A fusion wedding can also be referred to as an interracial wedding, a multi-faith or a multi-cultural wedding.
In a word is a wedding where the couple comes from different cultures. In a way all weddings are “multi-cultural” as often people have been brought up in different ways.
A fusion wedding marries elements of both cultures as the couple embraces each other’s families, traditions, etc. Many weddings of couples born in the UK but of different origins incorporate elements of both UK and the other culture/s, many Asian brides have a white dress for the registry and one or many saris for the Asian ceremony for example.
We all know that a wedding includes compromises with the families, more or less depending on the couple and the families, but apart from eloping with 2 witnesses, a wedding is a family affair, it’s bringing together very different people and making sure they’re comfortable, if not ecstatic about all the choices, and it’s even more important with a fusion wedding.
Today some tips on how to plan a fusion wedding, whatever the cultures:
* Work out what’s important to you as a individuals and as a couple
Even for people who live very Western lives, on a wedding day suddenly the need to link back to the family’s culture can be quite strong, on the other hand, it can be totally meaningless and the couple might want a theme that is just them, like a book themed wedding, it’s down to the individuals.
* Work out how much to ask of your families and how much you’re willing to give- and communicate it clearly to the family and the vendors It’s very important, especially if it affects the timings. Many times I’ve been told there wouldn’t be any group shots at an Indian wedding because the couple doesn’t want them, only to find out on the day that in order to avoid upsetting people they care about, so group shots it is, and I’m prepared but timing needs to be flexible to allow for last minute changes.
*Communicate- always With each other of course; with your families, educate them about each other’s cultures, expectations- if necessary; with your vendors to explain what you’re looking for, what is important to you, and ask for advice/ help/recommendations; with your guests, if you’re going to hold a special ceremony make sure they know what it means and feel that they’re with you, not left out.
* Decide what you want to bring in and how It can be a colour theme- orange for Holland- specific flowers– orchids for Sri-Lanka- Orange socks and tulips for a Dutch influence It could be room decorations like drapes or a small tent, favours and table decorations like divas, food items on the main menu or as an add on, like baklavas as well as cake. Just make sure everyone has enough to eat, some people might not like food too spicy- tiku- for example. The table plan can reflect different influences too. Food is what people miss more about their own culture when they move, it’s what makes us feel at home.
It can be an additional ceremony or blessing- on the day or another day; a change of costume during the day or the evening- I’ve seen up to 4 changes of costumes in a day: 2 Moroccan, 1 Algerian, and a Western white dress- or 1 white dress and 3 saris. Sinhalese ceremony at Mythe Barn and British Moroccan wedding in Windsor and Marrakesh
It can be the music, for the party or as accompaniment- like an Oud player for an Arabic air. You could even have a mini dance class to explain different dances.
Alkesh and I had a very different wedding, including elements of many traditions, some we belong to, some we just liked, from druidic to American Indian, with a mini Hindu ritual and Christian readings. My French family was may be thinking it was the British way and our British friends might have thought it was very French, but in fact is was us, a real mix, in a open barn in France and a village hall in England, both decorated with saris that I kept to lend other couples.
What we found the hardest was finding a cake topper! So a friend made us one with us in our costumes- he had a black modern Indian suit with embroidery, and I had a red Western dress- out of paper.
I specialise in multi-cultural weddings, of course I shoot many British weddings, but I also shoot many weddings that are a mix of cultures. I shoot of course many Asian-White weddings abut I’ve also had many Irish-English weddings, on both sides of the Irish sea. Other brides and grooms have been American, Australian, Bengali, Canadian, Caribbean, Chinese, Dutch, Emirati, French, German, Gujarati, Italian, Macedonian, Malawian, Polish, Scottish, Sinhalese, South African, Spanish and Zimbabwean.
Planning a multi-cultural wedding? Get in touch, I’d love to hear your ideas and would be happy to help in any way I can. Alix 07763064497 or at home on 01509 556 276