My work as a professional wedding photographer in Peterborough not only takes me to many different venues, but also gives me the opportunity to take wedding photographs at ceremonies that reflect the diversity of cultures in our modern society. As well as the people from different ethnic backgrounds who were born as citizens of the UK, there are also seven million people resident here who were not born in Britain. In total there are now 270 different nationalities here and many of them will expect to marry people from their own cultural background.
They will want wedding photographers to respect their cultural traditions and make their wedding photographs a faithful record of their special day in all its colourful details. And these weddings are often extremely colourful occasions indeed, with rich costumes, lavish jewellery and cascades of brightly coloured flowers. The receptions are likely to be very large with many guests dancing to traditional music. Wedding photographers will have abundant opportunity to take some really spectacular wedding photographs.
Many organisations exist to supply the nuptial needs of the various nationalities in the UK, so there is no ethnic minority that cannot be catered for, and wedding photographers must be equally sensitive to the cultural requirements of their customers.
People who were born outside the UK must provide proof of their identity and address before they can marry here, just like anyone else, but nothing more is demanded of them, apart from the obvious requirements that they are free to marry and over the age of consent. There is one important rule that must be adhered to, however. The bride must be able to understand the ceremony and the vows she is taking. If her English is inadequate, an interpreter must be present to ensure she can fully understand the proceedings.
Cross-cultural marriages are also more common now, and this can cause many headaches for a bride and groom as they try to please families on both sides, who will want their respective traditions honoured at the ceremony. Just like every other professional helping to organise such a mixed-culture wedding, a wedding photographer will need to make sure there is communication with both sides from the very start so that everyone is happy. After all, you don’t want to look at your wedding photographs later on and see a collection of scowling faces!
Many cross-cultural weddings manage to combine their respective traditions, or they mix old and new traditions to give their wedding a unique style. If the bride and groom can honour each other’s cultural traditions in this way and celebrate their differences, rather than taking issue with them, this is a promising start for their married life and future happiness together.