The Dos and Don’ts of Planning an Intercultural Wedding
Marriage counseling in Bethesda MD has proven that planning a wedding is hard work. In today’s society, most couples are planning a wedding (sometimes even out of state!) while juggling full-time jobs and their social lives. If you’re in an intercultural relationship, you might face additional stressors during wedding planning than couples from the same background. Here are some dos and don’t for getting married without losing yourself:
DO give family/friends a pass. Most likely, you and your partner have been trying for years to understand one another’s differences and have found creative ways to merge your lives. On the other hand, this might be your family’s first time coming face-to-face with stark differences in how a wedding should look. They might mess up. Someone might say something insensitive, or maybe there is a misunderstanding regarding the guest list. Try to be patient with one another and your respective families as they try to navigate this process with you. However, if one family member is continuously rude or insensitive, it might be worth sitting down with him/her, discussing your shared vision of the wedding day and noting that disrespect won’t be tolerated.
DO try to understand why. What is the significance of the chuppah in Jewish ceremonies? Why do some African-Americans “jump the broom” after they’re pronounced married? Understanding the meaning behind these cultural traditions and finding a way to incorporate them respectfully into a ceremony should be at the forefront of your mind as an intercultural couple. Approach differences with curiosity – you might be surprised how beautifully each culture celebrates a marriage.
DON’T exclude your family. Since this might be your respective families first time coming to terms with stark differences in how a wedding should look, you might be tempted to exclude them from the bulk of the wedding planning, believing it would be easier to plan without having to explain every little difference to them. Try to remember that your wedding unites both of your families and there is no time like the present for them to begin to understand one another.
DON’T lose sight of the big picture. Why are you getting married? Pre-marriage counseling in Bethesda MD can help you get back to your roots. You love your partner, s/he loves you, and you’re both committed to being together for the long haul, right? This is not about the perfect chairs, details in the program, or the seating chart. If, at the end of your wedding day, you are married, then you have already had a perfect day. If your focus is on the marriage and happily blending two families, then you will definitely have a beautiful wedding day.
If you and your partner are having trouble planning your intercultural wedding ceremony, reach out to one of our therapists for marriage counseling in Bethesda MD! We’re here to help, contact us at our office today!