Weddings are a tradition shared by many different cultures, and each culture has its own way of making one of the most celebrated events in human life a great expression of their values. In this growing age of globalization, we are more connected with one another than ever before. Air travel is more widespread than ever, and there are budget options that allow nearly anyone to travel to a new place and experience a different culture. As cultures collide, the way weddings are celebrated is changing, and this one couple who met in Chicago went all out to celebrate their different cultures.
The wedding between the Indian Ankur Raniwala and Mexican Veronica Garcia, featured in the Daily Herald, represents a blending of Indian, Mexican, and American wedding traditions. The couple spared no expense making their wedding the ultimate blend of culture, costing just under $100,000. In Indian weddings, elephants or other large animals are commonly used by the groom to pick up the bride-to-be, and in this wedding a beautiful paper-mache elephant was constructed by the groom’s own hand as a stand in. The bride switched from a Sari to a traditional wedding dress, and the guests danced to both salsa and popular tunes from Indian films. The wedding proceedings lasted several days to incorporate all of the Indian pre-wedding festivities, and the ceremony included an exchange of rings common to Catholic weddings. The bride and other members of the wedding party were decorated with intricate designs in henna. There was even an ice cream bar and a cocktail hour, common to many weddings in the United States. According to this article, the trend towards blending different cultures together for a wedding is a growing trend, and there is is a growing market for specifically Indian-American weddings. Some venues are beginning to specialize, and more resources are available for those who want a unique wedding to celebrate each other’s culture.
In the Chicago area, there are many different places that you can host your wedding to ensure one of the most special days of your life is truly the celebration of a lifetime. You can even hold your wedding on the waters of Lake Michigan through Anita Dee Yacht Charters. But regardless of where a wedding is held, the most important aspect of the wedding is that is shared between two families. According to the couple from the article, what they see are two families coming together out of respect for the couple, not necessarily the cultural differences.
The growth of wedding venues and wedding planners specifically catering to multicultural weddings is a sign that the United States is becoming more diverse and more connected. In a few decades, the definition of what constitutes a truly “American” wedding could drastically change and incorporate elements from all over the world. As families from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate a marriage, barriers degrade, and our world becomes a little bit smaller and more connected.