Love has no boundaries (this we know; it’s 2020), but what is less known is the fact that one in six people marry someone of a different ethnicity. To unite and celebrate cultures, there’s no better time than the wedding—or rehearsal dinner, in this case. Charleston residents Brittany Mathis and Daku Siewe did just that, setting aside the actual Big Day to honor the bride’s traditional, Southern roots (think beautiful white wedding gown, Southern fare, jazz music) while using the rehearsal dinner at The Room on Meeting Street as the time to observe Daku’s vibrant Cameroonian heritage. The bride, groom, and guests donned traditional African attire; Daku’s mother selected the color, pattern, and fabric and had the ensembles handmade in Cameroon. Every detail from the tabletop décor down to the menu were on par. They even incorporated a pre-wedding Cameroonian tradition whereby Brittany, blindfolded, was escorted around the room and tasked to identify her husband-to-be by just his voice, which she did successfully to convivial applause. No doubt, we’d be cheering, too.
Tips for the Mixer
Talk It Out: Although opposites may attract, if you are coming from different backgrounds, it’s advisable that you discuss the biggies (you know, money, child-rearing, faith) before heading down the aisle. Bonus points for talking with a professional. This can help ground a marriage and strengthen it down the road.
Offer Explanation: It’s not always necessary but if you or your beloved are incorporating traditions that are unfamiliar to a majority of guests, consider clueing them in through invitations or programs. Tight on budget? Have your officiant announce during your ceremony instead.
Consider Your Choices: While it may make sense for some couples to simply meld their respective traditions into wedding day festivities, for others, having two separate events—like Brittany and Daku—that are solely dedicated to each background may be a better solution.
Be True to You: It’s easy to get lost during the planning process, especially if you are opting for a blended wedding, so make sure that you and your significant other also incorporate your own likes and dislikes. It’s your day, after all