Last week I attended two beautiful weddings for two amazing friends. Coincidentally, both were “cross-cultural.” The first was an Aussie girl marrying an Aussie guy, but his parents and heritage are from China. The second was an Aussie girl marrying a German guy.
Having recently had my own cross-cultural wedding (I’m told under a year ago is still considered recent), I thought I might share some quick tips.
1. Decide what you want individually, from your own cultural background.
2. Sit down with your fiance and share with each other your points from No. 1. Try and work out how you can accommodate each other’s wishes. After all, marriage is about compromise, so the sooner you start, the better 🙂 Make sure you intently listen to each other and understand why different things are important to include.
3. Ask both of your parents if they have any particular suggestions. This does not mean you have to include them. But it is important to give the ideas consideration and it will make your folks feel valued and included. If you don’t include something, make sure to explain why and demonstrate that you have thought it through.
4. Think about the guests…will they need instructions, translators, cultural food requirements etc and plan for them.
In the aforementioned Aussie-Aussie/Chinese wedding, the bride changed out of her white wedding dress after the church wedding into a traditional Chinese wedding outfit for a family only tea ceremony. She then got changed back into the white dress for the reception.
In the Aussie-German wedding, they had both English and German translations of Bible readings in the program, and they had a translator at the reception.
For my wedding, we had an Australian wedding, then went to India for a second lot of celebrations. We focused on the cultural traditions, rather than having another wedding ceremony (as not being Hindu ourselves, we did not want to be disrespectful).
There are many more I could write, but in essence, it’s about working out what’s special and right for your wedding-it will probably be different for everybody.
I hope you find this useful. Personally I think a cross-cultural marriage is one of the best collaborative bridges around 🙂