6 Tips For Throwing A Big Fat Fusion Wedding
My parents are immigrants from India. They’ve always pictured throwing a large, lavish desi wedding for me, complete with a Nikkah ceremony and Mehndi party. It just so happens that my fiancé – who is of German and English descent – had never even heard terms like “Nikkah” and “Mehndi” before meeting me.
There’s no doubt about it: Planning a great fusion wedding is tough. But if I’ve learned one thing through the process of planning my own, it’s this: It can be done.
There are things you can do to ensure that no one involved feels insulted or slighted. There are ways you can blend both heritages without turning your wedding into a tacky hodgepodge. Most of all, there are so many opportunities for you and your partner to put your own twist on the big day. Here are my top five tips to planning the perfect fusion wedding.
1.) Consider hosting two receptions: Indian brides are already familiar with the multi-event wedding – why not extend the festivities for one more night? My fiancé and I have decided to have two receptions: One hosted by my family in my hometown, another hosted by his parents in the city we live. Obviously, this isn’t the most budget-friendly option but if you can swing it, definitely consider throwing one reception immediately after your nuptials and another a week or so later. That way both families can see their respective visions come to light without having to make too many compromises.
2.) Write your own ceremony: I truly believe that the best wedding ceremonies have a very personal feel. If you and your partner are of different faiths, try writing one ceremony that can take elements from both and mesh them into one. If culture is a bigger concern than religion, try incorporating readings or customs from each culture throughout the ceremony. This is your chance to be creative and honor the parts of your culture that matter most to you.
3.) Consider a costume change: If your family would love to see you in a traditional bridal lengha and your groom wants nothing more than a bride in a white gown, why not do both? Consider wearing a desi outfit throughout the ceremony and early part of the reception before slipping into a dress or gown towards the end of the night (this might also make it much easier for you to dance the night away!)
4.) Choose neutral décor: Indian weddings are notoriously colorful. It’s always gorgeous to see a saturated palette – but it could also be overwhelming to someone from another culture. Since décor tends to be one of the less tradition-steeped aspects of the wedding, consider compromising on this piece by choosing more neutral colors (like ivory, blush, gold and silver) for your flowers and linens.
5.) Serve both cuisines: You might want to serve Indian food at your wedding while your fiancé would prefer a steak-or-chicken sit-down dinner. Our suggestion? Do both. Serve a meal from your culture at the events leading up to the big day but opt for something that fits your partner’s heritage the day of the wedding – or offer appetizers from one culture during cocktail hour before letting the other culture take over during dinner. We would advise against serving both at the same time, though: It can get a bit overwhelming for your guests.
6.) Explain your customs to your guests: When you're throwing a fusion wedding, chances are a lot of your guests won't know about many of the customs and traditions you choose to incorporate into your nuptials. Finding a way to explain the significance behind certain things might be a great idea. You can provide a rundown of your customs on your wedding web site or even in the program for the event.