I am in an interracial relationship. My fiancé is white English and I am a black British Nigerian woman. I don’t really discuss about being in an interracial relationship, as I don’t see the need to. However, wedding planning has really opened my eyes to our quite obvious differences and at times it’s actually been comical! I thought I’d share with you somethings I never thought would be so different when wedding planning as an interracial couple. These are just some quite light-hearted observations I’ve made!
We’ve never really wanted a massive wedding. If you are familiar with the Nigerian culture, you know that small weddings are not part of our vocabulary. I already knew that my wedding would never be considered small because I have a big family and we know a lot of people. On the flip side, I’m sure that my fiancé had other plans. I think he had visions of a wedding party with no more than 150 guests (which was still too much). Let’s just say that once we’d calculated mine and his family, 150 guests was fast becoming a day dream!
You see typically in the Nigerian culture invitations are sent from you as a couple as well as your parents to their friends. Wedding parties are a big deal, so it’s custom to invite many people. I should also note that Nigerian families tend to contribute a lot to the wedding planning (e.g. financially) so it’s like a ‘family’ wedding – if that makes sense!
I’ve had to be really strict and send an ‘Invite only’ type of invitation. Although one of my uncle’s did let me know that Nigerians don’t ‘understand’ that (he was joking by the way – but there’s some truth in that!). I think my fiancé and I have succumbed to the fact that we won’t be having a small wedding. We’ve come to a good number (although much higher than we’d thought!) and I’m glad that side is over now.
FOOD & DRINKS
When it came to choosing the food, I wanted to incorporate both my Nigerian culture and his English culture. We decided to have my fiancé design the wedding breakfast menu (the first meal), and I’d do the evening party food which would be Nigerian. It’s worked out great and I’m glad we decided to split it this way.
Another thing that was a bit of a difference was that at Nigerian weddings / parties, we do not expect people to pay for the drinks. My fiancé was a bit surprised as he was expecting us to get a bar for people to buy drinks. I had to explain that we’re used to buying more than enough drinks to have an open bar. The first time I went to a wedding where I had to buy my drinks I was surprised, but now I know that it’s a common thing. I completely understand the reasoning behind asking guests to buy their own drinks, but we’ve been able to ensure that our guests won’t have to.
This was the funniest! So my fiancé and I are changing into Nigerian clothing in the evening of our wedding day. When I first told him about us changing he was fine with the idea but I could detect some hesitance. About 2 months after informing him of this he one day randomly asked if he’d have to wear his Nigerian outfit the whole day (a little disappointment detected in his voice). I had to let him out of his misery and tell him that of course not! The relief on his face was hilarious! Not only had he been thinking about the outfit for the two months prior, he also didn’t want to tell me he didn’t want to wear it all day as he thought he’d upset me (bless him!).
Right now we’re in the process of getting measured for our evening outfits and then we’ll be finalising our designs. I’ll keep you updated! Oh and yes we are wearing the traditional wedding gown and suit for the ceremony and wedding breakfast.
Despite these cultural differences, we’ve used this time to really understand each other’s practices. As an interracial couple we’ve had to learn each other’s cultures outside of the wedding planning anyway. I feel that the planning has brought us even closer together. I can’t wait to see how it all works out!
If you’ve been in the wedding planning process, were there any comical moments that really highlighted your differences? I’ve written a checklist for wedding planning here for those who really need the help!
SOME LINKS ARE AFFILIATES WHICH MEANS I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION % SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINK. ALL ITEMS MENTIONED WERE PURCHASED BY MYSELF (UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED).