Friday, February 11, 2011

{Multicultural Weddings} Bilingual Wedding Invitations

An increasing number of couples from different backgrounds are making their way to the altar these days. YAY for globalization, I guess. But what happens when one family predominantly or only speaks one language and the other family another?  A lot of translation is what happens.....this is exactly the situation I found myself in at my wedding, Mr. de Lovely's family only spoke Portuguese and mine English.  We wanted everyone at the wedding to feel included but also see and hear the beauty of both languages. For us, invitations, the momentos that weepy mothers save in their keepsake boxes, were the best place to start.  And with do it yourself, as ours were, or small professional print shops offering customized services, it is easy to incorporate the use of both languages in the the overall design.  Here are some excellent examples I found over at Always a Blogsmaid.

The cut out technique used in this one lends to a very "Mexican" feel, although it is popular in many cultures, while the silhouettes add a contemporary American quality. I spent so much time ogling over the delicate flowers that I almost didn't notice the Spanish and English words. Designed by Rob Ryan. Here is a great DIY project for invitations using Papel Picado flags, another beautiful cut out art.
A two sided option is always a good choice, less paper and hassle, everything is all in one place and it is classy and visually interesting. Here is a great example, one side is in Italian and the reverse in English, in addition this couple  managed to include both sets of parents on their invitation which is a nice touch. Designed by Lela New York.

Using the design of an invitation to highlight both languages is good way to prevent one tradition from appearing more dominant than another. This invitation created by Meredith at Regas New York is a perfect example; its red belly band is engraved with Chinese characters and opens to reveal another design in English. Photos courtesy Karen Wise.

You can always play around with the layout and find one that incorporates both languages on one page as below with the Vietnamese and English invitations from Bella Figura.

And last but not least, print two sets of invitations...this one is in Spanish and English 
 by Beast Pieces.

Two different sets is what I ended up doing and it worked out fine.  In fact, Mr. de Lovely's mom was incredibly appreciative that we thought enough of them to do it in Portuguese even though almost all of his family couldn't make it up from Brazil.  Score one with the in-laws! We wouldn't think of NOT including this beautiful language in our celebration; in fact, all the paper products, programs, signs, invitations, were bilingual. We also had a translator who translated the entire wedding. My fabulous unclewho sang a song he wrote for me as a child and then reworked for the wedding, added a verse in Portuguese just for Mr. de Lovely. Creating a bilingual wedding is the best way to honor family and culture and start a marriage off the right way! ; ) This was our invitation.

So take the invitation process and make it yours, spruce it up, get a little funky, show a little culture.

Have a deLightful day!

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