A Guide to Having Two Weddings in One Day for Multicultural Relationships
If you are in an interfaith or multicultural relationship, you’ll probably be wanting to ensure both of your faiths, rituals and traditions are represented in your wedding celebrations and wondering how you can effectively do this. Sommy Echezona, director at M.Fiore Events has a perfect solution: two weddings in one day…
Firstly, congrats on your engagement! If you are reading this article, you might be wondering how to have two different cultural traditions included in your wedding. You might be feeling slightly pressured to have a wedding that spans over several days, mixed with different events. If that’s not the ideal wedding for you, there is another option! Why not think about having two weddings in one day?
Having two weddings in one day may benefit a couple who feel overwhelmed having the limelight on them over a series of days or, for couples who feel that by having one day, they can make the most out of their ideas and truly personalise their celebration. This option allows you to express yourself, tell your story, and showcase who you are as a couple and as individuals coming together. Here is a guide to help you get started!
My suggested timeline:
- 8 am-9 am: Wake up, breakfast and Bellinis!
- 8:45 am: Planner, florist and decor arrive and set up
- 9 am-12 pm: Hair and Make up
- 11:30 am: Photographer/Videographer arrive and set up
- 11:30 am: Couple and wedding party finish getting ready
- 12 pm: Catering arrives
- 12 pm-12:15 pm: Photos of the bride and bridal party
- 12:15 pm: Guest start arriving
- 12:15 pm-12:30 pm: Photos of the groom and groom party
- 1 pm-1:30 pm: 1st Ceremony
- 1:30 pm: Cocktail reception
- 1:30 pm-1:45 pm: Moment for the bride and groom
- 1:45 pm-2 pm: Family photos with the wedding party
- 2 pm-2:30 pm: Friends photos with the wedding party
- 2:30 pm-4:30 pm: Wedding breakfast
- 5 pm-5:30 pm: Wedding party getting ready for 2nd ceremony
- 5:45 pm-6 pm: 2nd ceremony begins
- 6 pm: Live music/DJ arrives
- 6:15 pm-6:30 pm: Moment for the couple
- 6:30 pm-6:45 pm: Sunset photos
- 6:45 pm-7 pm: Wedding party changes outfits (optional)
- 7 pm: Reception
- 7:30 pm: First dance
- 7:45 pm: Evening food is set out
- 8 pm: PARTY!
Beginning your wedding planning journey
It’s important to think about the elements that are most vital to you and build your planning journey from there. After all, your wedding is a celebration of you and your story.
Having a multicultural wedding tends to mean you will need a larger budget due to hiring a venue or different venues and catering vendors for several days. Your family and friends will spend more money on booking their stay for your wedding and will have to book time off work. Whereas, having two weddings in one day, allows you to save more on costs in venue hire, food and the different suppliers for your day.
I suggest deciding on a venue or location first that is special to you both. Your chosen venue will be a neutral starting point, that will be able to combine both of your cultures. In addition, you will be able to see how flexible they are on guests numbers and timings for the day.
Next, it is important to hire the right suppliers as you will need to make sure they will understand and convey your vision, are flexible, and respect cultural differences. You want your suppliers to be able to cater for a long day and be able to help you create the wedding you have pictured.
Combining both of your cultures can seem exhausting with a lot of planning. However, have you thought about having two condensed ceremonies? For my wedding (yes, I am a soon to be bride as well!), we have decided to have a celebrant-led English wedding, then after the wedding breakfast, we are having a condensed Nigerian ceremony.
One of the Nigerian traditions we have decided to include is the ‘money dance’. When you are pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds celebrate their union and the guests shower money on them whilst they dance to bless them in their new life together and show their love and appreciation for the couple. This tradition is something we both thought we will enjoy and allows our family and friends to be part of the ceremony.
Two weddings in one day is not limited to blending cultures but can also include blending religions. For example, for one of my couples, I suggested this layout. The bride is Peruvian and Catholic, and their tradition is to have an ancestor make a speech during the ceremony to remind the couple of their marriage duties and give their blessing. After the wedding breakfast, they decided to have a Jewish ceremony, still keeping all the traditions they loved in both cultures.
Why not try combining the different styles of your cultures to make it more personalised to you? For example, having one set of decor for the day and switching it up in the evening. During the reception, play the music you love as well as music from your cultures! Teaching a certain dance from different backgrounds is a great way to get the party going.
Food, Food, Food!
Food is one of the biggest elements of your day and it is important to find the right caterer early on in your process. You need to make sure they are flexible and open to making a variety of food.
For your wedding breakfast, choose a style of meal that you both love, again, making your wedding more personalised to you. In the evening, you can have a grazing board of a variety of food. This way you cater for everyone, having an array of different types of cuisine from both cultures and everyone is happy! My fiancé and I are having Nigerian puff puff and Wigan pies (he’s very Northern!). If you decide on this option, you will not need to hire the caterer for multiple days, therefore saving on costs.
Remember to savour the moment
Remember, this is your story and your day. So, savour moments during your wedding for yourself and enjoy the planning process! Take your time when making choices and think about what will be meaningful to you as well as your guests, so that they feel welcomed and part of your wedding. Overall, this is your special day that showcases who you are as a couple, celebrating your journey together.
There you have it! Thank you to Guides for Brides, for sharing this topic. I hope this sparked some ideas for your wedding. The key to having two weddings in one day is to always be open-minded, creative and communication between both of your families, that way your wedding will flow effortlessly.
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