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Multicultural Wedding Planning: Our Top 6 Tips

Wedding Resources

POV: You just got engaged and you’re excited to begin wedding planning. You and your partner are from different cultural or faith backgrounds and want both families to feel represented. So where do you begin?

We’ll be honest: planning an interfaith or multicultural wedding can be challenging. Wedding planning is already difficult and incorporating diverse and sometimes conflicting religious, cultural, and familial expectations makes it even harder.

Though the end result will surely be worth it, we get it if you need some help! That’s why we’re breaking down our top six tips on how to incorporate two (or more!) distinct cultures or religious traditions into your wedding.


1. Compromise is Key

Compromise is always important when it comes to wedding planning, but it’s even more important when planning a multicultural or interfaith wedding.

Before looping anyone in, figure out what matters most to you! Write down a list of cultural or religious wedding traditions and try to rank their importance.

Both you and your partner can then sit down together to decide which events you’d like to prioritize as a couple. This can provide a helpful framework before approaching your respective families, who may have differing opinions.

It’s important to get your families on the same page as early as possible, so consider discussing with important members of each family at once. Encourage family members to be respectful and open-minded in their dialogue.

You and your partner should advocate for what you want—it’s your wedding at the end of the day! You can skip traditions that don’t resonate or make sense for your wedding while being considerate of other stakeholders.

Parents can sometimes get caught up in the emotion of what they always envisioned, too, so try to make compromises in exchange for compromises.

Couple embracing on dancefloor; PHOTO COURTESY OF @TUANBCO

Photo courtesy of @tuanbco

2. …As is Communication

Interfaith couples will want to over-communicate with religious institutions and check in with them early in the planning process. There could be rules you’re unaware of and traditions considered lucky in one culture may be unlucky in another.

Take Jewish and Chinese traditions as an example. In a Jewish wedding, the breaking of the glass is a key tradition, but in a Chinese wedding, breaking glass is considered very bad luck! Some couples will ultimately choose to swap glass for bubble wrap.

Some religions will be okay with performing a single interfaith wedding ceremony, while others will not. A rabbi and a priest can often marry a couple at the same time in an interfaith ceremony, but if you’re Catholic and your partner is Hindu, you may need to have two religious ceremonies!

A place of worship like a Catholic church may require you and your partner to fulfill certain prerequisites like counseling before you can be married there. Other religious traditions don’t recognize interfaith marriage, so keep this in mind as you vet venues.

Be sure to share all the traditions you wish to incorporate with your venue, as some restrictions may not be obvious. For example, many indoor venues have strict rules for legal reasons and may not be able to accommodate the fire rituals customary to Indian weddings.


3. Educate Yourself About Your Partner’s Culture

Our cultural differences and unique heritages are integral and sacred parts of our identities. When combining traditions from different cultures, it’s crucial to understand their history and meaning so you can do so tastefully and respectfully.

Educating yourself about your partner’s culture is an extension of your love for them. It fosters an environment where you can have respectful and thoughtful discussions during wedding planning and throughout your marriage.

While your partner’s friends and family can be valuable resources (if they offer), doing your own research is still important. Consult experts who can let you know if a traditional element is appropriate for you to participate in and if it’s being performed in the right context.

Your research might even uncover traditions with origins in both of your cultures. For example, the Nigerian money spray dance has variations popular in Poland, Greece, the Philippines, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Portugal, Cuba, Latin America, Mexico, and more!


Photo courtesy of @leeshakingphoto

With any traditions you incorporate, be sure to educate your guests by including information on your invitations, programs, or wedding website. Communicate the meanings and history behind the traditions and share relevant etiquette.


4. Work With an Experienced Professional

When in doubt, a wedding planner can help you out. Did you know there are wedding pros who specialize in planning a multicultural wedding?

You also may be able to find wedding planners with deep knowledge of your cultural traditions and religious backgrounds. This is particularly helpful if you’re trying to plan an interfaith wedding where religious rules and guidelines come into play. For example, they might know offhand if your proposed wedding date overlaps with a lesser-known holy day.

Beyond being experts on the technical points, they can also give you unique ideas on how to blend cultural elements tastefully and serve as confidantes or intermediaries between the families.

Not sure where to start in your wedding planner search? Feel free to check out our Black-owned, AAPI-owned, women-owned, and LGBTQ+-owned wedding vendor lists. (Know a business you’d like us to add? Email us!)


5. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

While it’s important to be tasteful and respectful when incorporating cultural or religious wedding traditions, there are many ways to get creative in representing your and your partner’s heritage.

Food is an obvious one that’s also a hit with wedding guests! Look for caterers who embrace fusion or consider hiring multiple. You could even opt for a traditional dessert or creative cocktail with cultural flavors or ingredients.

Don’t underestimate the power of an outfit change, either! Some couples will wear different traditional garments at different wedding events. Many Chinese American brides will wear a red dress at some point during the wedding festivities, even if they choose to wear a white gown during the wedding ceremony.

Bride wearing red dress holding hands with groom; PHOTO COURTESY OF @TONI.MARIE.PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo courtesy of

Music and decor, including art and furniture, are other great, subtle ways to include traditional cultural elements on your wedding day. Speaking of subtle, have you ever heard of scent-scaping? Nod to your heritage by incorporating specific spices, herbs, or other fragrant elements significant to your culture.

Many of our customers choose to engrave their wedding rings in a language other than English as well. At Holden, we can engrave our rings (for free!) in Hebrew, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Cyrillic, and more. If there’s a particular language you have in mind, email us at and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

Engraved wedding bands in grass; PHOTO COURTESY OF @SADIELYNNFILMS

Photo courtesy of @sadielynnfilms

Shop Engravable Rings

6. Make Use of Your Other Wedding Events

If you’re having trouble including all the different traditions and cultural elements you want, don’t limit yourself to just the ceremony and reception. Make use of your engagement party, shower, bach party, rehearsal dinner, or any other pre- and post- wedding events.

For example, if one family is Scottish and the other is Hawaiian, you could consider wearing kilts and family colors to the rehearsal dinner and leis during the reception. If your partner is Greek and you’re French, consider serving baklava at the engagement party and croquembouche on the big day.

It all comes down to prioritizing what’s highest on your nonnegotiable list and making necessary compromises with your partner, your families, and religious institutions. And if all else fails, you can always host another wedding! (Just kidding…or are we? In all seriousness, a lot of couples do this!)


Questions? Give us a shout at or a ring (pun intended) at 646.722.6817.



Cover courtesy of Jen (@jenabie) & Jeese (@drummond5441)


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