Multi-Cultural or Cross Denominational Weddings Explained
While many different religions and nationalities have their own well established traditions, it is becoming increasingly common for couples of mixed ancestry to marry. Inter-racial couples are marrying more and more often and with this increase in inter-racial marriages comes a need for weddings that have a multi-cultural feel. With so many wonderful traditions that hold a great deal of importance to many families it is important to plan a wedding that will celebrate the cultural diversity rather than spotlight one of the cultures while neglecting the other. Even if the couple themselves do not feel strongly about having their heritage represented, it is important to consider the feelings of family members as well. While the wedding is for the couple and in general they should plan it as they see fit, this should not be done at the risk of hurting the feelings of family members by neglecting their culture in the ceremony and reception.
One of the easiest ways to handle a multi-cultural wedding is to allow one culture to dominate the wedding ceremony while the other culture dominates the wedding reception. At the ceremony care could be used to ensure that the attire, words, music, decorations and procedures adhere to the culture of either the bride or the groom. If the culture of the bride dominates the ceremony then you could allow the culture of the groom to dominate the reception. This could be done by providing food, entertainment and toasts that reflect on the time-honored traditions of the groomís cultural background.
The wedding party traditionally precedes the couple in the wedding procession. The bride and groom then proceed down the aisle together accompanied by both of their parents to symbolize that their union includes the union of both families and not just the bride and the groom. The couple ends their procession under a traditional canopy called a chuppah. This canopy symbolizes that God is present and that he is sheltering and protecting the couple.
There are countless variations for blending the traditions of two cultures into the wedding ceremony. For example you might want to consider having both the bride and the groom dressing in the traditional attire of the one of the families but having them enter the ceremony to traditional music of the other family. Another variation on this idea is to have the bride dress according to her cultural customs while the groom dresses according to his cultural customs. This would symbolize the joining of the two cultures with the union of the individuals. You could even consider having the bride and the groom dress according to each otherís cultural customs as a symbol of their being willing to embrace the other culture in their union.
Cultural weddings can also be blended at the reception in a number of ways. A simple way to do this is to serve foods that relate to one culture and provide entertainment that relates to the other culture. This separation may seem too harsh for some couples and they may want to blend their cultures in a more subtle way. One way to do this is to serve a buffet style dinner that serves cultural favorites of both heritages. Also, if you budget a significant amount of money for entertainment, you could consider hiring two bands so that you can have one band that specializes in the cultural heritage of the bride and one to represent the groomís heritage.
This could not only serve to unite the families but can also serve to ensure that the entertainment never ceases. Many live bands play for only about 20 minutes at a time and then take a break. The two bands could alternate playing their music so that there is never a dull moment at the reception. If budget constraints do not allow hiring two separate bands you might want to consider hiring a band to play the music of one culture and consider hiring dancers to represent the other culture.
The Jewish faith is a faith that is full of history and tradition. Many couples and their guests choose to honor these traditions by incorporating them into their wedding ceremony and reception. Many of these traditions are the defining moments of the celebration and they lend an atmosphere of historical significance to the wedding.
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