Cultural wedding traditions: What is 'normal'? | Phoenix Wedding Photographer

Cultural wedding traditions: What is ‘normal’?

multicultural weddings

As I learn more and more about multicultural relationships and weddings, I feel like there is a lot of missing information and confusion when it comes to blending cultures together. But before you get into any specific details, let’s discover what traditions do you truly value.

What is considered to be ‘normal’ or ‘non-traditional’ wedding?

Podcast episode 23 – Shownotes

Most of the time when people tell you do whatever you want for your wedding day, they mostly talk about breaking traditions. Which are mostly traditions from western countries, like bride wearing a white dress, father walking you down the aisle…etc. Or like I talked about women’s roles at wedding, those old traditions can also be modified.

I’m sure you hear this a lot: “do what you want for your wedding! Don’t have to follow any traditions!”. And most people would talk about all of those old traditions that comes from western countries. Like wearing a white dress, walking down the aisle…etc.

But since you are blending different traditions together, and they are going to be unfamiliar to some people, would that be considered as non-traditional?

I’ve wrote a blog post about why would you want to have a non-traditional wedding:

  1. you don’t want to be like everybody else
  2. you want to stand out and be different
  3. you have an unusual family dynamic

What should you be ditching?

Some alternative ways to celebrate: colorful bridal dress, making unique decors, food and music, finding unusual location.

mixed culture = non-traditional

Beside all of the aesthetic reasons, what if your wedding is considered to be ‘non traditional’ because it has mixed cultures? You are representing a new culture in a foreign country, and feels like your relationships and beliefs don’t fit into the local traditional wedding norms.

/Is there a tradition that comes from your partner’s side that you are unfamiliar with?

/Do you want to implement and honor this new tradition?

/Is it a heritage that you don’t want to be associated with, because it will interfere with your traditions?

Do you simply take it as something fun and enjoyable to do, and don’t really care where it comes from?

Your big day is to celebrate you and your fiance. It’s the reflection of who you are as a couple, and what do you care about. Don’t follow any wedding traditions, unless it is important or meaningful to you.

Breaking tradition that’s not culture related:

/ Include fiance into wedding planning (It’s good practice to accomplish something together, before starting your marriage.)

/ Discover unique location or venue.

/ Find the way to include relatives and friends from distance.

Talk with your partner about what the two of you value the most:

both of our culture equally, just one, or none of them are important.

Beside crazy traditions, multicultural wedding planning can get even more complicated! You have to blend multiple traditions together, so rethink what these traditions truly represent to you. That will help you decide if you want to implement any of them into your wedding.

/How do you want to represent your marriage and relationship?

/Is your cultural heritage even relevant to you?

/Are you counting on your parents opinions?

/Do you value your country’s traditions? Homesickness can make you want to implement more familiar traditions.

/If both of your cultures are important, have you thought about having two separate weddings?

/What if you don’t want any kind of traditional wedding, just signing the papers?

/Do you prefer celebrating the culture of the country you currently live in?

Learning to compromise with your partner is the key, and it’s a great practice for later in life. (financial decisions, parenting, carrier, traveling..etc.) Two more things: There are no have to’s, and don’t forget to personalize your wedding day!

We have to be open minded and accepting when it comes to blended cultural wedding ceremonies. ⁣

Some traditions would be viewed as normal for some people, but there are others who would call those “non-traditional”. It all depends who’s perspective we’re looking this from.⁣

In my new podcast episode I’m talking about what do we really consider as “normal”, and where to even start with multicultural wedding planning?

How can you represent both cultures equally?

1. Religion:

Do you want to get married at the church?Are you planning you have prayers or give a blessing?

2. Language

Very important to decide for the ceremony, vows, and invitations.

3. Rituals, traditions

Make a detailed program book or page about various traditions and the meaning behind them. Your guests would really appreciate them!

Even if you’re having a tradition that’s not culture related would be a great idea adding to your program. Your guests would really appreciate them! So take the effort to talk about traditions and why they matter to you!

Final thoughts:

1. Non-traditional=multicultural wedding

2. Wedding is a great way to start build your own traditions

3. Remember you’re not only marrying into a new family, but also into a cultural belief.


Do you want to listen more of the Getting Married Multiculturally Podcast?

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What do you think about the Getting Married Multiculturally Podcast?

I love hearing back from my listeners, so if you’d like to share your opinion, you can leave me a review here. Btw, these reviews will also help other multicultural couples find this show. Let’s grow the GMM community!

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