Awkward Moments That Can Happen At Interracial Weddings
When Bishop Michael Curry stepped up to the podium to deliver a sermon at the Royal Wedding this past weekend, most of the guests who’d been to a Black American church service knew what to expect. The rest of the crowd, however, (Royal family included) were not prepared.
Bishop Curry gave us all a word May 19 with his poignant message on the strength and influence of love at the Royal Wedding, pointing out how a little love can indeed change the world. Meghan Markle (aka the Duchess of Sussex) and her new husband, Prince Harry (or The Duke of Sussex), connected over their love of philanthropic work. The message was on point for the couple, but most of the guests seemed a bit lost and it was thoroughly entertaining to watch their priceless faces.
One moment in the sermon in particular stood out for me and my girls, though. When Bishop Curry started talking about the power of love sustaining Black people during slavery, we all got a wee bit nervous. He was speaking truth to power in a room full of colonizers –or rather the descendants of colonizers. After the initial shock, I lived for what pastor was giving, but it also got me thinking about other potentially perilous moments during an interracial wedding.
When people from different cultures and races come together in holy matrimony, the chances for awkward moments are higher than usual. What’s the worst that could happen, you ask? Here are a few scenarios that come to mind and how can you handle them.
Someone Brings Up Politics
It’s not a given that one side of the family will disagree politically with the other, but politics are always a hot-button issue. The government doesn’t always work the same for all of its citizens and that realization can cause emotions to run high. Add in some racial tension and things could get ugly, quick. God help you all if anyone says anything in support of the current administration and its daily dose of shenanigans.
Quick Fix: Change the subject or let the involved parties talk it out in a quiet spot away from the festivities and the bar.
The Older Generations Meet
Race relations have improved since the Civil Rights era, but prejudice and racism aren’t dead yet. When older members of your families meet, they may not feel the same love that you and your new spouse do. They can remember a time when people were legally divided by color. That hurt and mistrust of each other may not have completely gone away for some people and it could easily rear its ugly head at an interracial wedding ceremony.
Quick Fix: Get the individuals to opposite sides of the dance floor and don’t try to force them to see past their issues — this isn’t the time or place. Also, save yourself a headache and don’t invite potentially problematic members of either family.
Different people bust a move to different grooves. One side of the guest list may not appreciate the party music that gets the other side on the floor. Your side might get down to Hip-Hop and R&B; their side might be more into Bachata and Merengue.
Quick Fix: Have a mix of songs for both sides of the family and then throw on the Electric Slide, some Bruno Mars, and “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé. Everyone can get down to that.
Dinner Is Served
Coming from different cultures often means that you have developed different pallets. Planning a menu for your big day means walking a fine line so that everyone can eat, drink, and be merry. If you cater to one side or the other too much, some guests may be left feeling snubbed, or worse, hangry.
Quick Fix: Try to pick a cuisine that most people eat. Or, if you want to go with something that is more in line with one of your cultures, make sure to have a couple options that can satisfy even the pickiest eaters.