Since this never actually became a wedding planning blog, plain old recaps didn't seem appropriate, and besides, I find them a bit meh. So I'm going to post about what I learned and how I integrated it (or didn't) on our wedding day. Maybe someone might find it useful or maybe you'll just like the piccies (who doesn't like wedding pics?!). Either way, let the post-mortem begin!
Once upon a time, I was sick of dating guys who didn't have a culture of their own. I mean those people who unfortunately don't or can't remember their roots because they were
Then I met Dave the Scot. Exotic much? Well, for me anyway, meeting a real life Scot complete with the accent, the kilt and the history nearly knocked me off my feet. Of course, I fell in love with Dave because of who he is as a man, but his culture was very attractive to me. So integrating our cultures was a no-brainer. I always knew my Ghanian* heritage would be front and centre but it was nice to share that stage with Dave's culture. It wasn't difficult at all. I told my mother I wanted people to wear the traditional kente cloth and we just knew the men on Dave's side would wear kilts. My mother asked if I wanted to change into traditional dress for the reception and I said no because I couldn't fathom wearing my wedding dress for a couple of hours - I could wear a kente outfit to a fancy restaurant on a Saturday if I wanted. And that was that. The attire was taken care of.
Since the wedding took place in Scotland, we had a bunch of Scottish touches such as haggis parcels for hors d'oeuvres, a piper who piped us out of the ceremony and into the reception, and a reading by a Scottish poet. This probably was common practice for our Scottish guests, but they were a whole new world for the Canadian, American and Ghanian contingents. Just to nail the point a bit more, we hand an old Celtic ritual performed - the handfasting. I had sewn together two long strips of kente cloth and tartan for this ritual as it conveyed not only the joining of two individuals and families, but two cultures as well. It was and is so important for us for our cultures to be shared with each other and we wanted to share with our guests.
Another thing that we did was have a couple of songs from each culture. We did some ceilidh dancing (traditional Scottish country dancing) and danced to some high life Ghanian music. I was a little nervous about this, but it worked. People loved it! Most Scottish people have never heard Ghanian music and vice versa. One high point for me was seeing my mother-in-law shake her money maker and yell "Am I doing this right?" and me enthusiastically giving her huge thumbs up.
So my thoughts on multicultural weddings is this: keep it simple and make sure both sides are represented equally. They are fun, unique, beautiful and educational. Communicate with your partner and your parents and be confident in the fact that your guests will most likely be blown away by the differences and similarities. For our wedding, one of the things that keep blowing me away is the multi-ethnicity and the vibrant colours in the photographs (sorry if they're not coming through here). A few more pics to see what I mean:
Our celebrant tying out hands together, saying beautiful words the whole time.
*I spell "Ghanian" the way Ghanians do, though if you look it up in the dictionary, it's spelled "Ghanaian" and also pronounced that way by non-Ghanians. Confusing? Hopefully not. But if you go to Ghana and ask a Ghanian what she calls herself, if she was brought up in Ghana, she'll say Ghanian.
I'll be back soon with some more lessons learned. Ta!