Tell me about your weddings/committment ceremonies! - Mothering Forums
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Multicultural Families > Tell me about your weddings/committment ceremonies!
RainCoastMama's Avatar RainCoastMama 11:26 PM 02-16-2008


Bruden's Avatar Bruden 11:38 PM 02-19-2008
Despite being raised Protestant, my husband and I got married in the Catholic church he went to growing up and our wedding was done half in Polish, half in English. The fun part was we were married in Sweden.
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum 09:47 AM 02-20-2008
Dh & I married in a British Registry Office- I'm not sure how traditional that is in either the US or Aus!

We didn't have any family there, but we did have some really good friends by our side, & it was lovely. I wore a blue & white checked cotton dress, & had a hand-picked flower bouquet & DH wore a embroidered white cotton shift/shirt.... It was all very 1990's English hippie. And loads of fun- especially the reception that night at our little inner-city terrace house.
LaffNowCryLater's Avatar LaffNowCryLater 12:04 PM 02-20-2008
Well we were both raised in the same city so even though we are different races we share the same culture sort of. Just a typical wedding, Christian preacher (I didn't care who did it- dh's mom want a religious person though), married at a chapel in the same building that the reception was in. Nice sit down meal etc.
GinaNY's Avatar GinaNY 03:14 AM 02-26-2008
My dh is Filipino and I am Puerto Rican. Since we both have that Spanish Catholic Island thing going it wasn't so odd for either of us.

We got maried in Puerto Rico on the beach. It was supposed to be small but 155 ppl later....oh well.

We had a very traditional full mass with the cord, veil, coin and candle ceremonies. We also had a local priest and an Irish priest who is a long time friend of the family divy up the responsibilities. The reception was on site.

It was bigger than I wanted, but a really good time.

ETA: I wore a white dress. The men on my side wore Guayaberas and the men on his side wore Barongs. Invitations were in English. Spanish ones sent to my family in PR. Favors were Hawaiian cookies in a palm leaf box with Orchid and a palm leaf fan.
eepster's Avatar eepster 06:43 AM 02-26-2008
We had a renegade catholic priest who does catholic weddings w/o the classes DH wasn't willing to attend, and w/o the mass and sermon that he wasn't willing to sit through (he breaks other edicts too, but those didn't effect us.) We had music and dancing like a typical Irish wedding. We had a tea ceremony like a typical Chinese wedding. We had vegan versions of traditional Chinese wedding banquet dishes, but a traditional European cake (French bakery not Irish.) There were lots of other little Irish and chinese things, but it would take an hour to list them.

We had it in a park surrounded by nature, b/c DH and I are birdwatchers.
GSMama's Avatar GSMama 01:23 PM 02-27-2008
We were married in a non-religious ceremony on the beach in Jamaica with family and friends.

We always knew we weren't the kind of people for all the hoopla of a wedding at home and there was no way we could keep a wedding here in Canada small (my dad has a huge family). So we compromised by inviting everyone to Jamaica, knowing full well that not everyone would come . In the end all of the people we were close with were happy to make the trip and it was a wonderful week. It also accomplished having some of DH's family that might not have been able to attend the wedding be able to be there.

Looking back, there isn't a thing I'd change about it.
Danelle78's Avatar Danelle78 05:47 PM 02-27-2008
All our invitations were printed in English/German (DH did those himself). For the service, he brother and sister read the verses in German. We also sang hymn that were well known in Germany. It was beautiful and we had a great time.
RainCoastMama's Avatar RainCoastMama 06:09 PM 02-27-2008


mntnmom's Avatar mntnmom 03:11 PM 02-29-2008
We avoided it all together!! My family is Protestant, DH's is Catholic. I am Pagan and he is agnostic. We eloped. A yr later we had an outdoor commitment ceremony for our families, with a UU minister. :LOL

I wish we had done something a little more exotic, but it kept the peace.
Alcyone's Avatar Alcyone 08:06 AM 03-02-2008
We didn't, really. We had a legal civil ceremony in Denmark, and a traditional big-dress/fancy-cake deal in America. I didn't like my wedding. I wanted to include Danish things but my mother kept insisting it was "my" wedding. In actuality it was hers, and a huge waste of my time.
EdnaMarie's Avatar EdnaMarie 01:31 PM 03-02-2008
We did it mainly according to DH's traditions although I wore a western wedding dress.
emmasmommy's Avatar emmasmommy 08:27 PM 03-03-2008
There weren't too many big differences in Canadian weddings and Swedish weddings, but we mixed what we could. Our ceremony was a civil ceremony in all English in my parents' yard. We did mix traditions a bit at the reception though. We had our parents and grandparents (we only had one grandma each at the wedding) at the head table rather than the wedding party which is Swedish tradition, and I know we did more but I can't remember. I know that we compromised a lot on some things and what we ended up with wasn't really Swedish or Canadian, but just us! Some of dh's relatives did their toasts in Swedish with a "translator" - dh's cousin who was our MC.
Cyann's Avatar Cyann 11:08 PM 03-08-2008
We had two weddings. (I'm a more-or-less Christian American; my husband is originally from India, and more-or-less Hindu.) The first was a typical American wedding, held at a lakeside place near our house. It was a sunny day in early November, yellow leaves were still on the trees, I wore a slinky white dress, it was perfect.

The second wedding was the following February, in India. We went to a famous temple city and had a typical (though much-shortened) southern-style Indian wedding at a traditional open-air wedding hall there. There were two different ceremonies on two different days. The timing of the actual wedding ceremony was astrologically determined, and I was just grateful that we drew a mid-morning slot rather than something like two in the morning like some people get! I had four different saris, including the traditional nine-yard-long red one; my husband had a yellow silk (dyed with turmeric) cloth like a wrap skirt. (I know the name of it, I'm just blanking. Arrgh!) The ceremonies were overwhelming. Musicians played (very loudly!), the smoke from the fire got in my eyes, I had no idea what was going on most of the time, but I loved it all. Before and after, we all got served the most fabulous south Indian vegetarian food, on banana leaves. Yum.

After everything was done, we went to the temple in town, then after that, we took a trip up a road of about fifty hair-raising switchbacks to the main temple at the top of the hill, and stood in line for a couple of hours to view the deity there. At the very last threshhold, I guess I didn't move quickly enough, and the attendant yanked me inside and almost off my feet. All the strangeness and newness of the last few days hit me at once, and as soon as we were outside again, I burst into tears! Luckily, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, who were with us, were very understanding, and kept telling me what an idiot that attendant was.

There was a reception a few days later back in Chennai, and I got to wear this huge voluminous turquoise skirt and blouse and at least a pound of matching jewelry.
dessismama's Avatar dessismama 05:08 AM 03-09-2008
We did a traditional American wedding at the church where my husband grew up but we had programs with English, Bulgarian, and Chinese writing on them. We also used a Bulgarian fertility tradition and had an official Chinese tea ceremony where I got to serve tea to all the elders on both sides of DH's family.
rrible's Avatar rrible 06:06 PM 03-11-2008
I'm Indian, Hindu, and my husband comes from a non-practicing jewish/catholic blend family. Neither of us is religious at all. My 15 year old cousin said the theme of the wedding was "fusion". Because we weren't committed to any traditional ceremony in any pure form, we had a mixed ceremony that went something like this:

traditional western processional (bridesmaids, music, flower girl, etc). I wore a beige 2 piece lehnga dress made by an Indian designer that had a very western a-line shape.
had a family friend, a judge, "officiate", say a few words.
catholic aunt gave a short reading
jewish almost-rabbi best friend gave a jewish blessing
family friend lead a very shortened version of a traditional indian ceremony with the fire (usually takes about 2+ hours) and all. probably condensed to about 30 minutes.
judge helped us do vows, exchange rings, said a few words, kiss the bride...

all in all about an hour.

the reception was just one big party mostly western, but some indian music. we had an indian dance party 2 nights prior for all the indian guests and my husbands family and a dinner at an italian restaurant the night before for the rest of the out of town guests and wedding party.

it was fun but a lot of coordination to mix things up so much!
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar Bad Mama Jama 03:30 AM 03-12-2008
these stories are all so beautiful and it makes me all misty to hear you all share. how beautiful to incorporate bits of yourselves into your special days. this is reaally great to hear.
Cyann's Avatar Cyann 05:44 PM 03-13-2008
Edit: Oops, I just noticed it posted after all!

[I got carried away the other day writing the whole thing out in more detail than anyone probably cares about, then lost it all when my son pushed the off button on the computer. Guess I was typing too long.

So here's the short version. My husband and I got married twice. First time was a traditional American ceremony near our house. Second time was a traditional Hindu ceremony in a temple town in southern India. The latter was overwhelming for me, but one of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn't trade either one for anything. Plus, it kept all the parents happy. ]
iriaS's Avatar iriaS 06:08 PM 03-13-2008
DH and I grew up Catholic and we married the Catholic way, we picked Mexico we had a Spanish/Afrikaans ceremony, we didn't really combine cultures, we also had an Azeri translator for my maternal family who dont speak Spanish(even though almost all my family speaks Spanish).
It was lovely really, a beautiful reunion in the beach afterwards with delicious Afghan food, maybe that's the only Afghan thing that we had in our wedding.
Kitsune6's Avatar Kitsune6 03:12 AM 03-14-2008
Originally Posted by GSMama View Post
We were married in a non-religious ceremony on the beach in Jamaica with family and friends.

We always knew we weren't the kind of people for all the hoopla of a wedding at home and there was no way we could keep a wedding here in Canada small (my dad has a huge family). So we compromised by inviting everyone to Jamaica, knowing full well that not everyone would come . In the end all of the people we were close with were happy to make the trip and it was a wonderful week. It also accomplished having some of DH's family that might not have been able to attend the wedding be able to be there.

Looking back, there isn't a thing I'd change about it.
We did the same thing except we ended up with a catholic priest
We don't remember at all what he made us repeat but it didn't matter to us. we just wanted to be married without anyone around. We had a great reception at a local brewery when we got back. Weddingmoons are awesome!
east carolina's Avatar east carolina 04:18 PM 03-14-2008
Most marriages in the Czech Republic are officiated by county clerks and they're really dry and boring. Also, you can't write your own vows or influence what is read during the ceremony. We had a tiny wedding with just three guests (two witnesses and DH's sister), and I wore a summer dress with a 1920's style white hat and a very long black boa. We spiced up the ceremony by having our friends who were our witnesses read the text of "Love and Marriage" as a serious poem in both English and Czech (the county people liked it so much that they asked for the text afterward).

We went out to lunch and then went bowling, then drank the evening away! We didn't have any professional pictures done during the ceremony, and the camera we used was pretty old (not digital), and the pictures are sooooo funny! We look really crazy, especially DH who made some pretty silly faces at the camera. My mom laughed so hard when she saw the pictures. I'm sure our kids will have a blast looking at them when they're older.
sophi4ka's Avatar sophi4ka 02:29 AM 03-19-2008
I am Jewish and DH is Christian Orthodox. We couldn't marry in any of those religious tranditions so we had a civil ceremony in San Francisco City Hall - which was THE BEST!!! . I don't feel connected to any of those religions anyway

In addition to it being a very nice ceremony, I am also very happy that I got married in a place that also weds gays and lesbians.
elizaveta's Avatar elizaveta 11:08 PM 03-19-2008
I found out I was pregnant with dd and we had actually planned on getting married, we just hadn't set a date and I didn't know at that time what would happen, so we decided to get married as soon as I was pregnant, because it's not allowed to have a baby here unwed. I ended up not having dd here though as it turned out.

We're both Russian Orthodox and here we do not have a full time priest, we have a priest who stays in Iran full time and comes monthly or so. We were lucky enough to catch him and ask him to do a small ceremony for us. My Mil did most of the planning and he gave her instructions on what to buy. We went searching for a white dress and found one in the last place we looked that fit me and was beautiful. We were married in my mil's sitting room! I don't know how to explain an Orthodox ceremony, but they are very beautiful in my opinion. It was small and I didn't get a chance to have the crowning part because there were no crowns available at that time, but it was still beautiful. I remember sitting in my sil's room with my bil's wife and I was so excited. And then they took me to another room and I was talking to dh through the door and I started to cry because I wanted to see him and I was so happy! I didn't cry during the ceremony because I was too nervous! Afterwards we had an appropriate meal for the priest that my Mil had made. He is a monk, so he has a different diet. We ate, had many toasts and were asked to kiss kiss so many times! And we did a few Russian traditions: my mother in-law brought bread that she baked and we had to bite off a piece and whoever bites off the biggest piece will be the head of the house. My husband got a bigger piece, of course. And then he drank a shot out of my shoe, which is to show he loves me. We went out to dinner at a Marriot later that night with some family and friends (we ran into our priest there drinking a beer, which I thought was hilarious!), but I was in the morning sickness stage and we went home early and I fell asleep. I was a horrible bride. I was actually feeling terrible the day of our wedding, but it had subsided by the ceremony. A few days later when we were fixing up all the wedding documents a friend was driving us to a ministry to sign some papers and I had to ask him to pull over to I could puke in the trash bin. It was so embarrassing!

I wish we could of had a ceremony where my friends and family in America could have attended and we have family in Russia that didn't get to come as well. But it was still beautiful and I probably wouldn't actually change it, except I would have been happier if it could have been in an actual church in Russia. We didn't have a honeymoon, but I wasn't in much a mood for one with all the morning sickness.
Julz6871's Avatar Julz6871 01:54 AM 03-20-2008
I don't regularly post here, but this thread inticed me Im a white american and he is west african. Im nondenominational christian (at best) and he was raised catholic but no longer attends. We avoided all the family pressure by having a caribbean beach wedding and inviting people literally two weeks before the event.
jgm06's Avatar jgm06 03:51 PM 03-20-2008
We were married in a Catholic Church with a full mass. DH is Filippino so he (and all the men) wore barongs. His mom wore a traditional Filippino dress. We incorporated the candle, chord, and veil into the mass as well as the presentation of the coins. We had "sponsors" as part of the wedding party which are people who are supposed to help support us throughout our married life. Women were handed fans from the Philippines when they entered the church. Favors were chocolate Needhams in little palm grass baskets. It was a lot bigger than I had wanted since it was hard for DH family to trim guest list...but it was a wonderful day.
slmtoya's Avatar slmtoya 11:51 AM 03-24-2008
Dh was raised Catholic, I am COGIC to strains of Christianity that don't mix. I was not willing to have anything Catholic in our ceremony because it just really goes against the grain for me, and DH wasn't really into Catholicism anyway. Our first ceremony was at the court house with the JOP. The second was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony in a garden but it rained (yay for hurricane season in FL).

I did try to incorporate some of DH's Irish hertiage. It was hard for me to include things from his side of the family because he really knows nothing about his hertiage and could care less about trying to learn. But I had irish music for the wedding party to march to. The rest was a typical ceremony. We did do one African tradition that I was adamant about, we jumped the broom after the ceremony was complete.
kJad29's Avatar kJad29 08:31 PM 03-24-2008
This is my second post here...I think I may have to introduce myself formally sometime.

I'm Nigerian American (Nigerian father, Black American mix with other stuff mother) and my DH is 4th generation Polish, Hungarian, and Croatian, but has no ties to his mother countries or to the languages so he tells me he has no ethnic identity.

Anyways, neither my DH nor I are Christian. I'm a Vaisnava (Hare Krishna) and at the time my husband was a Buddhist so we had a double ceremony with a Zen Buddhist monk and a South Indian Vaisnava bramhin. It was a blast because I wore a traditional wedding sari, DH wore a nice kurta pajama and he had a mandap and everything. His family are all non-practicing Catholics and my family is kind of half/half on religions where my parents are Vaisnavas (initiated last August!!! ) and my younger brother is also practicing as well. The rest of my siblings are various Christian denominations. We had our wedding at my parents house where they have 4 acres of land. We set up a beautiful tent, with flowers and a stage for the ceremony and a dance floor. We had wonderful caterers from a pure vegetarian South Indian restaurant (DH and about 1/2 of my family and all my friends are vegetarians). It was such a wonderful day. We also have friends from all over the world (ethnically) so no group was missed. I had my relatives from Nigeria who live both in the states and in the UK, co-workers and friends of my parents from East Africa, Black American, India, Indians from South Africa, Mauritius, SE Asia, The Phillipines, White people, Latinos, you name it, they were probably there. We basically had representatives from every continent and mixes in between. It was as my friend's mother called it, the way the world should be, everybody getting along in peace celebrating together. That's what it was for us. So we had a wonderful wedding. DH's family showed up strong as well and we were all just so happy.

Now we're just waiting for the babies to come....
StarJune's Avatar StarJune 11:50 PM 04-17-2008
kJad29 Your wedding sounds amazing. You should post some pictures.
ernalala's Avatar ernalala 02:37 PM 04-19-2008
We had an official town hall wedding (without ceremony even :-) with two witnesses and a friend, almost got late for it, even 'forgot' to wear each other the rings, so we did that ceremony outside :-) Got some pictures shot by townhall photographer, we were not allowed to do it ourselves. Whatever, we look very happy on those! I wore a silvery-pinkish long dress with a black long half-open 'vest' in velours.
We had no family over, we did not want to have a big wedding and it would also get very complicated with two cultures involved (and different religious backgrounds and I am atheist myself), and all family living far away from where we wedded. We got a barbecue with one of the friends who had come over by an 11h drive for just 5min. witnessing (the friend who partly helped in acquainting us :-). Afternoon we had a sudden out of the blue mosk-ceremony (with a small adventure finding a mosk with imam willing to wed us) since my husband felt that was necessary for him and his (feelings towards) his muslim family to do so, I asked 1Bfr, equivalent of 1/45 of 1€ as bridal gift from HB . Evenings we went to eat out chinese by the two of us - we really overate us that day:.
The next day we left on a short honeymoon and right after that we visited my FIL for the first time, and as a freshly married couple and me a foreign bride, we got a lot of curious attention, it was very overwhelming for me but I felt very welcome too.

I was very happy to have had our wedding as 'OUR DAY' completely, and just very low profile. NO wedding stress at all apart from the fear of not understanding the wedding official when he would ask me 'THE' question and/or other things in Turkish .

Only maybe my family may have felt left out a bit, but it really was how I/we wanted it. It didn't really matter for my FIL if and how we would celebrate, that we were married was the most important, not attending the wedding.

I designed our wedding announcements myself, only we sent those out AFTER the wedding to tell everyone we got married !
DRJ's Avatar DRJ 06:15 PM 05-12-2008
We were married by a friend in an art gallery. Non-religious, but pretty traditional.

The rehearsal dinner was a different story. After the dinner, my DH presented my father with a water buffalo (cute, stuffed animal version), which is the traditional Malaysian dowry.
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