Come Together with our Multicultural Wedding Planning Tips

By Davina Applewhite, Front Desk Associate 
Planning a cultural wedding can be difficult when most of what is seen of the wedding industry depicts and adheres to modern, American traditional styles.
No matter your culture, ethnic background, or vision for your wedding, it’s essential you celebrate your wedding in a way that also represents you, your partner, and your respective cultures.
Below are six tips to guide you in doing exactly that!

One: Establish Your Traditions

Multicultural weddings are rich in traditions. For example, traditional Indian weddings may last for several days while some Chinese weddings include a special tea ceremony.
There are some African American weddings that include a broom jumping ceremony to signify a marriage. Suppose you and your partner are from different cultural backgrounds. It’s essential that these traditions are explained and respected by both parties and their respective guests to avoid any confusion or discourtesy.
Furthermore, depending on you, your partner, and your attachment to these traditions, you may have specific practices that you decide to do or choose to leave out. Whatever you decide, the first thing you should do in your wedding planning process is to establish which traditions those are so that you can move forward with the rest of your wedding planning.

Two: Garments

A few different cultures celebrate their weddings with specific garments worn by the couples (and, sometimes, even the guests). Asking guests to participate by adhering to cultural garb is a perfect way to introduce or show respect towards your culture. Just make sure that if you decide to do so, each guest that attends is made aware of the dress code. More importantly, some brides combine their cultural and original styles, which can be a great way to honor your heritage while remaining true to you.

Three: Food & Drinks

Certain meals play a big part in representing a couple’s culture on their wedding day. Finding the right caterer or cook to replicate your culture’s food is a key aspect that will honor your heritage and please your guests. If you decide to have cultural foods at your wedding reception, don’t be afraid to test and taste as many dishes until you find the one that best represents your culture!

Four: A Knowledgeable Planner

Planning any wedding can be overwhelming. Hiring a wedding coordinator that can help you execute the vision you have for your wedding may be a wise decision. It is especially helpful when your planner is knowledgeable about, or at least willing to learn, your culture and incorporate that into your wedding to make your dreams come true. If you’re interested in having an extra set of hands to help you take on your big day, make sure you emphasize the importance of your ethnicity and/or culture being a present and defining aspect of your wedding.

Five: Your Vows

Your vows will, arguably, be one of the most fundamental parts of your wedding. Vows establish the unity of a couple, and if your culture calls for a specific officiant to help dictate and pronounce your wedding, you may want to look into the specificities of that. You can also opt to have your vows recited in your specific culture’s language. This could help translate to monolingual family members and guests and show respect for the culture and its traditions.

Six: The Perfect Venue

As stated before, some cultural weddings may have events that span multiple days. If this is important to you, you will need to look into an event space (or spaces) that can accommodate that. If you are looking for a convenient place to host your ethnic wedding and also minimize travel for your guests, a hotel with designated event spaces may be the best option for you.
Having a wedding that represents your heritage and culture is important. It’s essential that you are able to find a wedding planner and event space that can honor your traditions.
If you’re searching for a place that fits that mold in or near the Suffolk, Virginia area, The Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront does exactly that. Our conference center, equipped with multiple ballrooms, makes for a perfect venue that will accommodate any type of ceremony or reception. Our banquets team is knowledgeable and specializes in catering many different dishes in order to fit any theme and honor any culture. And finally, our top-of-the-line event coordinators will guide you in the process of planning your unique wedding and making your big day a special event that embraces any and all cultural traditions you decide to do.