Planning a wedding is pretty difficult, planning a fusion wedding is even more challenging! There are more options, choices and decisions to make. When planning my fusion wedding and engagement it was extremely important for both cultures to shine and not for one to overshadow the other. I wanted our wedding to be inclusive not exclusive.
Invitations: We felt the best way to ensure everyone felt comfortable on the day was to give our guests as much information as possible before the wedding. This is crucial so your guests know what to expect on the day. As part of our invitations we made a programme that included the format of the day, guests attire and any customs that guests may not be aware of EG: Not wearing white to an English wedding.
Food: The cuisine of choice for our wedding was Indian. It can be difficult to know what each dish is and how it served. Traditional Indian food at a wedding is not a 3-course meal but a family style buffet served at the table. I made my own menu cards and made sure I gave a description of each food and also included how it will be served. I felt this included everyone, as everyone knew what was being served.
Dress code: I didn’t have a dress code for the wedding, as I didn’t want people to feel they had to dress in a certain way. We had a civil ceremony in a quaint English village Manor house followed by the reception at the same venue. Again by not having a dress code it again was inclusive.
Music: I feel it is crucial to have the dance floor busy throughout the night so my playlist catered for all guests. In our invitations we asked guests to email a song that would entice them onto the dance floor.
Cultural understanding: For my engagement party, I had a traditional Indian engagement that had lots of cultural customs and traditions. To ensure everyone knew what was going on, I made cards for each table that explained the ceremony and the meaning behind it. I had many guests telling me how much it helped to understand and appreciate the cultural customs. This feedback was from my Indian and non-Indian guests!
Wedding website: I didn’t end up doing this, but my cousin had one for her fusion wedding in Canada. It was so helpful as it explained to guests what each ceremony was about and what customs they needed to follow.
Wedding film: If you are planning on having a cultural ceremony that your partner is unfamiliar with, show them and immediate family a wedding film and talk through each part. By watching it, it makes it so much easier to understand and visualise. I did this before my Indian engagement and it was really interesting to hear questions that my husband had. There were things that I hadn’t thought about and didn’t think to explain because I assumed it was obvious. Naturally it was obvious to me because it was my culture!
So if you have started planning your fusion wedding, be sure to ensure it is inclusive to all by giving as much information as possible so guests know what to expect and are prepared for your big day. This will allow your day to run as smoothly as possible and everyone will have a great day.