We’re a mixed race couple, what are some ways that we can celebrate our diversity at our wedding?
Well, first of all, congratulations! We applaud you for your desire to celebrate and acknowledge your cultural and ethnic background...what a great way to kick off your union! Obviously, we’re a couple of Texas white girls, but we’ve been to hundreds of weddings and have seen some really cool things, so we’re happy to share some ideas.
Celebrating Your Nationality
If either of your families have a strong heritage from another country, we highly encourage you to highlight this at your wedding. Not only will it allow your guests to get to know you better, but it will also make it more fun and interesting for them. For instance, at a wedding I did a couple of years ago, the bride’s family was from Albania, so they hired an Albanian band for the second half of the reception. The band was amazing at getting all of the guests on the floor, and it was so cool to see all of the guests grab hands and do some traditional Albanian dances together. By the end of the night the floor was covered in money (it’s an Albanian tradition to throw money at the Bride and Groom) and all of the guests had the best time!
At another wedding the mother-of-the-bride wore a traditional Nigerian dress and the bride changed into a Nigerian inspired getaway gown at the end of the night. Another way that you could highlight and celebrate one or both of your nationalities is to read a traditional blessing or poem from that country during the ceremony or during the toast. At another wedding I coordinated, the groom wore a traditional kilt to honor his bride’s Scottish heritage, and the Father-of-the-bride shared a Scottish blessing at the reception. All of the non-Scotts at the event had a great time learning some traditional dances, and it brought everyone together to celebrate the new couple!
Celebrating Your Ethnicity
Ethnicity is defined as a common group that shares similar cultural and national traditions. One of the best ways to celebrate each other's ethnic diversity is to incorporate it into the music and the food at your event! For instance, if I wanted to celebrate my husband’s Nashville roots, we would definitely serve some traditional Tennessee Barbeque and play country music, which would be fun for my family coming from Miami. If either of you are Latin, then you should definitely bring that into the music, the dancing, and the food...and invite your guests to try something new or learn a new dance.
Celebrating Your Racial Diversity
More than ever, we need couples to celebrate their race, and invite their guests and attendees to celebrate with them! I know for me, personally, 2020 and 2021 really illuminated what BIPOC, Asian-Americans, and Latin-Americans endure as we continue to long for racial unity. At a 2020 wedding I attended, I asked what a certain food item was in the buffet line, and I learned it was deep fried “chitlins”, or pig’s intestines, which is a food that came out of the American slave trade. My friend, the mother-of-the-bride explained that slaves were given the leftovers of whatever animals were slaughtered, and, so, chitlins were created. She chose to serve collard greens and chitlins as a way to honor and acknowledge her family's southern, American slave roots, and she invited all the guests to try it, as well. It was such a humbling and real way to acknowledge their families beautiful, black heritage, and I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.
In conclusion, we are cheering you on as you plan out how to highlight and celebrate your national, ethnic, and/or racial differences as a couple. The possibilities are endless, and what better place than a wedding to unify people. We also have to highlight this stunning blog we stumbled upon that celebrates diverse and mixed race couples: 100layercake.com, we hope it inspires you.
Photo by Blake Cheek