Falling in love is never planned, and it can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Sometimes it is the most inconvenient time in time and that love is left to dwindle into ashes, while others meet the right someone at the right time and their passion and love turns into a burning fire that lasts for a lifetime.
Whenever you fall in love, and with whomever, you will always have to face obstacles and overcome immense challenges as a couple. One of the most common, and unfortunately most difficult, challenges that couples today are facing is distance. The internet, and advancements in both travel and communication, has made it easier than ever to meet individuals around the world and find your soul mate. Fortunately there are many couples who are able to overcome the challenges that distance presents them, and their love deepens until finally they face a whole new chapter in their life: marriage.
Marriage for a couple of two different nationalities is significantly more difficult than a normal wedding between two of the same country. Additionally it will likely require that one party sacrifices their home life to go live with the other. Here we will explain just a few of the challenges that marrying internationally presents, and some tips to overcome them!
Problem One – Wedding Location
Deciding on the location for the wedding can be incredibly stressful. The bride may have tons of family from her home country, while the groom has many in his who are unable to travel, or simply cannot afford it. The sacrifice that some couples make at having the wedding in the other country can be devastating. Fortunately there are ways to ease the pain and hopefully make the entire wedding much more enjoyable.
– Destination wedding – Some couples choose a completely different destination to have the wedding at, finding it easier than offending either family and inviting all to a centralized location that hopefully will be cheaper in the long run for everyone involved.
– Helping with travel expenses – While this may not be the most ideal solution, some couples find that pushing the wedding out a bit further ahead to help some key guests with travel expenses is much easier. This works well when one couple has a much larger family than the other since the smaller family can travel with less stress in general.
– Two receptions – If the bride chooses to have the wedding in the groom’s country, having a separate reception with all of her family and friends in her home country may be an excellent way to include everyone involved. This will give her a second chance to wear her wedding dress, and it will be a fun and enjoyable experience for both families!
– Private ceremony – This is a very affordable option should the couple be low on funds and not able to accommodate the travel or multiple receptions. Instead of trying to get everyone to come to them, have a private ceremony and enjoy the closeness of each other and the intimacy of the moment you are sharing as you become man and wife!
Problem Two – Tradition/Religion
There are a variety of different traditions in other countries and cultures that can vary from your own. Additionally, if you fall in love with someone who is of a different religion, you may have a difficult time incorporating that into your wedding plans. Traditional Scottish weddings will involve the man wearing a kilt and there being a hand binding ceremony, while over in Germany a customary Bride kidnapping is involved before the actual ceremony! Speak with your partner well before planning the marriage and understand what customs are important to him and what customs you would like to preserve in your wedding. Additionally realize that many of the older generation who will be attending the wedding are going to be a lot more traditional so you should consider their opinions as well to remain in good standing with both families!
– Convert – if your husband or wife is a strong religious believer and their religion requires you to convert before wedding, you may have to do so in order to wed them. Unfortunately religion drives many couples apart, however for some who are not overly religious, converting is a small price to pay to spend a lifetime with their loved ones.
– Incorporate – While a tradition may seem odd or absurd to you, go with it! It will mean the world to your partner to see you making an effort to include their customs and cultural beliefs into your life. A wedding is about both parties, so be prepared to make some sacrifices.
– Compromise – speak with your partner about compromising in the wedding and reception. A wedding is a union of two people, and if you both have strong traditional beliefs, then split them up between the two and merge them into one beautiful wedding with a fabulous reception afterwards!
Problem Four – Food
Different countries have vastly different foods. While American food may be a mixture of a variety of cultures, you will find that Asian weddings, Spanish weddings, and even UK weddings will have unique and obscure foods that you may have never heard of before! If you are going to have family members from both countries present at the wedding, finding a menu plan suitable for both can be quite difficult!
– Neutrality – there are several main dishes that can be quite neutral. Finding ones that are a neutral zone that people of a variety of cultures will like can be difficult, but not impossible. If you are marrying anyone from the UK then consider some neutral meats to be pig roasts, chicken, or fish! Speak with your partner and see what foods you can agree on that everyone will like!
– Compromise – Try to incorporate food from both into one blended meal that everyone will enjoy. People don’t mind trying new things, and your guests may be pleasantly surprised at the food choices and how tasty they were! Get the opinion of both your spouse and other trusted family members when considering the food menu so you can find something suitable for everyone that includes both cultures!
– Choice – In some weddings, food is simply served to individuals, however if you are looking at difficult menu combinations to incorporate the tastes from multiple cultures, then consider a buffet! Hispanic weddings love spicy foods, so create a churro bar and a burrito bar so that people of both cultures can add as much, or as little, as they like.