Novotny’s Nupital Knowledge 4/9/19

Having an interfaith or multicultural wedding can come with a few struggles and misunderstandings, but if it is what you desire as a couple, it is well worth the fight.

There are three key concepts to keep in mind when planning your multifaith wedding: Communication, education and respect.

Communication is key with a mixed cultural wedding. Communicate to both sides of your family the traditions you will be abiding to and which will take the wayside in compromising for a unified day.

This may lead to a few difficult conversations, but it is important to stand your ground as there may be some opposition. Remember, it is your day.

Communication also needs to go out to all your vendors. If a vendor is not familiar with another culture or your image of a combined cultural wedding, it may be hard for them to do their best work unless they know what your objective is.

This is important when it comes to your ceremony location. Sometimes those of various religious backgrounds can struggle with having a wedding in a place of worship if other religious practices will be taking place.

Education is paramount; I cannot say that enough. Cultural appropriation is all around us and being disrespectful to a partner’s culture isn’t appropriate. The same goes for family and friends.

Be sure all those who will be taking an active role in the day such as bridesmaid and groomsmen will be respectful of the wishes of your partner and their family. The same goes in return.

If someone does not want to be a part of your wedding due to some of your choices, as heartbreaking as that is it should be respected.

Education also goes for your guests. This is a day of celebration and you shouldn’t feel the added stress of needing to educate your attendees but helping your guests understand cultural practices they may not be accustomed to can ease their confusion throughout the day.

This does not need to be a hard task, a simple explanation in parenthesis on a timeline is good enough. Having questions about practices is fine and should be answered if you have a response however feel free to ignore or sidestep questions that stem not from a lack of understanding, but a choice not to understand.

Respect is essential from both sides as it can be hard combining two days into one. If you both have a strong culture of faith backgrounds that will just not work visually simultaneously, try devoting the wedding ceremony to one part of your ethnic background and the reception to your spouse.

This helps have a “mixed” day paying respect to all portions of your culture without throwing too much at everyone at one time.

If you do not feel someone in your family or friends can be respectful to others who may be at your wedding they do not have to be invited, though an uncomfortable conversation may be needed before the event.

Finally respect yourself. Stay true to yourself and who you are as a couple. Having a multicultural or multifaith wedding can be a bit of a struggle and lead to a lot of difficult conversations and awkward moments and unfortunately, it won’t stop at your wedding.

Be open minded, communicate, educate, respect and reflect. At the end of the day your wedding needs to make you and your partner happy as a couple; not every attendee.

-James Novotny

James Novotny director of James Novotny Lifestyle Design and the wedding blog alwaysthebridesman.com would like to help guide you down the aisle and ease your wedding day woes.

Feel free to send your wedding quarries to lifestyledesign@jamesnovotny.org or drop them off at the Clarion office, 6-314

James Novotny is an all-inclusive wedding planner and is open to questions regarding same-sex and multicultural weddings.

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