Here’s How Priya and Ben are Balancing Both Cultures in Wedding Planning
Thankfully, we’re living in a world where people are free to fall in love from different cultures, races, and regardless of the sex or gender of each member of the couple. While this makes starting a life together easy, weddings are entrenched with tradition, so it takes a little more planning to create a modern and custom multicultural wedding ceremony that incorporates the needs and desires of the couple.
I spoke to Priya, a Project Architect for a global construction company, and Ben, a Student Support Manager in the Administration team for the Kent School of Architecture & Planning at the University of Kent, who are planning their wedding (hopefully unchanged!) for June 2021, about how they’re going about creating a wedding that incorporates Priya’s Indian heritage, and Ben’s English and German heritage.
Cultural Balance and Logistics
Ben and Priya knew they wanted to balance their cultures in one wedding, so it gave equal weight to both. They agreed on a format that incorporated both of their cultural elements. They wanted a style that was unique to both of them and not just what society expects, and a venue that was convenient not only for Ben and Priya, but also for their international guests. “We are both quite organised individuals, so we’re not worried about leaving anything until the last minute. In fact, we probably have planned most things well in advance!”
Choosing a Celebrant-Led Multicultural Wedding
Being a couple from two different cultural backgrounds, and wanting to treat each other equally without one background being superior to the other, Ben and Priya wanted to be able to find a balance and a way to respect both sides. They want a day that they can remember, and both prefer a more spiritual or human experience than a religious one. They said, “we did our research into celebrants and found that this was exactly what we were looking for and would give us the freedom we wanted.”
When it came to telling loved ones of their less traditional approach, most hadn’t heard of a celebrant-led wedding, and weren’t sure what it would look like. They showed their family videos of celebrant multicultural weddings, and were met with positivity. “We haven’t had any objections, and in fact, people are excited to see what it will be like. Everyone is positive it will be a great experience either way, especially the two of us.”
Advice for Multicultural Couples Starting to Plan a Wedding Ceremony Now
When it comes to wedding logistics, Ben and Priya say that starting planning early is the key to staying relaxed. “Because it’s quite far in advance, we are relaxed about the planning process and know it will be a great day.”
They say to keep in touch with suppliers, even if some are holding off business until the current COVID-19 situation improves, as you can start those conversations to get an idea and begin your budgeting. They recommend taking your time with it and once you get some significant updates, start provisional bookings for a suitable time in advance.
They also suggest allowing more time for budgeting, planning, and making sure you’ve explored all avenues, rather than rushing into booking anything too soon in the calendar. “We have been very open in our communication as a couple and family members have also been so supportive,” they said. “We have never found the planning process exhausting. What has probably not worked for us so far is the unprecedented situation of the coronavirus making us change our mind about how we do things, but we are willing to adapt.”
Priya and Ben are staying open-minded in the wake of everything that’s going on in the world in 2020. “We know our wedding isn’t until 2021, however, we can’t be sure there won’t still be measures in place then. What this has done is given us time to reflect and take notice of what’s really important in life.”
Ben and Priya believe that, no matter how much you really want your big day to come around, it’s vital to give yourself sufficient time to get arrangements in order for everything to go as smoothly as possible. You have people around you that can step in and help, so don’t be afraid to ask. This is definitely the case if you’re working with a celebrant and I am lucky to be the Celebrant for Priya and Ben. They are working hard to make key decisions and tailor their wedding ceremony to whatever is going on in the world.
If you’re looking for a celebrant for your own special day, I’d love to be a part of it.