The Wedding Ceremony - Combining Cultures Without Losing Your Mind
When a multicultural couple marries, one way to express and share cultural traditions is to pull inspiration from both to create a unique wedding ceremony that speaks to both. I love this option - witnessing these weddings is like viewing something you've never seen before, because likely, you haven't! It's no secret- I have a thing for ceremony and ritual. I love it- the motions, the words, just bring something out in me. They speak to my soul.
As a quick example, for my wedding 5 years ago, we did a traditional "church" wedding- except that we were married in a non-denominational chapel at Rutgers University- Kirkpatrick Chapel. I walked down to Canon in D- we stood at the a
ltar... and from the outside it seemed like your standard American wedding... except... we had our non denominational celebrant call in the 4 elements (earth, air, fire and water), we had a Navajo blessing, we lit a unity candle (tapers lit by our mothers), we were handfasted, and we jumped the broom. (Ok so that wasn't so quick... I'm verbose- ya'll knew that by now!).
So what if you don't want quite that MUCH in your ceremony? Pick one or two things. It doesn't need to be complicated, it just needs to speak to you- to both of you. Maybe a special reading, blessing, or a prayer. Perhaps an element of a cultural tradition that you can incorporate. One of the sweetest weddings I've ever attended was that of an Indian American woman and her Italian American groom. They compromised and had a traditional Hindu ceremony and western style reception. I'm working on a wedding as I write this, that will have elements of traditional Persian ceremony worked into their western ceremony, and it's going to be incredible.
The point is by drawing from different traditions, you can end up with something greater than the sum of the two parts- you get magic. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and go out there and grab it!
As always, Keep Celebrating!!