Planning a bilingual wedding may feel daunting since you’ll want all of your guests to feel included on your wedding day, especially during big moments like the ceremony or speeches. The good news is that with a little extra legwork you’ll be able to plan a wedding celebration that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Blending Two Cultures During Your Wedding Ceremony
When planning a bilingual wedding ceremony between two merging cultures, it’s important to sit down with your fiance and consider which cultural or religious parts of the wedding ceremony you want to include. If you are planning on having a blended ceremony you may want to consider having an officiant from each of your religious or ethnic backgrounds. Conversely, if you’re planning to have a ceremony that is representing a single religion to cultural background like a Jewish, Greek Orthodox or Hindu wedding ceremony and there are portions of the ceremony in another language you may want to consider having a translator on hand.
If your ceremony is going to be in English but you have guests who don’t speak English a translator for important parts of the ceremony like the vows or pronouncement might be a good idea. Or, if you don’t like the idea of having a translator and having to pause to wait for translation, you can also include a bilingual wedding program which explains to your guests who don’t speak the language what is being said and done at that part of the ceremony.
Finding the Right Experts
If you already belong to a house of worship who speaks both languages it will be fairly easy for you to find someone to help you translate your ceremony. However, if that is not an option a family member or friend can serve as a translator as well. Having a translator on hand will also be helpful when taking family photos, ensuring people know where to sit during the ceremony, and to help them throughout the reception.
Create a Bilingual Wedding Website
Today, wedding websites are a popular way for couples to provide information to their guests about their wedding day. Everything from ceremony and reception information to hotel suggestions or directions can be found on your website.
Having your website available in both English and whatever other necessary language will help your felts feel both informed and included.
If you don’t speak both languages yourself you can ask a family member to help you translate, hire a professional translator, or an online translator like Google Translate.
Translate All the Wedding Details
By wedding details we mean bilingual wedding invitations, wedding ceremony programs, blingual wedding menus, signs for gift and guestbook tables, and any other type of direction or instructions for your guests. Ensuring they can read and understand everything will go a long way in both making the day go smoothly for everyone and enabling your guests to feel included in the day’s events.
Keep Speeches Short
Toasts are an important wedding moment that can easily be missed without translation. Which is why it is ideal to have someone available to translate the best man and maid of honor speeches. Since translating a speech takes time and can get confusing it’s a good idea to keep these speeches short and sweet.
Make Travel Plans Simplified
This one may be a bit out of your control depending on where your guests are traveling from, but anything you can do to make traveling to your wedding easier do it. This may be as simple as letting them know the suggested ways to get to and from your venue, which hotel to stay at and how to obtain a rental car. If they are staying in a hotel, you may also want to create a welcome bag with suggestions on what to do in the area – in their native language of course!
Celebrate Cultural Differences
One of the most important things to remember when planning a bilingual wedding is to celebrate the differences of your respective cultures and religions. Whether it’s through food, music, dance or ceremony rituals your wedding is a great time to highlight the beauty of your background.