“Love knows no limits...” - many couples with fiancées from various countries have surely found out how true these words really are... As a wedding consultant I get more and more inquiries regarding international weddings.
Thanks to our extensive experience, I realise how many additional details should be considered on that special day and how hard it is sometimes to reach a compromise satisfying both parties. Due to the fact that “mixed” weddings are common nowadays, I decided to share some helpful advice with you.
Firstly, it takes a lot of time to prepare a proper menu.
When selecting dishes elements like religious customs, special dietary requirements and food allergies should be taken into account. Usually, Polish meals do not cause any problems for Europeans but I strongly discourage you to serve our favourite pork chops to Muslims or veal chops to Indians. We do not want our guests to leave the wedding reception on an empty stomach. Having the support of an experienced chef, it is worth preparing the menu in such a way that the guests from various countries can taste traditional dishes without going abroad. While selecting alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to think about the regions that the newly-weds and their loved ones come from. For instance, guests from France will surely be glad when carefully selected wines are served at dinner and the Irish will appreciate a glass of whiskey.
Secondly, an equally important aspect of organisation of a wedding reception is music.
An experienced DJ who knows English is a must. Before making a decision, it is advisable to set up a meeting so that the bride and groom can communicate their fears and expectations. A DJ and a Master of Ceremonies who has worked at many international weddings can advise you whether it is best to have a traditional Polish caping ceremony or to focus on selecting proper music.
An English-speaking staff also improves the standard of the service. Sometimes the newly-weds prepare small crib sheets for the staff and the wedding party with basic expressions in a given language. It is a small element that will make every guest feel special and at the same time give them a chance to learn something new.
Thirdly, decorative elements corresponding with the country of origin of the wedding party are an excellent complementary aspect.
For instance, in July we had the honour of organising a wedding reception for Irina and Maciek (a Polish-Russian couple). We decorated the buffet with small matryoshka dolls and the boiling water for tea was served in traditional Russian samovars. When the couple would not like any additional decorative elements in the room we can, for example, replace the sweet almonds given as a present for the guests with gifts representing the bride’s or groom’s country of origin. For instance, they can be small jars with maple syrup associated with Canada, traditional Polish liqueurs or magnets with a flag or emblem of a given country.
A wedding and an international wedding reception can pose quite a challenge. Thus, before choosing the venue, it is worth making sure whether a given hotel or restaurant has experience in organising such events.
- — Written by Monika Witkowska