There is a significant rise in the multicultural bride in the UK, so we talk to Abi Laditan from Brides of Culture- a multicultural bridal exhibition about all things wedding when it comes to the merging of two cultures!
Typically, multicultural weddings are events not just for the couple, but for the extended family. This is very true in the Asian and West African communities, where wedding guests can total as many as 500, sometimes even more!
For Asian weddings specifically, there are many traditional elements that are incorporated, meaning that wedding celebrations are often spread over a number of days. The multiple day celebration brings with it, multiple elaborate traditional clothing and multiple days to cater for, so this coupled with their huge guest lists means that the cost will inevitably be much higher than a typical western wedding. It’s a massive celebration the whole family and extended family take part in!
The most important place to start would be for both the couple to speak to each other and determine what each feel are the most important aspects of their culture that each would like to maintain on the wedding day. That way, both parties will immediately know what aspects need to be incorporated within the day, which should make compromising (which both will need to do a lot of) a lot easier from the get go. To make it fair, it is probably best for each to sit independently to sit down and make their list, then come together and compare notes- perhaps also make a rule that anything that is not noted down on their list, can’t all of a sudden crop up months down the line as a ‘must have’.
This is such a good question, and one I wish I had the answer to. There are massive multicultural communities is cities all over the country, so I feel there is definitely a demand for more resources for those who want to add a little culture to their big day. This is really the main reason why Brides of Culture was created.
The UK is a real global hub, with influences and presence from all over the world. What is great about the UK, and London in particular is that we are all so well integrated and for the most part open to experience the cuisine, clothing and climate of other countries. It is so easy to meet and fall in love with someone from another culture here; all we need now are the resources to help them celebrate the wonderful merge of cultures.
I am of Nigerian heritage, and having got engaged in 2008, I wanted my wedding to reflect my background. When I started to plan my wedding in 2008, having bought the easily accessible magazines, browsed various websites and attending the usual wedding exhibitions and shows, I realised that there was very little inspiration or information in the mainstream to help me add the cultural touches I wanted to my wedding, I had to really rely on word of mouth from friends and family. My experience made me realise that many other people must be having the same trouble, so I thought that an official channel was needed to make planning a wedding with a cultural twist much easier. My sister-in-Law, Kemi and I initially startedbridesofculture.com; an interactive website which provides information on various areas of planning a cultural extravaganza, and last year we decided to take it a step further with wedding exhibitions, which showcases a large variety of services and products mainly for afro-Caribbean weddings.
The Brides of Culture Bridal Exhibition takes place twice a year, in Autumn and Spring, and attracts over 45 premier wedding suppliers
We are now in our fifth year, planning our tenth event, which taking place on Saturday 13th September in Canary Wharf. Our event was the first event of its kind within the UK. It was set up to appeal to a niche within the multi-billion pound UK wedding market, which up until recently didn’t have an event specifically aimed at the African and Caribbean wedding markets. 2015 will be an exciting time for us, as our Autumn 2014 event will be the last time we host our exhibition in its current format- As innovators within our market, Spring 2015 will bring something completely different!
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