There is nothing as wonderful as seeing an interracial couple taking the leap to marriage. How great it is to think of their their love as something bringing about a fusion of two cultures. But seeing as different cultures conduct their weddings differently … especially the wedding ceremonies and other ceremonies prior to the wedding, such great anticipated fusion could turn into a clash of cultures.
See there are cultures that follow their traditions. Looking at the African and Indian communities for example, payment of bride price or dowry if you may, is something that fundamentally precedes a wedding; kinda like saying “No bride price, No Wedding!” So when two people meet, one from a dowry paying culture and the other from the engagement ring culture, for some, problems between the two families erupt because there are those who believe their traditions MUST be honored and followed no matter what.
I know quite a number of men and women… (in the case of Indians) from the western world who have had to do weddings both the western way and the traditional way according to their spouse’s cultural demands – Engagement ring and dowry; some to the extent of being forced to do two weddings just to please the ‘other sides’.
But is all this really necessary?
See, this is just an example of how family and society can create pressure on interracial couples. Imagine having to squeeze your normal budget or cut down on the original wedding budget and incurring double wedding expenses just to get some ‘blessings’ from the ‘other’ family!
I think to avoid all this drama, if you are gonna have a non-traditional wedding, then better start telling your family about it as soon as you make that choice. But the best (and cheaper) way to go about it is FUSION: Incorporating the most important traditions into your western wedding or vice versa. And once you are open to both sides about how you want things to done, potential chaos might be avoided.
We must bear in mind that when it comes to interracial weddings, some rules will have to be broken; compromises will have to be reached at. Some people even opt for two marriage officiants in cases where culture is intertwined with religion. So if honoring two cultures separately seems too pricey and too demanding, go hybrid and let the uniqueness in both cultures shine on your wedding day! But whatever you plan to incorporate, remember, its your wedding day! Have fun and make the most of it. You might be among those who only get to do it once!