Culture isn’t just about nationality anymore, a family’s culture can mean so many things. Socioeconomic class, religious background, political affiliation, race, ethnicity, the size of family, region of country, and many other things make up a culture. Each family has a unique culture that they feel comfortable in and is unlike any other. During a wedding, the cultures of two families are brought together in a mish mash of family customs and traditions. So how do you alleviate the pain of this “culture clash” ?
- Give your families time to get to know each other before the wedding.By taking opportunities for your closest family members to get to know each other before the wedding, they will know more of what to expect from their future in-laws, it will also take some of the pressure off for the wedding day. Need a suggestion? Invite them to a barbeque, pizza night, or even just to watch the big game on TV. These are activities which can be relatively inexpensive and will require conversation.
- Explain beforehand what’s going to happen at your wedding.If your wedding is a full Catholic mass and one side of the family has never heard the word “Eucharist”, some explanation is in order. By explaining the order of events in the service, your family will feel more tuned in and comfortable. Also, make it known that you are open to answering any questions beforehand, this will eliminate confusion.
- Incorporate both family’s cultures at the wedding.Proudly show off each of your cultures and intertwine them with each other. That way, all of your guests can experience something new and learn about each of you. Each wedding should be uniquely fit for the couple as a representation of two people from two backgrounds coming together into one union.
- If all else fails: Go with the flow.There is no full-proof method of eliminating all culture clash when two families come together. The best piece of advice I can give is that when the wedding day rolls around, go with the flow. Every single person may not understand what is going on or what the correct manners are, but in the long run all that will be remembered is the beautiful event that took place when two cultures collided into perfect harmony.
If culture clash is what your worried about, these simple things will keep both families in the loop and make your day enjoyable.
2011 Rachel Lee, www.simpleeleganceeventsandweddings.com;
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By Rachel Lee of Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs, serving Central Illinois. More information you can use at Simple Elegance Events & Wedding Designs.