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Multi Cultural Wedding Reception Ideas

Adamr8404

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Hello,
I'm looking for ideas for having an entertaining wedding reception. I ask for help from others that have the experience of putting together a reception that will include my Japanese wife's family and my American family together. Obviously the dilemma will be language barrier but I'm hoping that with multicultural entertainment ideas everyone can have a good time.

The reception will have about 10 members from each side and we will be renting a private dining room at a nice restraunt in Hawaii menus and cake already decided. Both families will be flying to Hawaii from home countries. So Im looking for the entertainment piece so that both sides can have fun together.

One idea that I'm envisioning is have a video made that shows all the past times we have enjoyed over the past 3yrs of being together. The video will include other things like hobbies or what I do when I'm away for work etc.. The great thing would be that I can have Japanese subtitles so everyone can enjoy the video. This is just one idea that I would like to compliment with the rest of the evening. Can anyone add to this or reccomned other options?
Adam
 

Lothor

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I reckon a video like that would work. A wedding I once went to had photos of the couple as children/students, etc., and that went down well. I think that a higher priority is to make sure putting the Japanese guests at their ease since on average they tend to be shyer and less at ease in novel situations (and Japanese/Japanese weddings can be rather formulaic). One thing that helped at our wedding (somewhat larger, 36 guests) was putting a Japanese friend with very good English on the table with my parents and my wife's parents, who helped them to get a good conversation going despite almost no common language between them. So have a think about the seating, and try to make sure your Japanese and English speaking friends can interact and enjoy each other's company.
 

Adamr8404

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I reckon a video like that would work. A wedding I once went to had photos of the couple as children/students, etc., and that went down well. I think that a higher priority is to make sure putting the Japanese guests at their ease since on average they tend to be shyer and less at ease in novel situations (and Japanese/Japanese weddings can be rather formulaic). One thing that helped at our wedding (somewhat larger, 36 guests) was putting a Japanese friend with very good English on the table with my parents and my wife's parents, who helped them to get a good conversation going despite almost no common language between them. So have a think about the seating, and try to make sure your Japanese and English speaking friends can interact and enjoy each other's company.

Solid suggestion! I had not considered seating but will do so with my bilingual friends, assuming they can make it to Hawaii.
I did read that there's no dancing at japanese wedding receptions, so I won't be worried about that on the guest end. I'm going to look into hiring a bilingual entertainer of some sorts, someone who can streamline the evening and provide some talent.. for example someone that can lead a tea ceremony or teach origami.. Just some ideas. Any neat suggestions like that? Essentially I'm just looking for the dinner reception to be anything other than the awkward meal. I'm sure an after party after the reception will be in play.
 

Glenski

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I had a bilingual MC at mine. The wedding planner arranged it. Essentially, all she did was make the announcements in both languages, but at least she had a good personality. I think she was a former TV news host.

I also made my own plans to use one of my senior guests to translate the toast given in English by my best friend from the US. It was a line by line thing, so he didn't have to say long stretches, and the other guests didn't have to sit and listen to long stretches of English before getting the translation.

For the obligatory moment when we cut the cake, we arranged ahead of time to put two small objects in the cake, and when two guests got them (they were all told to be careful when biting), we then gave them a bottle of wine. The chef indicated to us where in the cake these were buried, so we knew exactly what pieces to give to the 2 guests that we wanted to receive the wine.

I agree with the idea of a video or slide show. My wife's cousin had something like that at her wedding, and I can't recall if there was any translation needed because she was marrying a fellow Japanese, but at least you could preface a small group of slides within the entire collection with a title to introduce the group. For example, in English/Japanese you could write "Trip to Las Vegas" (if several of you went there), show the Vegas slides, then "Christmas 2014" for the slides covering that time, etc. No need to make guests read a lot of English or for you to translate a lot of Japanese.
 

mdchachi

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Just keep the alcohol flowing and they will have a good time. I think the video idea is perfect. Then for the after party find a place with karaoke and you're all set.
 
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