Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

How to Incorporate Multicultural Elements into a Destination Wedding

Whether it’s long-standing traditions or religious rituals, weddings are celebrated differently throughout the world. So, how does one approach a situation where two families of different cultures and traditions come together? And how do you pull it off when your clients want a destination wedding? Multicultural weddings focus on embracing and honoring the traditions of both parties during the wedding celebration, and they are surprisingly easy to do in-destination. The result? One of the most memorable weddings ever against a gorgeous backdrop. Here are some points to get you started when helping your couple plan their perfect multicultural destination wedding.

The most important thing to remember here is that most resorts have a wedding planner or even a wedding team that you can work with to make sure the celebration checks every box on your couple’s list.

Family and Guests

Couples can turn to their families for guidance while planning their multicultural wedding. It can be helpful to ask parents and grandparents about their wedding day to gain insight into their culture, faith and traditions. This information shows couples the important meaning behind actions whether it’s a custom to their own culture or borrowed from another. Many guests may be unfamiliar with the couple’s faith or cultural customs so it’s important to educate everyone in attendance. A good way to do this is by outlining the meaning behind certain traditions and instructions that they might need to be aware of in the wedding program.

Décor and Attire

Flowers are an important part of most weddings, so why not find a way to incorporate culture into the floral arrangements? The couple can mix different types of flowers and colors that represent their heritage as a nod to who they are as separate people and as a couple. Indian weddings, for example, traditionally have red and gold flowers, creating a festive atmosphere. Traditional wedding attire is another beautiful way to honor one’s culture and loved ones. If the couple doesn’t want to go all-out with traditional wedding attire, they can always find small ways to incorporate elements from multiple cultures into their outfits be it the shoes, a special bracelet or henna.


An expertly planned multicultural wedding ceremony masters the act of combining a little bit of each culture in a significant way, or even focusing the entire celebration on one of the cultures. Barcelo Hotel Group, for example, offers Indian and South Asian wedding celebrations. Sandos Hotels & Resorts also specializes in South Asian destination weddings and has a full brochure outlining their offerings.

If the couple’s guest list includes monolingual attendees, they may want to consider a bilingual ceremony. This can range from choosing a bilingual officiant or hiring a translator to ensure each guest can appreciate being able to fully participate. If the couple doesn’t want their entire ceremony to be bilingual, they can always choose to do a bilingual reading instead.


Symbols, symbols everywhere. Couples can find clever ways to incorporate symbols and trinkets that represent their cultural heritage into their reception table centerpieces. Dinner is also a perfect opportunity to shake up the seating chart so that guests can mingle and chat with people of other cultures and backgrounds. However, it is important to consider each guest’s level of fluency when assigning seats. So what’s for dinner? How about fusion cuisine? Mixed cuisine is a fun way to mix two culinary cultures for a memorable meal.

After Party

Music and dance transcend cultural barriers. Help couples make their guests feel at home or introduce them to some new tunes with a customized multicultural playlist. If the soon-to-be-wed want to do something truly special they can surprise their guests with a performance from a live band playing traditional music. At this point in the night attendees will be having a blast so be sure the couple includes some customary dance numbers to give them the full experience.

Learn more about destination weddings from our dedicated wedding resource center.

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