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Top Tips for Planning a Cross Cultural Wedding



By Editorial Desk

Let’s face it, Cross-Cultural weddings are the new black dress: Hot and dynamic. Check out our expert’s guide to getting it right.

Wedding is an eternal union between not just two individuals but two distinct families. With a cross-cultural wedding, there are several rituals that are unique to a particular belief as a caste, sub-caste or faith at large. As a wedding planner, finding the middle ground and infusing the best of both the cultures in a beautifully synchronized ceremony is the most interesting aspect of such weddings. In addition, some families decide to take the third route that is destination wedding. For example, the wedding of Top Bollywood journalist, Omar Qureshi, who got married to a Hindu bride in Seychelles on a beach setup in a catholic ceremony.
 


India is a diverse country with innumerable cultures that are existent across various geographical boundaries. With a population sprawling over 1.2 billion and diverse traditions, fusion weddings, technically known as cross-cultural wedding between people from different traditional backgrounds are destined to take place.

 


Virtue Lies In the Middle Ground

A cross-culture wedding is planned in almost exactly the same way as any other wedding from a wedding planner’s point of view. The real complication in a cross culture wedding happens at the junction when the families have to narrow down on the ceremonies to be followed. Every culture has a tradition of how the wedding ceremony must happen and getting an agreement on that can be a very challenging affair. A lot of times, we see two distinct wedding ceremonies taking place during a cross-cultural wedding to respect sentiments of both the families. Other places where we have seen disagreements between families of cross culture weddings are over serving alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Once the fundamentals of the wedding are discussed between the families, the other elements fall into place. 

 


A lot of times Dreamzkraft, as wedding planners have to mediate discussions between the two families, which is true for all weddings but a little more intervention is required for the cross-cultural weddings. The difficult part is usually to find middle ground and blend the two cultures on a conceptual level, the easy part for us as for every other wedding is the execution, once the families finally decide on what they want and how they want it.

 


The top three things to keep in mind while planning a cross culture wedding are as follows:

Respect both the cultures


It is fundamental to comprehend that every culture brings with it a unique flavour and essence of food, music and traditions and at the same time are easily adaptable. For a cross-cultural wedding, extreme care has to be taken that the pride of both the cultures remains intact, especially in terms of ceremonies. In turn, this serves as the best playground for wedding planners to explore new horizons and come out with ideas a notch above the rest. If planned and executed perfectly, the unique traits of two cultures, if brought together can lead to a perfect ice-breaking ground between two families, and traditions at large.
 


Try and find middle ground between the two families

There are incidents where either of the families might defend or disagree in terms of décor, F&B, ceremonies to attire etc. Understand and try to bridge the gap by understanding similarities or contrasting wishes which if put together in a way, can be a matter of fulfillment to both the parties.

Include a fun element blending both the cultures

A typical Punjabi tradition, well blended with the sweetness of Gujarat can create a cosmos of vibrant cuisines, art, and outfits. Create an atmosphere that exudes a well-intermingled charm of two distinct traditions. Some of the easiest areas to go experiment are music, light-hearted ceremonies and if permissible, the ensemble.

Keep your cool 

When initiating a meeting of two different worlds, it is common to have arguments, disagreements and refusal on many issues. It is important to keep calm amidst the heated moments, as this is usually the tie-breaker of the eternal connection.

Boast the Best of Both Worlds

Do not leave your guests wondering – what’s in a ceremony?:
If you have decided to go a particular route with your rituals, and all your guests are familiar with different rituals, hand them innovative ceremony programs during the ceremony explaining what the significance of each custom is, so that they don't get lost during it.

 


Mixed match fashion: Incorporating mixed matched wedding fashion is a fun solution for many distinct styles such as Sarees, Cheongsams, Mishananas, Kimonos, Lehengas, Ao dais, or Khmers. Also the art of mixing things up this way, gives each guest an opportunity to be confident at a colourful event.
 


What’s that famous saying? A way to someone’s heart is through his or her stomach: Food is one of the most important aspects of a wedding ceremony, it is better to include the customary dishes of both the sides in your menu. Make sure that no food item offends the other religion or their guests. If you have veg/non-veg issues, have separate food sections. 
 


Fusion Music and Dance Performances: A Delhi based teacher, Karishma Rajput, who has Rajasthani roots, married a Punjabi gabru Prateek Singh, a Chartered Engineer from Ludhiana. Their family had a case of severe culture shock but the couple persevered. They created a spiritual but faith-neutral ceremony in venue surrounded by pristine mountains of Manali. Moreover, to amp up their wedding celebrations they prepared dance performances by mashing up Rajasthani and Punjabi wedding songs. We saw ‘Ghoomar’ (Padmavati) meet ‘Tung Tung Baje’ (Diljit Dosanjh) with the twist of ‘Swag Se Swagat’ (Tiger Zinda Hai). Even their guests participated in the routines. Karishma said, “The goal was to have people walk away saying, ‘That was one of the best weddings I have ever been to.’ And when everybody saw the ceremonies, the love was no-holds-barred. If you have a pure soul, the emotion just overtakes you in that moment.”
 


The current generation is more open-minded and looks beyond the invisible cultural barriers when it comes to choosing a life-partner. With the current dynamics, it can be forecasted that the cross-cultural concept will rise drastically over the next decade.

Wise Advice: Once the wedding weekend arrives, don't sweat the small stuff. Be flexible if you are thrown any curve balls- it will be the best day of your life. It goes by quickly, so enjoy every moment.

                                     About the Author: Mr. Trishant Sidhwani, Partner, Dreamzkraft
 

 

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