11 Planning Tips for a Bilingual Wedding

Weddings not only bring people together but also cultures and languages. So there’s something extra beautiful about seeing guests coming together at a bilingual wedding and crossing language barriers to celebrate mutual friends starting a new life together.

Here are 11 tips to ensure guests feel included during the bilingual event.

Key Takeaways:

  • Translate all your wedding stationery in both languages, so everyone understands your wedding
  • Hiring bilingual vendors or a translator helps everyone feel included in the events
  • Mix traditions, food, and music from both cultures for a bilingual celebration of your new union

Tip 1: Send Bilingual Wedding Invitations

Put your guests at ease from the start by sending out bilingual wedding invitations. Including both languages on the invitation lets your friends and family know they’re a welcome part of the wedding, and you’ll make sure they understand and enjoy every detail.

The invitation also lets your guests know to expect several languages at the event, so they aren’t confused when they arrive. Instead, they can anticipate the exciting collaboration between cultures.

Shine Wedding Invitations can help couples design and write stunning multilingual invitations for their multicultural wedding.

Tip 2: Design a Multilingual Website

A wedding website is a must in today’s weddings because it provides endless space for all those important details about your wedding that you don’t add to paper invitations. For example, you can share links to accommodations and your wedding registry.

A bilingual website lets guests understand what to expect when the day arrives.

Tip 3: Order Bilingual Wedding Stationery

Dozens of wedding stationery details enhance your event and help your guests know what’s happening. An inclusive bilingual wedding will have both languages on all your stationery. Here are a few examples of stationery you’ll want to consider adding a bilingual touch to ensure everyone enjoys themselves:

Numbers and names are universal, so you can order place cards and table numbers as usual.

Tip 4: Use Your Partner’s Language

Join your cultures beautifully together by exchanging vows in each other’s language. For example, if your first language is English and his is Spanish, practice your vows in Spanish and English. Then recite them publicly as a celebration of your bilingual future together.

If you aren’t quite comfortable reciting your entire vows in your partner’s language, maybe say a few of the most important lines to emphasize your love for your partner and his language.

Tip 5: Choose Readings Carefully

Remember that everything you read or print must be in two languages. Having long and complicated text can make the ceremony run longer than intended. In addition, it will be challenging for the translator to keep up.

Short readings that translate well work best in bilingual ceremonies. Then each side can enjoy the text’s full meaning, and your wedding stays within the expected wedding timeframe.

Tip 6: Hire Bilingual Vendors

Some of your vendors will interact with the bilingual family and guests. Hiring vendors that understand both languages can help your event run smoothly. For example, your photographer can communicate more easily with the bridal party and family if they can speak both languages.

However, the person who speaks the most at the wedding is your officiant. A bilingual officiant will be able to translate for himself or herself to ensure everyone can enjoy the ceremony.

Other vendors that may speak during the wedding or need to communicate with individual guests include:

  • DJ
  • Servers
  • Wedding planner

Tip 7: Hire a Translator

Wedding speeches are a fun and sentimental part of the wedding reception. Consider hiring a translator to help everyone at the reception enjoy the speeches. A translator can do more than help those that only speak one of the languages communicate with others. They can also help vendors who aren’t bilingual or guests who want to talk with each other.

Some couples ask close friends and family to help translate throughout the day.

Tip 8: Include Music in Both Languages

Music might not be the first aspect of your wedding that comes to mind when you think of language. After all, music tends to be universal. You can find music lovers all over the world jamming out to Rihanna or crying to a John Legend song. That’s the beauty of music–you don’t need to understand the words to enjoy the sentiment.

However, you can help all your guests feel included by adding music in both languages and cultures to the playlist.

Tip 9: Add Traditions from Both Families

Bilingual weddings are also a combination of two cultures. You can celebrate both cultures by including family traditions from the two sides of the family.
For instance, you might wear traditional Chinese clothing, hold a henna ceremony, or incorporate the Mexican wedding lasso.

Tip 10: Add Food from Both Cultures

Your wedding can blend food from both cultures–though not literally. So your guests will be able to sample some of your and your partner’s favorite dishes growing up and learn more about the other side of the family.

For instance, traditional German weddings start with >hochzeitsuppe or wedding soup made of delicious chicken broth and white chicken meat.

Tip 11: Teach about the Cultures

The wedding is the beginning of a multicultural marriage. You can use your wedding to educate your friends and family about your partner’s language and culture so that your families are comfortable with each other for upcoming events, like birthday parties and holidays.

For example, you might have fun facts about your partner’s culture on the wedding website to help guests be more conscious of the traditions and behaviors of the other family. You might also teach each side of the family some basic phrases in the other language to help guests communicate with each other.

Design Bilingual Stationery

Shine Wedding Invitations can design bilingual invitations to ensure everyone understands and enjoys your wedding ceremony and reception. In addition, we offer options for all your bilingual stationery needs, from menus to programs that celebrate your meshing of cultures.

Explore our wedding invitation designs to find the perfect suite for your bilingual event.