Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely than previous generations to marry into different races and cultures. WeddingWire states that 58% of today’s couples marry someone with a different race, religion, ethnic, or regional background. This celebration of diversity can create interesting opportunities for a blending of traditions during the wedding planning process. Each individual may have their own distinct wedding traditions, but with the right planning, couples can create memorable ceremonies and receptions to honor the backgrounds of both people. Here are just a few ideas for different ways to draw on various traditions to create a unique celebration. 

Combining Traditions

Spend some time talking to your partner about what traditions are most important to each of you and your families. If you are significantly diverging from tradition, you may consider having a conversation to manage family expectations, so that your loved ones understand that you appreciate their involvement and want to honor your heritage, but the union of two individuals will inevitably involve some give and take. If you are blending culture and/or religions, discuss requirements and/or guidelines, such as taking certain religious classes, premarital counseling, or rituals that may be involved. What are the things that are absolutes for you and your partner? Once you make a list of must-haves, you can begin to get creative about blending different ideas. An interfaith officiant or a planner may have some great suggestions at this point!

The Ceremony

house traditions

Some couples from different religious backgrounds may opt for two ceremonies. Not only does this allow each of you to celebrate in your own way, but it also gives family members the chance to participate in traditional ways. Others choose a blended ceremony–this can be a collaboration between officiants of different backgrounds or one officiant who performs an interfaith ceremony. If you prefer and religions allow, you might choose a neutral venue rather than a religious facility. If your ceremony includes traditions, rituals, or readings that may be unfamiliar to some guests, consider taking a moment during the ceremony to explain them. Your guests will enjoy the learning experience and appreciate the opportunity to understand what is important to you.

Attire

Traditionally, couples and wedding parties wear outfits that match or are closely coordinated; however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen could opt to wear their own traditional attire while still coordinating colors for a cohesive look. You and your partner can also incorporate smaller details from each other’s traditional attire. Even a pocket square or bouquet can help bring the look together while still celebrating differences. You might incorporate a change of clothes at some point during the reception to allow each person to wear their traditional attire.

Menu

The reception is the perfect opportunity to blend traditions with different styles of music, decor, and food. Not only will combining different cultural dishes help to highlight each of you and your backgrounds, but it will also provide an exciting culinary experience for guests. Family members from both sides can bond over trying new foods and flavors. Just remember to label food or offer any needed instructions in case something is not familiar to your guests.

Decor

When it comes to decor, you can really get creative. From centerpieces and flowers to dinnerware and linens, every detail can be used to bring out the unique traditions of each partner. Even subtle additions can go a long way in making a statement.

Any wedding should be a celebration of the couple and showcase their personal styles and traditions. When blending different cultures, religions, and backgrounds, think about all aspects of the ceremony and the reception and brainstorm different ways to incorporate details that represent both people. Most importantly, communicate with your partner and work together to plan a blended wedding. Ultimately, be true to yourselves–it’s your day and it should involve the elements that are most meaningful to you and your future spouse

At the Rand-Bryan House, we have a long history of helping couples successfully plan and carry out their one-of-a-kind wedding plans. Call us today to learn more about our venue and how it can accommodate your wedding. Our experienced team can help you plan the perfect wedding.