this research is entirely up to you. I recommend consulting your families to see what they have to say about a wedding in their culture. Learn about their weddings and see what you can draw from them to have in your own ceremony and festivities. 

9 Tips for Planning A Multicultural Wedding: Groom stepping on plate as he and bride smile during their wedding ceremony.

#2 – Communicate With Both Sides of The Family

Don’t favor one side over the other or assume you know enough to leave them out of this process. Nobody is going to enjoy hearing that one partner got their parents involved while the others were in the dark. So be respectful not just of your culture and heritage but also of your family, who is part of that world. They deserve a seat at the table, but that doesn’t mean they’re the ones in charge!

Black and white photo of couple at their wedding ceremony with person behind them holding up halos, taken by Green Holly Photography

#3 – Get a Wedding Planner With Experience In Multicultural Weddings

A wedding planner is a lifesaver, but getting one that has experience in multicultural weddings is a bonus. They understand the stress and pressure of a normal wedding and how to up the ante when dealing with the mammoth task that is blending different cultures and heritages together in a single ceremony. You’ll never regret the decision to have the right person at the ship’s helm. 

Check out my article on how to create a wedding day timeline in 5 easy steps!

Black and white photo of bride and groom during their Jewish wedding ceremony, captured by wedding photographer Holly Kattlegreen

#4 – Understand Your Budget, and Be Up Front About It

You need to be realistic about what you can and are willing to spend on your wedding. There’s no point in coming up with all these amazing ideas if you’re unable to implement them. So don’t let yourselves get to a point where you have to make sacrifices because you’ll be fighting over whose culture deserves to be minimized. This can cause tensions you’d rather not have leading up to the wedding.

9 Tips for Planning A Multicultural Wedding. Bride and groom smile as they wrap their arms around each other during their wedding shoot.

#5 – Food & Drinks

One of the best ways to incorporate different cultures into a wedding is through food. Food is a powerful way to connect people from around the world. When you’re doing a multicultural wedding, you’re essentially having a ‘fusion wedding’, so surprise the guests with a beautiful fusion feast. Give your guests the gift of variety, showcasing the wonders of your cultures, and celebrate the foods of your people through a fusion feast.

9 Tips for Planning A Multicultural Wedding: Food served in different plates and laid on wedding reception table.

Likewise, be respectful of drinking habits as some cultures don’t partake in alcoholic beverages. However, when it comes time for the wedding, this can become an issue, so be prepared to deal with it ahead of time. 

#6 – Incorporating Both Cultures Into Your Attire

Like food, fashion is another way to seamlessly incorporate different cultures into a ceremony. You’ve got the option of going traditional with some cultural elements, wearing full cultural attire, or swapping traditional attire with your partner. Clothing is something you can also extend to guests. So, for a multicultural wedding, you could have a dress code drawn from one of your cultures, you could leave it up to the guests to choose how they will dress, or you could challenge them to fuse the two.

Bride and groom in cultural attire holding hands and smiling with officiant in front of them, taken by Green Holly Photography

#7 – Let The Guests Know So They’re Not Caught Off-Guard

There are a few reasons you want to prepare your guests ahead of time. For starters, if there’s a specific dress code you’re going for, they need to be informed. If nobody is informed of a dress code, they’ll arrive in standard wedding formal attire for their culture. But if there’s a specific style you’re leaning into and want that to be the dress code, they should know.

9 Tips for Planning A Multicultural Wedding. Wedding reception table with white tablecloth and floral centerpieces.

The other reason is to prepare them for your ceremony. You don’t have to go into detail, but express that there are some differences from what they might be expecting based on traditional weddings they’ve likely been to.  Think about expressing the itinerary, food, drinks, entertainment, etc. 

#8 – The Entertainment

Music and dancing are an integral part of any wedding. In multicultural weddings, you’ve got the chance to showcase your culture’s music, which can be a great way to get people more comfortable and willing to participate. Connect with your guests and share your culture with them while sharing your culture with your partner as they do with you. 

Couple in chairs lifted up at their wedding reception, shot by wedding photographer Holly Kattlegreen

#9 – Consider Having Two Wedding Ceremonies 

Now you might be concerned about this one, but hear me out. A multicultural wedding in one ceremony and reception isn’t easy. It can be a long process of figuring out how to go about doing it, with lots of potential concessions along the way. So, instead of fighting to make one blended multicultural wedding perfect, why not make two separate weddings perfect, respecting your cultures fully in different conditions? Whether that’s different ceremonies on different days in different places, or simply two ceremonies at the same venue, it’s definitely worth considering. 

Black and white photo of bride and groom holding hands as they walk up the stairs, captured by Green Holly Photography

Conclusion

When all is said and done, you’ll hopefully have pulled off the multicultural wedding, or weddings, of the century. As stressful as it can be, try to find joy in everything you’re doing. This is a great experience and a chance to learn more about your family and heritage. Having them involved also gives you a chance to share in this special occasion with the ones you love the most. However, I’ll warn you to just get ready for a lot of different voices chiming in!

With so much to consider when planning a multicultural wedding, get one thing off the list immediately: a wedding photographer. My name’s Holly. I’m a Michigan-based photographer and the perfect person to capture this incredible wedding you and your family are planning. Together we can ensure you’ve got the most amazing pictures to remind you of an incredible day. So check out my portfolio and get in touch!

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Couple smile at camera during their wedding ceremony; image overlaid with text that reads Top 9 Tips for Planning a Multicultural Wedding
Bride plants kiss on groom's cheek as they wear traditional attire; image overlaid with text that reads Top 9 Tips for Planning a Multicultural Wedding

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Explore

Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find all things weddings. Informational wedding planning posts along with photos from weddings in Detroit and all over Michigan. 

I'm holly kattlegreen.

Hey!