A bilingual wedding is a special and meaningful way to bring families and friends together. It is a unique experience for guests and can combine different cultures together for your wedding day.
The words you say and what you do are everything amidst a gathering of different walks of life.
So how do we help our guests who speak different languages feel comfortable and accepted at our wedding ceremony or evening reception?
Follow these 10 tips and your bilingual guests will be in awe of your love & consideration.
1. Make Your Wedding Website Understandable For Everyone
Wedding websites are a fantastic way to keep everybody up to date and in the loop with everything that’s going on and when.
Use your website to inform all of your wedding guests of all the plans that you have for your big bilingual wedding day.
Have all of your information written in both languages so that everyone can understand the details of your ceremony, reception, and so on.
2. Hire A Bilingual Celebrant For Your Wedding Ceremony
If you are thinking of having a bilingual wedding ceremony then it might be a good idea to hire someone who understands the ins and outs of both languages and cultures.
If you hire a celebrant for your bilingual wedding, they should be able to take every step with you.
They should get to know you and your friends & family before your big day and they should be able to have fun and be one with everyone involved.
Having a bilingual celebrant brings a personal touch to your wedding and they will make your ceremony feel pure, intimate, and full of meaning.
3. Use All Languages In Your Invitations
Make sure to send out wedding invitations in both languages (or multiple languages!) that your big day will have.
You want to make sure that communication is well established from the get-go so that there is no confusion surrounding your wedding.
Create invitations with two sides, for two languages, or go the extra mile and send out multiple different invitations depending on the number of languages involved.
4. Give Your Stationery & Signage A Bilingual Transformation
As well as writing your invitations in different languages, ensure that other forms of stationary or signage are translated around your ceremony and reception.
Similar to the invitations, you want to make sure that everyone can understand what you’re trying to convey.
Whether that be the seating plan, the order of service, or just general messages and signs throughout the venue, each culture should feel included and be able to understand what is going on throughout the day/night.
5. Get An Interpreter/Translator For Your Wedding Day
Understanding each other is a huge part of a bilingual wedding. This means that you need to be able to provide for all of the different languages.
To do this you can hire an interpreter/translator to be around and provide help and guidance within the most important elements of your wedding.
If everyone has a basic understanding of each language, then your guests should be able to provide the needs of a translator whilst at the same time, enjoying making conversation and getting to know other guests.
6. For The Love Of Food
The combination of different multicultural foods is one that any person can appreciate.
For your morning or evening meal, you can provide a dish from each varying culture or combine the different cuisines in a buffet-style meal.
This way each dish comes with a story, so everyone can enjoy what they are eating whilst also learning about your friends and family’s way of life.
7. Without Music Life Would B Flat (Get It?)
When planning a bilingual wedding, whether you are having a wedding DJ, a wedding band or just having a playlist made, ask for a variety of songs in different languages.
If that is too big of a request, maybe ask the DJ or band to learn certain phrases or mashups of phrases that will get everybody up on the dance floor!
There are loads of chances for music to be incorporated into your wedding day. You may even want to pick an alternative first dance song in a different language as a subtle nod to the mixture of cultures.
8. Come Up With A Few Phrases To Teach Everyone
As well as teaching the DJ some phrases, why not teach the rest of your guest-list some words in order for them to connect with the rest of the wedding party.
Teach some classic wedding sayings such as “cheers!”, “Hear, hear!” or “congratulations!” in the necessary languages so that everyone can feel included throughout the party.
9. Include Traditions Or Rituals From Both/All Countries
To make the whole day extra special for everybody, you could incorporate traditions or rituals from each country that is being represented, at your wedding.
For example, in Mexico, it is tradition during the vows to have a lasso of rosary beads and flowers in a figure of 8 around the shoulders of the couple.
This represents the infinite love and union of the pair, signifying how long the marriage will hopefully last.
10. Try Not To Go Overboard
Finally, we know you want to include every different language in as much as possible during the wedding, but you also don’t want to go overboard.
You don’t want your speeches to be double the length or have yourself, your other half, or your family and friends repeating everything everyone else is saying!
The longer the speech, the bigger the possibility of your guests getting bored or nodding off…
Make sure to just include the different languages in the most important parts of the day to ensure speeches are quick but also to ensure the day is still special and meaningful to everyone involved.
Bringing all of these tips to life for your wedding will not only make your friends and family feel more loved than ever, but it will combine different cultures and friendships that will last a lifetime.