Top 5 Wedding Planning Pro Tips

Rebecca Pfiffner will help you!
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You are getting hitched! Ayayayayay! Bringing two families together is always stressful. When you have two people from different cultures, it becomes even more complex.

How to tackle the complexity and make sure your wedding is awesome? First, you and your betrothed need to answer some Big Ass Questions about your lives and your values. You may have to make some special efforts so that you, as the bride and groom, can really enjoy yourselves and set the tone for the life you want to lead together.

Our resident wedding guru, Rebecca Pfiffner of Be Hitched, is here to help you get started. Here are her Top 5 Wedding Planning Pro Tips for recently engaged Mash-Up Americans.

1. Prioritize

Think about what is important to you  — don’t try to force a tradition into your wedding that doesn’t already mean something to you. Once you know what’s important to you, then you can explore the issue as a couple.

2. Communicate

Be clear with your families about what is important to you and talk to them well in advance about what’s important to them. What are their expectations? How does this relate to what you guys decided?  Tell your parents they can only have 3 priorities. Not everything can be a priority!

Depending on the culture, it will take many conversations to get the truth.

Depending on the culture, it will take many conversations to get the truth. You will probably have to do a little detective work, since sometimes people don’t say what they mean, or maybe you are the first Mash-Up in your family, so your families have never really thought about, say, not having a Jewish wedding. Remember, you get to decide what you want your wedding to be.

3. Introduce your families

If the families have not had opportunities to get to know each other prior to the wedding, consider a weekend of casual events that extend beyond just the wedding day itself… you want to give family members a chance to meet and get to know the other side before the big day. This will break down a lot of barriers. How can you make sure you are not bouncing between two separate weddings? You want to enjoy yourselves!

[Editor’s Note: if your goal is not, in fact, to get your Persian in-laws to get down with your Irish grandparents, and you’d rather avoid that altogether, RESPECT. Sometimes successfully mashing families also means knowing when to keep them separate. We’ll address some of these sticky issues later.]

4. Be respectful and inclusive

Be respectful of both sides, especially if one side is more “dominant” than the other, or if one side is more conservative/reserved.

5. Food is universal

If you’re unsure of how two cultures mesh, let food be your guide. How can you integrate your culture and represent your rich traditions through food? Example: Banh mi and corned beef sandwiches for appetizers will please everyone.

Posted by Rebecca Lehrer
Rebecca is co-founder and chief executive of The Mash-Up Americans. A Salvadoran-Jewish-American married to an American-American, she has worked for 10+ years in media, arts and culture. She creates cultural experiences, brings people together, and introduces newbies to Armenian string cheese. You can follow her @beccale and find her in Los Angeles.

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