Mixing wedding traditions: Modernise your Afro-Caribbean wedding
The final post in a series of four to help you prepare your multicultural wedding that’s included tips on hair and make-up for black brides and how to include traditional African dress in your big day. Abi and Kemi of Brides of Culture, over to you ladies!
We have noticed that the themes and focal point of weddings, particularly Afro-Caribbean weddings, have changed.
More couples are looking for a wedding day that is small and personal, and less about grandeur and pomp but more about intimacy. You could say to some extent, that they want to ‘westernise’ their wedding day.
Traditionally Afro-Caribbean weddings, for example, Nigerian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Ugandan, are large affairs, sometimes with as many as 600 guests and well wishers, but a lot of those may be unknown to the bride and groom, whereas western weddings are often seen as being small, intimate and somewhat calmer.
Due to this change in view, more recently we are beginning to see them steering away from the typical ‘traditional’ wedding of their culture and opting for a western-style wedding. However, in order for you to have the intimate affair you desire, you do not have to completely veto anything from your background; you can include many cultural aspects into your special day, without it completely taking over.
Subtle touches, such as calling table names cities from your country of origin, or with clothing choices; using your traditional material to make a western style of dress rather than the traditional attire usually worn, all add that traditional/western blend. Maybe even having pictures of yours or your parents’ favourite places from your home town around your reception venue, could be an option.
Food is also always a great and easy way to add that special cultural element to any occasion. As with many African weddings for example, those invited very often invite others, making numbers spiral out of control quite quickly. As merely stating ‘invite only’ very often doesn’t work, a possible way to combat this is to have a weekday wedding. If your wedding is on a Thursday for example, you will know that the only people who will attend are people who you are close to and who truly want to be there; therefore being a great way keeping numbers down.
You may however, have to be prepared for the eventuality that some people that you really want there may not be able to attend, due to work commitments for example. There is always the battle with parents and in-laws who feel that they need to invite their next door neighbour’s best friend, so it is always difficult to please everyone. A way in which you can try to do so, is organising two celebrations. One that is only for close friends and family, and then another larger and more traditional affair shortly after, that way everyone is happy, and more importantly you have a day that you truly want!
For more great tips for those of you organising weddings with multicultural flavour, do check out more of Abi and Kemi’s great tips on Brides of Culture.
Dresses from CSI Empress