Post # 1
My fiance and I are both of different cultural backgrounds – he’s Polish and i’m Arabic. Although our cultures are very different, we seem to be facing some challenges when deciding what to incorporate into the whole wedding aspect. We both have different ideas of what we should be doing for our families and guests prior to our wedding, during the wedding itself and post wedding day.
What challenges have you faced? Have you been able to find a resolution or what do you wish you knew then that you may know now?
Any and all help would be amazing!
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Scottish Rite Cathedral (New Castle, PA)
@JulieJBerg: My FI and I are planning our Filipino-American wedding. We are both the same religion (separate from our parents) so we are basing the wedding off what we agree on. He’s been very open to adding in traditional Filipino elements to the ceremony but turned down things like traditional Filipino attire. We’ve also incorporated Filipino food into the reception. We’re both pretty easy going and just discuss what the tradition is and then decide if it fits us as a couple. We haven’t had any real disagreements over incorporating anything. We have kind of gone with whichever tradition goes above and beyond the other. For example, it’s customary for Filipino’s to host their out of town guests and extended family (even if they’re not in the wedding) at the rehearsal dinner. For him, it’s just those in the wedding and their significant others. So, we are hosting everyone. Since my family would be dissapointed in not having it and his family will just be pleasantly surprised to have it, we’ll do it. So, we’ve gone that way with anything. If it goes above what the other person’s norms are, that’s fine. We haven’t run into anything that conflicts or where we have to pick one or the other, it’s all just been additions. Good luck!
Post # 4
@JulieJBerg: Hi fellow Toronto bee! I’m also going to be planning an intercultural wedding – I’m Chinese and SO is Serbian.
I can easily think of how to incorporate my culture into the wedding (I’ll be doing a couple outfit changes and we will do the tea ceremony) but we’re still struggling with adding Serbian elements because a lot of my SO’s culture is based on religion, and he’s staunchly unreligious. Actually, I’m also very unreligious but I’d love to get married in an Orthodox church – but SO quashed that idea. >.< So outside of that, it’s kinda hard. They, like us, have a sort of similar tradition where the groom has to kind of jump through hoops to pick up the bride at the start of the day, but I’m not sure if he’s up for that.
There aren’t really any East European caterers, but my mom has been bugging me for years to have a Chinese reception (because it’s tastier, she says, and cheaper, which is true). SO seemed ok with it at first but now that he has no idea how to add his culture to our wedding, he’s not so into the idea because then it will be heavily unbalanced.
I feel your pain! I’d start with figuring out if there’ll be any kind of religious ceremony or if you plan to blend the two – and then find a venue that can accommodate both (maybe let you bring two officiants who are willing to do what you want). Then I’d look at non-religious (i.e. strictly cultural) traditions that you might want to do. Then I’d look at outfits, and lastly, food. Good luck! 😀
Post # 5
Thanks so much for your comments, ladies!
@ChicFoodist There are so many fun cultural aspects of Serbia! Will he be having the family gathering at his house prior to the wedding? My best friend is Croation, so i’ve been to hundreds of Croatian/Serbain weddings..the family usually has a gathering at their house in the morning for closest family and friends with lots of food, drinks and a traditional Serbian band.
Prior to going to the ceremony, everyone from the Groom’s house go to the bride’s house and barter for her. The bride’s family will usually send out a bridesmaid, then a girlfriend, trying to throw off the groom with, “is this your bride?” He has to make it worth her family’s while before the let her go. Everyone has a lot of fun with it.
Serbians love dancing, so perhaps having the traditional band at the beginning of the receiving line, greeting guests could be one another option. Someone always ends up dancing.
If you’re having a midnight buffet, you could always include a roast pig or lamb as well.
Post # 6
I’m Nigerian and my Fiance is an American guy from up north 🙂 luckily he is sooooo open minded and open to doing whatever I want (as long as it’s not too expensive). SO we are doing a small and intimate American wedding ceremony, and a HUGE 400 guest Nigerian wedding and reception that night. 100% Nigerian style , from the food, clothing, music, etc. I LOVE that his family is also very open minded as well.
The hardest challenge overall is finding a nice venue that allows us to bring in ethnic food and can fit such a large amount of people. It’s almost as if venues seem to cater to American food preferences with 50- 125 guests. it sucks!
Post # 7
@JulieJBerg: I’m also from Toronto and have already gotten married. I’m a catholic Canadian girl and my fiance is muslim. It was a bit of a challenege to plan a multi-cultural wedding but because I dont practice my religion it as easier for us to decide on our ceremony. We had a muslim wedding ceremony in Toronto first then had a destination wedding with vows and a ring exchange also so we were able to satisfy both sides of the family. I’m not going to lie it was challenging but you will find a way to incorporate both of your backgrounds into the wedding and people will ovethe different aspects! I love Toronto for its multi-culturalism!!!
Post # 8
Hello intercultural Bees! I am American and FI is Turkish but our wedding will be 100% Turkish. His family (in Turkey) wanted to handle all the arrangements so we are letting them do just that. Everything down to the venue, the food, the invitations- are all going to be taken care by his family. And we are totally OK with that. Considering that his family was very opposed to our relationship at the beginning, the fact that they even want to be involved at all is a big step forward. Not to mention it’s nice not to have to worry about planning when we’re living thousands of miles away.
We kinda knew they would be insistent on planning our wedding for us- so we ended up having a big “engagement party” a few months ago for our American friends here that we got to plan just the way we wanted to. We treated our party just like a wedding reception- I got to do all the invitations, the flowers, the DIY favors, the menu planning, the music, the hair trials… all the fun stuff I wanted a chance to experience.
It’s definitely a challenge, but as much as I’d love to have more input into what our wedding is going to be like, I’m just so excited to be finally getting married to my wonderful FI… that’s what matters in the end and I’ve learned to let go of all the details.
Post # 9
My FI is Syrian and I am from Spain.
We haven’t had any issues as of yet! Everything has been smooth sailing. He is very open to mix it up and so am I. We are paying for the whole thing ourselves so we have the last word as fast as decision for the wedding go, and we haven’t had any bumps along the road so far.
We are going to have a more Syrian than Spanish wedding, mainly because the majority of the guests are from his side, but we are definitely incorporating spanish food, spanish music, and spanish desserts and guitars somewhere in there.
I think the only small issue I’ve had so far was with his mother! She insists that I wear a tiara on the day of. Even though I have absolutely nothing against tiaras, in my culture we like to wear flowers in our hair, not tiaras. Still trying to get her to understand that there will be nothing but a rose or 2 in my hair that day haha.
Post # 10
I’m still debating on how to make all of this work in my own situation. I have a very traditional and rigid father but my mom is more flexible so these days I just speak to her and she talks to dad about it. Cowarldy, I know! The challenge for us is that FI’s parents will be travelling from the US for the wedding and we want them to feel that they are an important part of the wedding too. However, traditionally, the groom’s parents and bride’s parents both throw receptions on different days and the in laws usually do not attend that. So it will be quite interesting to have just one reception and both sets of parents there. I am still devising a proposal that I will share with both parents on how to make it all work.
Post # 11
@DesertLady: Wow where is the wedding? You said his parents will be traveling from the US.
I hope both sets of parents understand your guys’ situation and everything works out!
Post # 12
@MrsPiggles: The wedding will be in Namibia. My dad is really the one to convince at the moment. FI’s parents are keen on their African adventure! We just need to make sure it will be a memorable adventure for all the good reasons:-).
Post # 13
@DesertLady: That sounds amazing!!!! Have a wonderful time and I hope your daddy comes around!
Post # 14
Good luck to all of you! I’m sure everything will turn out absolutely magical! Thank you for sharing!
Post # 15
@JulieJBerg: Yours will be magical too! It seems really overwhelming but I’m sure that everything will turn out fine. 🙂
I am Canadian/American and FH is Serbian, and his culture is pretty much centred around religion which annoys him since he’s an atheist. So am I, but I think it’s nice. We can get married in an Orthodox church, but not sure if we want to at this point. I really want to wear the crowns though.
It can be really frustrating, I know.
@ChicFoodist: You should at least have some slivovitz!
Post # 16
@JulieJBerg: Thanks for the ideas! 🙂
@musical-lady: *sigh* I want to wear the crowns too!!! But SO says absolutely no church wedding. >.<