Planning your multicultural wedding


Today I have a follow up post from questions to answer before planning your multicultural wedding and the lovely Ishari from Ishari De Silva weddings is answering a few questions. As a fusion (multicultural) wedding planner and designer she has the knowledge and expertise to answer the following questions in regards your planning a multicultural wedding.

For a Multicultural ceremony, how do you do you combine two different ceremonies?

There are a few ways of getting around this particular dilemma; I have listed the two most popular options.

Firstly, you can arrange two dates for your wedding most couples having an Asian or Fusion wedding usually opt for this option. On the first day have the religious ceremony at their place of worship, followed by a civil ceremony and reception on the second day. Of course this does mean two days, two celebrations and possibly higher costs.

Second option would need exceptional organisational skills or a good wedding planner to coordinate your day.  One day for the whole wedding, you get married in the place of worship then you go over to the reception venue, have a short drinks reception. Have a Civil Ceremony (option to have another short drinks reception with canapés if the civil ceremony and the wedding breakfast takes place in the same room, the venue will need about one and a half hours to turn the room around) and then lead guests over to the wedding breakfast followed by the evening reception.Sikh wedding

If your relatives live far away how do you sort out accommodation as some Asian wedding celebrations last a few days? How do you make it hassle free for them?

Most of the time I have seen some guests staying with family or close friends they have in the area so you will have to find out whether they are happy to organise their accommodation or opt for staying at your chosen venue (speak to your venue and see if they can arrange a reduced rate for the wedding). This is a question that can be on your invites along with the RSVP details.

Your invites will have to include information packs with the following:

- List dates of the festivities with a little explanation to help the guests who are not familiar with Asian celebrations that lead up to a wedding.

- Information about accommodation and any booking information (reference to quote if/when they book a room at the reduced rate pre arranged for your wedding guests)

- If you are booking and paying for some of the close family/friends you will have to personalise their information packs with the relevant details.

Last but not least, I believe luxury lies in the detail so why not have welcome baskets delivered to the rooms reserved for your guests before their arrival. It will be a nice touch that will not go unnoticed by your guests.

Wedding guest bags


What food should you serve to accommodate both cultures?

The type of food you want to serve at your wedding should be discussed with your future husband/wife when booking the caterer naturally as it is one of the most important aspects of Asian weddings. However, if you would like to have a mixture of food representing both cultures you can have different food stations at your wedding.

- Serve canapés as usual for your drinks reception you can have both eastern and western delights. You can also have food stations representing different parts of the world i.e. Asian food a selection of finger food or bowls, Sushi stations, Pasta station where the guests can pick their type of pasta and other ingredients to name a few, the possibilities are endless and they do make quite a talking point!

- For the wedding breakfast I would say pick a type of cuisine and stick to it mixing and matching 3-5 courses isn’t that great (personally speaking but ultimately it is up to you).

- As for the evening reception you can have different food stations again with finger food or bowl food and a statement dessert station!

Ginger Bird Catering


Traditionally Asian Weddings are usually lavish affairs with over 300 guests most of the time, how do you work around this if your future spouse wants a smaller more intimate wedding?

This again is a question you need to discuss with your future husband/wife. This is also where possible arguments and disagreements can arise with the input of other family members. It is convention to invite family, friends & relatives to both ceremony and reception of an Asian wedding. Whereas, the western convention is to have a smaller more intimate ceremony with close family and friends then inviting the other guests to the evening reception. Keep calm take in everyone’s suggestions but ultimately do what you both feel is best, if not try to compromise! Most Fusion weddings I have been involved in did invite all the guests to both ceremony and reception.

Lavish Church weddingSource 

How do you blend traditions and cultures for the reception?

As for the reception, the best way to bring two cultures together is through the wedding design (deco) Fusion Weddings can be truly breathtaking, they are my favourite to design! I personally think the deco should represent both cultures equally from the colour scheme to the props and flowers. Stay away from the generic red and gold colour scheme, mix and match complementing shades together and have an array of colours rather than just two. Also, add personal touches to make the wedding unique i.e. one of my favourite details of a wedding I was introduced to by Paul Antonio (a very talented Calligrapher) is a hand drawn map to include in invites. You can get this designed showing where you both come from originally, met and will be married!

Wedding decor


Also, playing music from both parts of the world is something most good DJ’s can do, so music should not be an issue but do your research and ask the DJ’s you have in mind if they are familiar with a certain type of music you want played at your wedding. If you are booking bands, again do your research and see if you can book bands that can blend both cultures together in terms of music or hire 2 different bands.

Another nice touch is to have dhol or drums playing at the reception or as the guests walk in to the room where you serve the wedding breakfast.

African dancers

Written by Ishari De Silva from Ishari De Silva weddings - a fusion wedding planner and designer. View her website on Ishari De Silva Weddings

*Featured image from A Dutch Puerto Rican wedding


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