Fusion weddings – Making the most of two traditions
Published date: 12th January 2019
At the very outset of this post we need to make it clear that no way is this going to be a definitive guide to all the combinations of cultures possible in a wedding, with a neat list of every tradition attaching to each of them. Life is too short, and so is this piece. But there is your starting point – if yours is to be such a fusion wedding then you need to get on with exploring and investigating the elements of each other’s culture now.
A good way to begin is by involving members of your intended’s family, ideally mum, gran, future sisters in law, and yes, future father-in-law too. Given they may be contributing to the big day, you probably owe it to them anyway. But at the same time, you shouldn’t be dictated to – you want to know about traditions and even taboos (for example, generally for Hindus white is the colour of mourning, something important to know if Hindu is one part of the wedding equation), but not be told ‘this is what you’ve got to do.’
Fusion can bring complications as regards religious ceremonies. Sikhs, for example, aren’t keen on ‘mixed/interfaith marriages’ in a Gudwara; some Christian churches are, as it were, less than Christian about it too; and they’re not the only ones. God bless the civil ceremony, ironic though that may be.
One of the great – and less stressful – aspects of fusion weddings is the reception and food. Or the receptions – one possibility if you have deep pockets is to do it twice – you get to hold two separate parties! But as you’ll want to invite people from both families and friend groups to both events, remember to check out possible dietary no-noes. Maybe 30 years ago the majority of British parents of whatever ethnicity would have struggled to enjoy foods from other cultures; now it would be the minority. Still, best to plan in some safety choices.
We touched above on the clothes thing. For a bride who has dreamt of wearing a big white number since girlhood not doing so could be a cause of regret, so even if say you are going full Sari/red Lengha when you marry your Hindu intended, you could don a white lacy thing for the reception.
Fusion weddings are far from rare, and so with not too much difficulty you should be able to find a planner with valuable experience of whatever your mix is, that will save heartache and labour. He or she could be worth their weight in gold. And part of that worth is blaming them afterwards if anyone is offended or disappointed by something!
When you have everything planned out as regards the ceremonies, it’s again a good idea to communicate with your respective families – if something they wanted ain’t going to happen, best to tell them in advance.
There will be compromises required along the way, and those have to be mutually agreed not imposed (let’s face it, the bride usually does most of the prep, and could pull the metaphorical bedclothes over to her side if not aware and careful). In the end it really boils down to two important elements: the whole shebang is about your union; and a need to evidence respect for both cultures without favouring either. Weddings should be beautiful, and with a doubling of the possibilities on your planning palette your fusion do has more chance than most to be so. Good luck.